Posts tagged Medeo

Welcome to the GREAT new year of 2015!!!

I was too busy traveling yesterday to give out my new year’s greetings, so today will have to do.  On Facebook I have put up the obligatory photos from our two week trip to AZ to see the kids and grandkids.  Now it is back to the stark reality of living in the cold of Minnesota.  We are bracing ourselves for a bit of “weather” which is coming in later today, making travel near impossible if too much snow comes with it.  My task is to dismantle the Carnegie building of our latest traveling display exhibit called “Electrifying Minnesota.”  How about a new display titled “Heating Minnesota?”  We got back to the house and our temps outside were negative 4 and then 9 and then 10 and then back up to 7 and 8.  Inside, of course, we cranked up the heat to 68 and it started to warm up from the 54 that we had set the furnace at.

However, being in Arizona didn’t mean it was warm all the time. In fact, Prescott was cool and meant wearing jackets outside and Tucson was cool and meant wearing socks inside our RV trailer unit.  We felt blessed to be able to rent this unit for a week and have the pool and bubbling spa at 105 degrees just a half block away from our place.  There was a fitness center and also a library.  My friend Suzi helped us find out about this place because she and her husband have been staying at this RV park for many years.  They come from Oregon. What a great tourist way to bring in money for this area of Tucson.  There are MANY “snowbirds” from all over the US who come down to AZ in the winter, even those from Canada.  They stay for a few months and then go back to their homes when it becomes warmer.  My husband and I only can afford two weeks and then it is back to our reality or work in order to pay the bills.

I think Kazakhstan should try to have an industry like this. A good tourism industry is needed for those who are stuck in Astana or north of there to have places that people can go to for a few weeks or a month to get away from the brutality of the winter up north.  Almaty and along the border of Kyrgyzstan certainly have beautiful places for a vacation and it IS warmer, even in the winter.  I bet if Kazakhstan had enough people skilled or trained to facilitate that, then it could be a booming industy to bring in more international visitors as well.

Is it true that the winter Olympics might be in Kazakhstan and NOT Norway? I just heard that from a friend of ours who helped introduce my husband and me about 21 years ago.  He said that after Russia spent so much money on their winter Olympics, who wants to try to top that?  It might end up in Kazakhstan because they may want to host it for P.R. purposes. Then afterwards they could use those Olympic buildings for other purposes to make money.  I know that the Norwegians have a LONG memory about Medeo when there was some kind of international competition (not Olympics) that was held during the Soviet Union.  Seemingly the record times were changed and the Norwegians did not get their expected medals or awards. Perhaps the Soviet athletes won but on suspicious grounds.  I recall that some of the same things happened in Russia last year where top athletes spun out because the tracks were too treacherous or the snow quality not right.

Well, I’m not sure how I got into that but I have to steady my course here on the home front and get all the Christmas mail that has accumulated. AND to see how I can get the work done at the Carnegie before a big winter storm rages through these parts.  What a great culture shock for us, to have to be thinking about whether we will make it back home from town when we just flew three hours from AZ to MN and experienced about 60 degree temperature drop.

Happy New Years wherever you are, warm or cold!  Make 2015 a GREAT one!

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Photos of Kazakh Faces (Part IV)

More photos taken by Martin Lee, you can get your own calendar at Eagilik in old town Astana which features all of photos the last three years.  Enjoy these faces of beautiful people in Kazakhstan, some are of other nationalities and not Kazakh. They are called Kazakhstani if they were born in Kazakhstan.

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More Photos of Mountains in Kazakhstan

Medeo and mtns.Medeo, a large skating rink set in the valley ringed by mountains, used during Soviet times in international competitions. What a wonderful place to skate in the fall of 2007 with the English Club from our university. Currently it is under construction but hopefully will be re-opened soon. I remember going to Medeo back in 1993 with some of my first dates with Ken. Yes, Almaty is a romantic city! Shimbaluk is a skiing place, I haven’t tried my downhill skiing yet but in 1993, Ken and I went cross-country skiing and had shashlik (like shish-ka-bob) afterwards with white gloppy snow falling on us. Memories!!! The sunset photo was taken from our balcony in Almaty about a month or so ago.sunset in AlmatyShimbaluk skiing area II

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A British Journalist Requests Info about Almaty, Kazakhstan

I know this is an odd request, but it would be helpful if you could share with British readers why Almaty is a city to visit. I am a British journalist writing about some of the great undiscovered cities of the world for a British newspaper. So, what makes the city worth visiting – it could be about the cuisine, the atmosphere, the architecture, the nightlife, arts & culture etc.

