after 27 hours of traveling including 4 plane rides and 4 delays we made it to tashkent. our first flight from san francisco to vancouver was delayed 2 1/2 hours, first due to a mechanical problem where they had to track down and replace a part then finding someone's luggage from the cargo area and removing it once they decided to disembark due to the delay.
we were concerned we'd miss our flight to frankfurt since we only had a 2 hour scheduled layover and subsequently the flight from Frankfurt to Ashgabat which only runs two times a week. fortunately they held the flight from Vancouver to frankfurt for us for 40 min and we only had to run through the airport a little.
the next excitement was the flight from ashgabat to tashkent which was booked two days before when we found out the turkmenistan government rejected our visas an we wouldn't be able to enter the country. our inbound flight to ashgabat arrived late, 10 min before the tashkent flight took off. after standing in the passport control line for 10 min we were shown where the transit area was and after a few phone calls and yelling we were somehow escorted to the waiting plane and let on without boarding passes or them checking IDs. the plane took off right after we got on.
after a morning in tashkent we flew to urgench and were driven to khiva where we've spent the past 2 days. a nice old silk road fort/town with many madrassas, mosques and minarets. tomorrow it's a 7 hour drive over "bad" roads to bukhara.