Once in a lifetime experience
On the weekend we flew to the capital Astana, very different from Almaty. It is located in the north of the country in the steppe area. So there is nothing but steppe around the city. Astana is really a business city, comparable to Rotterdam. High skyscrapers, many offices, schools, hotels. You can tell by the people that they are really focused on business, while people in Almaty are very calm, open and helpful. As a surprise for Marua, we stayed at The Ritz-Carlton hotel the first night, a once-in-a-lifetime experience for her, in such a luxurious hotel. Pure enjoyment. The rest of the weekend Marua stayed with her friend Aida, who showed us a lot of the city, such as the symbol of the city Baiterek, the shopping center Khan Satyr, the Expo center, the food market, Atyrau bridge, the Nur Astana Mosque and Grand Mosque of Astana (the largest mosque in Central Asia). Very impressive to see everyone. The last day in Astana I spent alone. We walked a lot in the city and did some sightseeing such as along Ak Orda (the president’s house), Independence Square, Palace of Peace and Reconciliation and the Hazrat Mosque.