My first stop in Kazakhstan was the city of Almaty, which bears a striking resemblance to Manhattan (and Seoul, as well): large, bustling cities, complete with modern, stylized buildings and a huge offering of culture, the arts, and eateries; grand parks to stroll through; and plenty of entertainment and fun things to see and do, day or night. And while New York City is known as the Big Apple, Almaty comes from Alma-Ata, or “Father of Apples”, birthplace of the modern apple. Indeed! No wonder it seemed so familiar.
We began the first day in Almaty at 28 Panfilovites Park, Almaty’s equivalent to Central Park, and then ventured out to the mountains for a picnic at Big Almaty Lake — a beautiful spot, surrounded by soaring, snow-capped mountains. On the way home, we enjoyed the Eagle Show at Sunkar (along with falcons, owls, and vultures!), dinner at the elegant Qaimaq restaurant, and finished with an evening stroll back in Almaty for the Arbut Street Fair.
Our second day brought us back to the mountains: Shymbulak Mountain ski resort, where we took cable cars to the top to see a view of the countryside. We finished the day with a view of another sort: from Abay Restaurant, we enjoyed the most spectacular sunset over Almaty. This after enjoying the Kok Tobe theme park, where we road mini sports cars on tracks along the side of the mountain, toured an upside-down house, and posed with the Beatles.
Photographs in this series include:
- Arrival in Almaty
- 28 Panfilovites Park – Ascension Cathedral (Russian Orthodox), horse & buggy rides, Zheka’s ice cream
- Big Almaty Lake
- Sunkar Falconry Center
- Back in Almaty: Qaimaq restaurant, Arbut street fair
- Shymbulak Mountain Resort
- Kok Tobe carnival park and Abay Restaurant overlooking Almaty
Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen
Big Almaty Lake
Sunkar Falconry Center
Almaty – Qaimaq restaurant, Arbut street fair
Shymbulak Mountain Resort
Almaty – Kok Tobe and Abay Restaurant
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