Monday, March 10, 2014


I'm currently in Kazakhstan on a work trip, somewhere I never thought I'd be traveling to! We're waiting at the Almaty airport to travel to Ust-Kamenogorsk and thought I'd take the opportunity to do a quick post.

Almaty is a beautiful city. It was snowing and -12 degrees when we arrived, an absolute contrast to Perth which we left in the mid 30's. We arrived in the afternoon and stayed at a lovely hotel with Persian rugs and beautiful old furniture for the night.

After a swim in the indoor pool and an intense session in the steam room (we had a local show us the best way - 10min in the 50 degree steam then plunge into a cold shower, and repeat until your plane kankles disappear!) we ventured out into the cold and the snow to visit the new republic square and grab some dinner.

The walk to the square was really fun with frequent stops to take photos of the postcardy scenes and crazy looking icicles. Dinner at Olivka was soup (delicious dish-of-the-day lentil soup and brocoli and leak soup) followed by a shared horse steak (tastes exactly like beef) and lamb curry. We were so tempted to just go back to the warmth of the hotel but we were proud that we took a chance with our 4 Russian/Kazakh words at a local place.

This morning we had breakfast in the hotel and tried some chal, a fermented drink made from camel's milk. It smelt absolutely awful, but tasted OK, sort of like fizzy yoghurt with an alcoholic aftertaste. I only risked a small sip.

I haven't had a chance to try the local beer yet, I'm looking forward to it!

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