Old Aug 24, 19, 12:16 pm
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: OTP, CHQ, EIN and beyond
Programs: AF/KL platinum, Turkish gold, Aegean silver
Posts: 1,060
Part 13: More Almaty sightseeing

After finishing my lunch I ventured back outside, being happy to see that the rain showers had given way to some partly blue skies and a wee bit of sunshine, making it possible to continue my city tour. Next up to visit was Almaty's beautiful Panfilov park, named after 28 soldiers of an Almaty infantry unit who died fighting the Nazis outside of Moscow during World War II. According to Soviet history, the guards were killed after destroying 18 Nazi tanks. Later investigations however found out that the story was a fabrication, as there is no evidence of destroyed Nazi tanks and not even all soldiers died.

The centrepiece of the park is the colourful Zenkov's Cathedral. There were dozens of families around the cathedral enjoying the park.

There are a couple of cool Soviet monuments in the park as well, such as an eternal flame and a brutalist WW II monument.

I also walked up to the city's large (and modern) central mosque – which isn't too interesting for those who have seen the wonderful madrassas and mosques of Uzbekistan's silk road cities of Samarkand and Bukhara.

After doing some grocery shopping in a local supermarket I headed back to my hotel, walking past some of the ubiquitous communist-style block of flats, some in a better shape than others.

I dropped off the groceries (some bottles of water and a beer or two) in my hotel fridge and went looking for a place to eat. There are tons of modern cafes and restaurants on the leafy streets and boulevards of the south side of the city centre. I opted for a pizza place, which did an OK pizza but truly excellent virgin mojito. Unfortunately no alcohol was served at the place for the real deal – but as it was getting so warm and the mocktail was so refreshing I didn't mind.

I even lingered around for a while longer drinking another mocktail and smoking some nargilah after my meal.

Being still tired from the journey I called it an early night and went to sleep after drinking a beer in my hotel room. It was a nice first day in Almaty – and I was curious what the second day would bring.

Next up: Some more fun in and around Almaty
Romanianflyer is online now