Today we took a real taxi to Kok-Tobe or Blue Mountain. What I mean by real taxi is that they have a sign on it that says it's a taxi service. Otherwise it is a private taxi where you stick out your hand, a car stops and they ask where you are going, if they agree to take you, a price is negotiated. Last time we took private taxi's and this trip we are taking taxi services. Of course you can guess which is the least expensive. We have a guide who is an international relations major and she is a very petite cute thing. Last summer she was an exchange student in North Carolina. She can speak many languages. It is amazing to us.
We had wanted to go to Medeu, where they have a speed skating rink(it is the size of 2 football fields) and where they someday hope to host the Olympics but there is an olympic torch parade on Wednesday and all the roads are closed. Bummer. They are painting everything to make it look nice. I saw them painting a light pole with a rag with paint and they wrap it around just like they are shimmying up a tree but they are in a truck lift. Quite ingenious actually. Messy for the painter I would think.
So we got a ride to halfway up Kok-Tobe and walked the rest up. I only made it halfway with Phoebe and had to hand her over to John. They had strollers you could rent for 2.50 an hour so we took one of those. There are a few animals up there, souvenir shops, and restaurants.
Roof of a yurt.
Phoebe was a wiggle worm so I took a picture of Julia instead.
The flushable turkish toilet.
We got to eat in one that looked like a yurt inside. It was quite fun. Thanks Rachel for telling us about it, our guide knew exactly what we wanted. We had quite the meal, their traditional bread here is fantastic, especially when it is hot, John ordered scones but they were not quite what he pictured and creme tea. Chip Reid had a noodle dish and it was quite tasty. I had some fried eggplant and it was delicious.
Blue Cable Car
An upscale Almaty neighborhood.
Chip on a razor!
The wishing well.
Look what we've been breathing...
View of the hill & dry luge, you can ride it for about 8 dollars
Here we go down the mountain!
We have 2 days lefts after this(like we're counting) and hopefully tomorrow we'll make it to a traditional bazaar. At least the weather is holding out.
Catch me if you can!
I'll play on the chair but won't sit on it!