Diana D. – Almaty is the South capital of Kazakhstan.  This city is situated in the “hollow,” surrounded by beautiful, amazing mountains.  Nature here is so beautiful, especially in the mountains. “KokTobe” is a special place where you can see the whole city from a bird’s flight high.  Also, in the mountains there is Chimbulak, where you can go skiing.  But the most interesting place to visit I think is the only mountain skating rink [Medeo].  Here there are about 2 million people, and mostly Almaty is a city of students.  Because of that, there are a lot of places for teenagers’ entertainment.  Also, Almaty is a cultural centre of Kazakhstan, here there is National Museum, from it you can see and know the whole history of our country.

Laura J. – Almaty is an amazing city with fascinating nature, buildings, culture.  Almaty can be translated as “Grandfather of Apples” so the apples are very tasty here!  But what is more, Almaty’s nature is tremendous: from the huge mountains to amazing lakes (Kulsai, Koyandy, you can find photos on Internet).  Also, Almaty has its own culture.  Our summer evenings are so sweet (yes, they really are) I mean the air smells so sweet.  So you should visit this city to fall in love with Almaty.

Maiya – what I like about Almaty is the atmosphere.  It’s the biggest city in Kazakhstan – a country of many contradictions.  Here you can see the parts of nomadic culture along with modern technologies.  Also, what makes Almaty beautiful is the mountains.  Almaty residents whenever they go to another city miss the mountains the most. And, of course, there are many places to visit in the city and around it.  I am sure that foreigners will find Almaty very charming and interesting.

Zhamilya K. – Almaty is a really beautiful place in Kazakhstan.  The nature of this great city is fantastic and interesting.  But in my opinion, Kazakhstan was not so popular until the film “Barot.”  Some people think that it’s bad for reputation of Kazakhstan, but I think it helped to visit Kazakhstan more.  People from other countries are coming here to see if its true.  So now we have a lot of tourists who are coming to visit Almaty.

Gaukhar – I love this city and I think that foreigners should come here.  It’s not a small town and it’s not so big as a megapolis, that’s why the streets are not crowded [hmm…there IS traffic gridlock during rush hours!].  The nature is beautiful, in half an hour you can go to the mountains like Almarasan, Shimbaulak, Koktube.  Also, there are a lot of trees along the streets so Almaty looks like a big, green garden.  Architecture differs from old Soviet time houses to new, modern buildings.

Akbota K. – Almaty is the largest city in Kazakhstan, it was the capital from 1929 to 1997.  There are a lot of places that you can visit here.  The world known is “Medeo” and “Chimbulak.”  In Soviet period a lot of world records were done in Medeo.  Also, I want to say that this city is the cultural capital of the republic because we have different theaters, like Opera House, TYUZ, Anezov’s drama theater, German theater and others; museums, like Kaz State museum, Museum of Folk Instruments, Medical museum and others, lots of cinemas, parks and gardens.  Almaty is also known as Apple City, because here grow apple trees (Aport, Stolovka, Simchaka…) Here the largest number of universities, colleges, schools and that’s why here come lot of teenagers from other cities.

Nargiza – Almaty is a very amazing, interesting and bizarre city.  Most of the tourists are shocked by our great Kazakh traditions and culture.  Our national food: “beshbarmak.” You’ve never seen such an interesting or so amazing culture.  Kazakh culture does not compare with others.  Our weddings, birth customs, death customs are really different.  Especially our house where we live many years ago, called “Kazakh House.”

Alexandra – This city is full of Kazakh culture, traditions, also important point that Almaty is the ex-capital of Kazakhstan.  And it is the place where history was and is going till nowadays.  I love Almaty because of the mountains and it is very enjoyable to hike every weekend with friends and discover new things of Kazakh’s beauty in Almaty.

Arai – Kazakhstan is very beautiful and hospitable country.  Native people are always glad to welcome any foreigner in Kazakh land.  Maybe our country is still developing its areas of economy, finance and education, but one thing which is remaining constant is the Kazakh spirit which foreigners recognize immediately.  All foreign families from Germany, England, America use to say that Kazakhstan is the only one place where people like to be a guest and to live.  Non-native people find friends among Kazakhs very quickly.  People of Kazakhstan got used to the international status of our country and they accept the tourists with great pleasure.  And our president does everything for non-native people in order to provide them with appropriate conditions, like international standards.

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