Saturday was a refreshing day for many of us from the university in Astana as we traveled north to Borovoye. We each paid 2,500 tenge to travel by bus to the area close to the small city of Kokshetau. This tourist attraction is known as the little Switzerland of Kazakhstan. Emphasis on the word “little.” Sadly, there are many brightly lit up, small casinos here that are outlawed everywhere else in Kazakhstan. But seeing forests and small mountains is most welcome to the eyes if you live in Astana for any length of time. Flat, flat, flat and cold! Temperatures have been unmerciful in Astana this past week and last Wednesday there was a brutal wind that reminded some of us how tough life must have been for the early Kazakh nomads who travelled these parts. But going to Borovoye, our spirits seemed to lift with seeing a different kind of geography, seeing beautiful pine and birch trees and drinking in the pure mountain air once we got out of the bus. Here are more photos of the activities we enjoyed.