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Crossroads of the World: An Adventure Across Central Asia

Crossroads of the World: An Adventure Across Central Asia

Old May 25th, 2024, 05:48 PM
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shelemm, so true and thank you. The ropes were anchored to the rocks on both ends at one of the three spots, and on one end with the other free at the other two.

KarenWoo, I almost needed someone to carry me down.
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Old May 26th, 2024, 05:48 AM
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> But heck, we did something that we never thought we would do.

Glad you came out unscathed!

Another couple rounds of fabulous photos from you. Your shots of the icy Tien Shan gave me some wanderlust and I went off for a little while looking at trekking routes in the area. Not that I'll do it at this stage of the game but it was a fun diversion.

Safe travels home. Thanks for the report.
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Old May 26th, 2024, 08:20 PM
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Nelson, you're welcome. Glad to give you food for thought.

May 26: Bishkek

After a good night's sleep, we ate a delicious breakfast at our hotel (breakfast at Hyatt hotels has yet to disappoint us), which featured a combination of Western and Asian dishes. We stored our bags with the lobby and embarked on a full day of sightseeing in Kyrgyzstan's capital city, Bishkek.

We started our exploration at Ala Too Square, the city's central gathering place. We walked around the square with its status of Kyrgyz folk hero Manas on horseback at its center. Behind Manas is the excellent National History Museum. We spent a good hour viewing exhibits chronicling the history of the Kyrgyz people. The exhibits were well laid out with Kyrgyz, Russian, and English explanations. Of particular interest were artifacts from the Golden Age of Turkic civilization including its costumes, jewelry, furniture, musical instruments, and games.

From the museum we walked to the White House, the office of the Kyrgyz president, and Panfilov Park with its carnival rides. We then walked over to Oak Park with its numerous outdoor sculptures. We appreciated how green Bishkek is. It finally dawned on us that all the greenery we've enjoyed in Bishkek, Almaty, Tashkent, and even Yerevan may be a positive legacy of Soviet urban planning. In any case, it's pleasant to stroll among these streets under the shade of tall, leafy streets. We ate at Chicken Star, a Korean fried chicken place for lunch, not far away.

We visited the State Museum of Fine Arts after lunch, and spent an hour browsing the large selection of paintings by Kyrgyz, other Turkic, and Russian artists. We really enjoyed the landscape paintings, revisiting some of the sights of the past few days through the eyes of painters of yesteryear.

From there we walked over to the Opera House and Victory Park with its war memorial. We spent the rest of the afternoon doing last-minute shopping at some of the stores along Chuy Avenue.


Ala-Too Square

Manas Statue and State History Museum

White House

Sculpture in Oak Park

Sculpture in Oak Park

Opera House

Victory Park Monument

Tonight we left Bishkek and Central Asia. We fly home via Istanbul and London. Our three-week trip had been a true adventure. We've had highs and lows but many more highs and lots. We take home with us many wonderful memories of our experiences across three countries, each unique and worthwhile. Central Asia has far exceeded our expectations overall. I'm glad we were able to share our journeys with you. Thank you for coming along for the ride.
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