Cholpon-Ata and the Burana Tower

Our last day in Kyrgyzstan had arrived. Unbelievable how quick the time has passed. Basically we just arrived and all of a sudden we were leaving again. After breakfast we made time for a short photo session to get pictures with Tilek and with our hostess who made us fell like family the last couple of days.

Pollybert, Tilek and Sylvia @Kyrgyzstan

Sylvia, hostess and Pollybert @Kyrgyzstan

Then we were off and headed along the Issyk Kul to Bishkek. The scenery was, as everywhere in Kyrgyzstan, stunning. The white-capped mountain range as a backdrop to the lake made me feel small and insignificant. The pictures I took are in no way representing how it really looked and don’t do it justice at all.

blue mosque @Kyrgyzstan

white-capped mountain range @Kyrgyzstan

Our first stop was at the petroglyphs from Cholpon-Ata. The petroglyphs date from 800BC to 1200AD but I found one that looked a bit more recent. What I liked the most was the animals roaming around, bothered by no one and showing absolute no interest in these historic marvels. Very happy also to see little flags sticking out so that we knew where to go and even then we couldn’t always make out a drawing on the stones.

fake or real? @Cholpon-Ata Kyrgyzstan

Before we were stopping for a last sightseeing spot we had lunch with Tilek’s mother-in-law. So brilliant to get to know his family along the way and also get an insight in how the locals really live. The food, as everywhere in this country, was amazing!

Tilek’s family @Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz food

Kyrgyz food

Next and last stop before Bishkek was the Burana Tower, a minaret from the 9th century city. Everything else has been destroyed through earthquakes and age, the only thing left here was the tower which was impressive although a lot of the original height was already gone. Still, with 25m it was visible from afar and the ever-present white-capped mountain range in the back helped to bring out its beauty. Grave markers were set around it and some of them looked like they had been done by Picasso while others looked like a marker I had seen in the Xinjiang Regional Museum in Urumqi.

Just a while later we arrived in Bishkek while having crossed through Kazakhstan for about 2km or so. Sylvia of course wanted to take a picture of this historic moment but I still think it doesn’t count as having visited Kazakhstan. Then all of a sudden we were really back in the modern world. Traffic, cars and and lots of people. Bishkek had it all including, you guessed it, the white-capped mountains in the back.

We stopped for a bite to eat at a coffee shop (had a very boring western-style dinner) and were then dropped off at the airport. Although our flight was only leaving at 3am there was no need for all of us to lose a good night’s sleep. So shortly after 10pm we said goodbye to Tilek and started to wait for our flight. There was a lot of waiting all around because Cat and Susi did the same the next morning at the airport in Vienna until we finally walked into the arrival hall. Yours, Pollybert

waiting and then finally in Vienna

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