Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Goodbye Uralsk Hello Almaty

  1. The Uralsk airport
  2. Denis and I on the plane
  3. Uh, is this a sign of the future, replace the toy cell phone with the real one and change the water bottle for a coffee - business man in the making?!
  4. Ah, to sleep - wished I could afford Business class the whole way home.
Denis is a flying pro. I didn't need to give him any kind of medication, he didn't flinch at take off or at landing. He totally enjoyed the flight and the only fuss he made was when I made him take a nap, this flying stuff was so much fun. The best part was the putting on and off of the seat belt, luckily he hasn't mastered undoing the seat belt - that was my job, but he would put it together repeatedly.

We arrived just a little late of our planned arrival time to a 35 degree C temperature difference. It was -31 C in Uralsk in the morning, and 4 C in Almaty. WOW. I hope the weather holds for the next two days so Denis and I can explore the city.

I was met by a very nice driver that Nastya arranged for me. He drove us to the hotel, I'm staying at the Astra which is a lovely hotel near the train station and more importantly the Ramstore - oh the goods of shopping it was huge and I didn't need much, but it was so nice to see so much STUFF.

After dropping off our luggage at the hotel the driver drove us to the Hyatt Regency hotel as the Lufthansa has an office there. The hotel was lovely and Denis saw a water fountain - so many new things to see and explore it is so wonderful. At the Lufthansa office the lady booked Denis a return ticket as the one way was 3 times as expensive. She was so nice and kind to Denis, she said she couldn't understand someone not wanting such a sweet little boy. I have to agree, but I'm glad as that allowed me to become his mother.

So, now we are in our luxury hotel suite (and only 22 000 tenge a night - or for those not into the exchange around $150 a night) As I'm leaving at 1 a m on Saturday morning I will only have to pay 1/2 a nights room rental - not bad eh?

Tomorrow Denis and I will go exploring. He loves the stroller and happily goes into it when we put on our coats. I am so looking forward to a world without stairs to carry the stroller up and down. I have a map of Almaty from the lobby of the hotel so I'm ready.

Bye for now,


Diane said...

Awesome that he was not at all afrid, that bodes well for the long trip home! So good to see you 2 together!!!! Ah the Ramstore, head to the sweets aisle, they have awesome awesome cookies and chocolates. If by chance you see these you can pick me up a bag or two.....they are a bag of individually wrapped (one square each) of chocolate and each has a picture of somewhere in Kazakhstan on it, these are AMAZING chocolates, the carboard part of the bag is Kazak blue, it's a 275G (?) bag. Pick some up for yourself too!!!! Enjoy Almaty!!

sue and craig said...

Wonderful to hear everything is going well so far. We loved Almaty so much that we went there 3 times ;). Enjoy the Ramstore, and hopefully you will make it to TSUM and Koke Tobe.
See you in March!

Sue, Craig, Hannah and Nickolas

keoghclan said...

Michele - I am so so happy for you - congratulations! As someone else said prior to me - this has been a long, long wait for you. Thrilled everything is now winding down (and real life can begin with your little man!!)

You are bringing back so many memories to me - i spent 9 weeks in Almaty (can it be almost 5 years ago? oh my) I had to change my flights at least 5 times and the luftansa office was very familiar to me at the hyatt!! I was on first name basis with a guy there!! Also one of the ladies i met in Kaz stayed in the Hyat so I visited her a lot. There is a nice little mall near there (sorry cant remember the name but there is a delicious Thai restaurant upstairs)

Enjoy the rest of your week in Almaty and safe trip back to Canada.

The Keoghs

Marianne said...

My favorite was Panfilov Park...not too far from the Tsum store... Also the ice skating rink in the mountains....gosh I forgot the name...can be very pretty depending on the weather ...enjoy your time there with your son!

russalka said...

The skating ring in Almaty is Medeo,but you need to take a bus to get there - it's beautiful. All Russ skaters were trained there especially before the Olympics.....And if you go farther up - it will be the best ski resort - Chembulack. When you reach the top of the mounting - you will understand what Heaven looks like)))) I'm so glad that Denis is not scared of the trip! Good luck and see ya home safe)))