The trip was winding down by the time we reached Almaty. I’ve already posted photos of my very fine borscht plus fat and dumplings meal. (https://mneset.me/2019/09/26/on-the-trail-of-borscht-and-dumplings/).The next day we actually made it to the Kazakhstan Museum of Arts. I was primarily interested in paintings from this last century and was not disappointed. There was a good collection of work reflecting Kazakhstan’s nomadic steppe cultures, its Russian and Soviet heritage, and its place in the history of space flight. Baykonur Cosmodrome in southwest Kazakhstan has been the site of all Soviet/Russian manned space flights. It’s even possible to visit there if one goes through a well-connected travel agency.
There is a part of me that wishes we had spent an entire week in Kazakhstan, exploring the countryside, Baykonur, the Aral Sea disaster zone, the Tian Shan Mountains and other natural wonders, and last but not least the spectacular new capital city of Astana, said to be full of imaginative buildings and other ‘fantastical’ attractions. Should I ever find myself in the neighborhood again (let’s say that rich Nigerian uncle comes through with a whole bunch of cash) there will most certainly be a week or two reserved for Kazakhstan.
In the meantime here are more of the best representations of what I did not see.
And then we went to Istanbul.