Jul 06 2010

Happy Day Of Astana

Category: In The Media,Kazakhstan,PicturesChrisM @ 1:48 pm

I have previously been calling it Astana Day, but local official online sources seem to refer to it as the Day of Astana. Anyway, it is also our beloved President’s birthday today. He is seventy, which is still very young, and in his honour the Khan Shatyr was officially opened today apparently. Nursultan Nazarbayev (who is legally not insultable by anyone living in this glorious nation) was rumoured to have been pondering resigning today, but I have yet to hear about any speech confirming this. Since the Leader of the Nation law was passed, some people thought he would take this momentous occasion to pass on the baton to another great, perfect and non-corrupt leader.
Anyway, check out the BBC article here for some more details on Khan Shatyr, though I have a few queries regarding the “facts” in that story…
Astana celebrates 13 years of being capital perhaps, but the city was around, in different (smaller) forms for a little bit longer than that 🙂 The phrasing just makes it sound as though nothing existed here for decades, and suddenly over night it came into existence.
Khan Shatyr is the city’s tallest structure? Could be right, but 150 metres doesn’t seem all that tall compared to some structures here. This could just be my mistake though.
“from 30C in the summer to -30C in the winter.” – An argument I’ve had over at Wikipedia before. Summer is regularly above 30C, occasionally hitting 40. Winter definitely sees an occasional dip below -30.

Here is an earlier photo of the Khan Shatyr tent like structure, whilst it was still being slowly constructed, to ensure it was ready for the birthday of this nation’s wonderful leader.

Khan Shatyr

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Jun 29 2009

Visitors, Straddling New White Lines, Posters and Yurts

Category: Kazakh Driving,KazakhstanChrisM @ 5:50 pm

You can definitely tell that there are foreign visitors about to arrive in Astana (there is the “III (I’m assuming that means 3rd?) Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions” – you can normally tell when a phrase is directly translated into English from Russian, rather than re-worded to sound more natural). The white lines on the roads are re-painted, even car parks get neat new spaces clearly marked out. Any billboard posters with our beloved president’s face on tend to be replaced (at least temporarily) with normal business adverts, or motivational ‘Astana city for the future’ type messages. You can tell when the big wigs have actually arrived though, as you’ll spot a lot more policeman at traffic junctions, sometimes ‘helping’ the flow of traffic by turning off the lights, other times ensuring that as a VIP’s car cruises down the road that no other traffic is met. The easiest way to tell when a VVIP is around? The motorcades get to drive on the wrong side of the road, with scores of cars, ambulances, motorbikes and 4x4s flanking the actual limo.
Anyway, we’re off in a moment to get and inspect the progress of the preparations for Astana day in the park opposite us – there are a lot more yurts there now, on raised platforms, and they seem to be making progress with the huge scaled up yurt in one corner. We have already taken a few pictures of the erecting process for yurts, and the mock castle walls at the pedestrian entrance to the park, I’ll try and post them soon.

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Jun 01 2007

Childrens Conference In The Park

Category: Kazakhstan,PicturesChrisM @ 1:11 pm

As I recently mentioned here, there is some sort of meeting going on across the road. I spoke to Ira, and she believes it may be related to a children’s conference going on today.

Childrens Conference Astana Kazakhstan

If you look on the left, you can see a poster featuring our beloved President. The area the crowd is in, is one of the entrances to Astana Park, which has a lot of cafes in open in the summer, fairground rides, and eventually leads down to the River Ishim.

I’ll come back and update with more information, as I receive it.

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