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Kazakhstan

The Final Accomplishment: Almaty

Central Asia - Almaty

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And here it was, the final day of the tour! Almost two weeks after having met everyone for the first time back in Ashgabat, it was almost all over! Waking up in Bishkek we got onto the minibus to make our way to our final and fifth stan - Kazakhstan.

Just an hour from the Kyrgyz capital, the border was the busiest by far of any we had previously crossed, and after a bit of confusion we had entered the largest country in Central Asia.

Crossing the edge of the steppe we then made the three hour journey across the country's south eastern corner to the country's largest city and the former capital of Almaty.

Medeu

Medeu

After picking up our tour guides and dropping our bags off at the hotel we made our way into the mountains to view the Medeu Ice Skating rink. Almaty was the runner up in the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, and Medeu would have been one of the key venues in the mountains. The Ice skating rink is the highest in the world and was built in 1949 making it one of the most iconic in not just the region, but also the world.

Mountain backdrop over Almaty

Mountain backdrop over Almaty

After running up the hill to gain a back view of the stadium we then made our way back down the valley and into the city. After fixing a puncture, we arrived in Republic Square, where the Independence Monument stands across from the local government building shadowed by a backdrop of the snow capped mountains.

Ascension Cathedral

Ascension Cathedral

Our final destination was the Panfilov Park, visiting first the Ascension cathedral - one of the largest wooden cathedrals in the world, before we walked around the corner to the war memorial.

War Memorial

War Memorial

And that was it. The last sight on the 4000 mile trip complete. Arriving back at the hotel we had a little rest before going out for our final meal as a group in a local restaurant to say my goodbyes to everyone before bed and the journey home the following day via Istanbul.

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Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Kazakhstan Tagged mountains cathedral olympic centralasia Comments (0)

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