Big Almaty Lake 

Big Almaty Lake is about 20 kilometers south of Almaty, deep in the Tian Shan mountains. I grew up in Almaty, but never had a chance to visit this lake, till 30 years after moving away from the city. 

Friday Mystery Photo

This week I managed to stop by the Tidal Basin and check out cherry blossoms. Weather was nice and they were in full bloom. The number of people around there was in full bloom as well, it seems like entire population of Northern Virginia and same number of visitors decided to get out and enjoy it as well. I hope to share some photos in the coming days.

But today is the Friday and it means we have a photo that is probably not going to be known by most, maybe by some. Where is it and what is that church is known for?

Sunday update: Well, looks like no one who have visited my blog have seen this church in the past. I actually have other photos of it already posted, just from a different side. At that time it was posted as Friday Mystery Photo as well and some folks actually knew the place. I guess you have not been back to see this one.

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Friday Mystery Photo

I’ve been thinking for the last few minutes what to write about this photo and everything comes to mind seems to be a dead give away of the place. So I’m going to update this post on Saturday or Sunday with extra bits of information about it. But meanwhile you might know where it is and maybe have your own stories?

Saturday Update: Well, only one person commented and he got it right. Sebastijan Videc, not many people in the world know about Medeo ice skating ring, nicely done.

I have a lot of child hood memories associated with Medeo, it is probably one of the first place where I tried to skate on the real professionally made ice. I might tried prior to it on some back road in our neighborhood or at the park, but those places didn’t make ice for speed skating. When I was about ten or so years old I joined speed skating sport team and for entire winter had to get up couple times each week at super early hours to get on the bus that would get us to Medeo, so we could practice. The funny part is that I was so small and they didn’t have right size of the speed skating skates for me so I had to use my own “dutishi” little skates, any one from that part of the world would probably know the type of skate I’m talking about. I didn’t do that speed skating for long. Every year we use to go and skate at Medeo on weekends and it would get so crowded, one would have hard time even walking not just skating. Use to go see hockey ball games, it is the hockey game but they use an orange ball and the sticks are curved, not straight like in traditional ice hockey with a pack. Use to go see motorbikes ice speed competitions, those were really cool, smelled like a lot of burned gasoline, with bikes going around at high speed, their tires using some huge spikes to get traction with the ice as they turn around and making huge dents into the ice. All of it of course was 20+ years ago. I have no idea what they do there now during ice season. Probably the same and even more.

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This Friday I also want to give you an additional clue… to the above mystery photo.


Russian Prose

5K Mistletoe

This morning we are running 5K mistletoe at our local YMCA. I registered at the last minute and actually did not practice for it at all. I think I’ll be in the world of pain as I’ll more likely push myself to the limit…gonna be fun!

My Angel Graffiti in Almaty

We were walking from “Zeleniy Bazar” down the street, I was just taking photos when I saw something out of the ordinary. The whole place is kind of the ordinary, but you get quickly use to it and then you have to look for extra nuggets. This type of open window little markets are very common and usually occupied by female merchants, mostly “babushkas”. This one sells all kind of fresh flowers.

And the graffiti… it says: “Forgive me my angel without wings…” what ever he/she meant by it… we’ll never know

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Biker Love

My wife and daughter were looking for some Kazakh souvenirs in the department store in Almaty, while I decided to stay outside of that specific store and just hang out outside in the hall. I was bored so I started looking around the displays and saw these cute little figures. They are obviously of some European origin and are sold to the locals with some means, I guess some folks like to have stuff like this in their houses all the time. I thought couple in the center looked kind of cool, little biker love action. So here you go, you can enjoy it as well.

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