Monday, March 31, 2008

Kok-Tobe or Blue Mountain

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.
Proud peacock.
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!
Crossing Cars
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!


Rachel said...

glad you stayed away from the horse meat (unless you like that sort of thing)! i agree, that bread is amazing. you are so close to home!!

Hilary Marquis said...

Darn she's cute. Looks like she's a little bit of a ham too :)

Mom to 2 Angels said...

I was away from the computer this weekend and missed so many updates! Your pictures have been great, minus the smog :) Phoebe is so adorable! You are almost home now.

Johnda said...

Thinking of you and your family!


Jackie said...

Love the pictures and the update. It looks like such nice weather...yayyy!!!

Are you counting down the hours? If not, I am :)

Carmi said...

Glad the weather is holding out. The restaurant where you ate looks very cool. Hope the remainder of your trip goes well and you are home soon. Where in NC was your guide an exchange student? We are close to Charlotte, NC.

Margaret & Tom said...

Wow what an amazing view from the cable car ride! The yurt looks so much bigger inside then I had pictured, I think it may be bigger than our room at Asia Mountain :) Something tells me neither Phoebe, Michael, Gen or John will be sitting much when you get home! So much cuteness in such a little package, where does she put it all???