Friday, December 10, 2010

Kazakhstan 101 continued

I am feeling so sentimental as my son approaches his 3rd birthday.  I have been going through old photos of our trip to his birthland and find myself thinking.... I want to go back.... right now.

Kazakhstan has amazing outdoor and indoor markets where you can buy just about anything.  This is where we would buy our nuts.  I know folks say watch what you eat when you travel, and we did.  We watched it go right in our mouth.  Aside from an inititial stomach flu, we survived and were healthy.  Compared to Alaska food was very inexpensive.
This is where we spent 3 months visiting our son.  We entered that door no less 100 times.  He first came to this baby house when he was 26 days old and stayed until he became our son at 19 months.
We took a 28 hour train ride to Southern Kazakshtan and went backcountry camping in Jabagely which is an amazing place.  Each train stop has local folks selling steaming hot meals.  And yes... we ate those too, straight from someone's house.  A no-no in the travelling books, but who can resist homemade dumplings?
We saw wild tulips which was one of my goals because Tulips actually originated in Kazakhstan not Holland.  They were so big and magical.
We ate lunch beside this wild apple tree in full bloom, and drank from the stream beside it, because as the book says Apples are From Kazakhstan.

We went backcountry camping in land where we only saw herdsman.  We saw a tornado form and felt a strange energy before it happened as if something were about to go wrong.  We ran from said tornado.

The people of Kazakhstan were so nice and inviting towards us.  Like this big man in a little car.  Jonathan and I found ourselves hitchhiking a lot.  Well, before we gained custody of our son anyway.
Kazakhstan has beautiful old structures like the Yasaui Mausoleum. The mausoleum was built in the 15 century by Temir.  He is somewhat of a cultural hero, but in the west he is looked at negatively more of an Attila the Hun.  There was a small mausoleum there for centuries that was a pilgrimage site for Sufi Muslims. It was neglected under the Soviets like most religious monuments, but after independence the Kazaks arranged a lot of international financing primarily from Turkey to fix it up.  While visiting the Mausoleum we were invited to attend a Surfi changing session.  We of course had to go, how could we miss an opportunity for such a cultural experience.  


  1. So beautiful! He's going to love seeing these pictures and hearing these memories!

  2. What wonderful pictures to have. I love hearing more about your journey...thank you.