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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Purchase Limited Edition print of this photo

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


Chimbulak murals #3 and #4

Here is two more murals from the Chimbulak Ski Resort in Almaty Kazakhstan. I shared first two in the past, here is #1 and #2. All of them are on the same mountain road that leads you from mountain skating stadium Medeo to the ski resort.

Chimbulak Mural #3

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Chimbulak Mural #4

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Chimbulak Murals #2

Today I’m taking a short trip back to Kazakhstan, Almaty. Actually a bit south of it in the mountains. You might already seen the first mural from this series in Chimbulak Murals #1. I took these photos right between the Medeo ice skating ring and Chimbulak ski resort. We hired a driver to take us from the ring to the ski resort and then hiked there at the alpine altitude. On the way back there were no cars for higher so we decided  not to wait and took off by feet down the road. I think it is only about three, maybe four miles so not a big deal.  Somewhere midway I saw a few murals and decided to record it. I bet they were painted during Soviet times and this one look to me more like a Russian influenced art than Kazakh. There is a bit of Kazakh ornamental style showing as snow on mountain peaks. Other elements are not very Asian looking.

As far as I know Kazakh government is blocking entire, so no one in Kazakhstan will be able to see this post and tell me if those murals are still there or they are gone as part of road clean up for last year Asian winter games.

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Chimbulak Murals #1

Did you know that Almaty, Kazakhstan was a host to the Asian Winter Games this winter?

I was there about six month ago and took a few pictures on the side walls, I call them Chimbulak Murals. Chimbulak is the name of the winter ski resort, if you were wondering about that strange name. I wonder if any of these murals are still there. Probably not, to shame.

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