So, here it is Verniy city. Well, I wanted to say Alma-aty. Hm. I meant Almaty (though in Russian it's still called Alma-aty). Looks like Kazakhs really into renaming the cities. Just look at recent Akmola. I meant Astana. Well. Nur-Sultan. Not sure if it wasn't renamed again.
Though nevermind. Kazakhstan. Here I am. Hooray!
City exploration started early in the morning: at 7am I already was out of plane. So the first place I visited was local canteen. I was shocked by two things: number of people who came for a breakfast at Saturday morning at 8am (!), extremely low prices for food (in US not every place will serve you a cup of coffee for the price of full breakfast).
Companies are located in a clustered manner here. Here's a pawnshop block. In the other place there was travel companies block. I had an impression that city government allows to put a certain kind of business to a specific area. Even though a number of pawnshops really impressed me. There are tones of them.
They even have an internet cafe. I was pretty sure they're already off from business (:
Green bazaar. Huge market with Chinese clothes, but the most interesting part is a building with fruits / vegetables / meat. 2 floors for a market. The ground one there are often foreign tourists groups. Sellers are not very friendly and they keep prices high. On the underground floor there aren't much tourists, prices are lowers and sellers are more open for a bargain.
Though fruits are mostly from neighbor Uzbekistan.
And of course Qazi (traditional sausage-like food from horse meat). It's only on ground level, bug different kind of it are available (cooked, jerky, smoked). Sellers give you some to taste and these pieces are so big, after a couple rounds you might not need a lunch. Prices are also good. Almost 1.5-2 times lower than in a shop. You also will be provided a paper you might need to show on the customs if you decide to bring it home.
In general cars look a bit old here. Though it really depends on a part of city you're in. Sometimes you might see really cool expensive cars out there.
On a walking street I ran into local ethnic market. "Hm, looks interesting", I thought...
... and jumped into guys in national costumes. Very cool.
Kazakhs take a course to the West. In some advanced schools last two years are completely in English. Universities switch to English complete courses.
A small piece of USSR.
Almaty is surrounded by mountains. The air is very fresh in here. Thus you can take a cable car right from the city and go up.
All these houses are still the city.
The view on the city. It's very green. However locals told me that is was much greener in the early days. I can't believe it could be more greener than now.
Kazakh falcon is very valuable in hunters world (especially Arab). Though for this particular bird I don't think so. Nobody will put a pricey one for a photos with tourists.
Young people (:
Central Mosque. That's a new building. The old (and small) one was reconstructed into this.
Inside there was a competition between children Quran Hafiz (guys who know the entire Quran by heart). Some guy from jury will stat to read a part from Quran and a child should recognize it and continue reading by heart, do not get lost and read as beautiful as he can. The winner will get a car.
Nearby there is Panfilov Park and Ascension Cathedral which survived 8-balls earthquake in 1911 (!)
Panfilovs division was formed exactly in Almaty.