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Photographer's Note

I had been travelling in Asia for one month and it was time to head back to Europe. 5 hours in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, were ahead of me and I was going to get a super quick sightseeing round by a friend I met in Budapest one month earlier. But first, 10 hours in Almaty and a 6 hour flight.

My time in Almaty was perhaps the time I feel was most wasted of my time in Asia. I had little money left and spent a long time finding a place to leave my backpack. Note for future travels to Kazakhstan: Learn the Russian word for hotel (in cyrillic). The city had generally more trash than other cities I've been to, but you can also see the wealth that has emerged for the last years. It's a green city and people seem to enjoy the vibe. There are many tall apartment buldings, often with a playground nearby and shops in the first floor. I arrived in the evening and I couldn't really find a city center, so I ended up in a pizza place and then on a popular beach next to an artificial lake. I settled there with my ukulele and watched the sunset. Around midnight it started raining, so I didn't mind staying 5 hours in the middle of the night at the airport instead.

After 20 minutes of sleep at the gate, I settled down by my window seat and I had a great ride chatting with the Kazakh girls next to me. But my right side was also rather spectacular as we had to fly around Russian airspace. This meant I got the best view towards the Caucasus Range as the morning fog covered the valleys and left only the hilltops visible over the fog. And as my new friends fell asleep, I had all time in the world to enjoy the view.

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Additional Photos by Fredrik Henriksen (Bergenphotos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 271 W: 53 N: 637] (3294)
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