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  • Day5

    Astana

    August 26, 2018 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Still here. I’m here because I’m not all there, as the man said.

    Last day in Astana so spent most of the late morning and afternoon walking around the main architectural sites taking photos on my new camera and bringing out my 10-18mm wide-angle lens for its first spin. Photos of wide areas and buildings look great with this lens but I’m still learning about composition. Many of the buildings are impressive but strangely impersonal. I spend around an hour just rambling around the administrative centre where the presidential palace is until a policeman with one of those soviet era peaked hats, said foto, nyet. So, this not being the democratic West, I stopped.

    I read somewhere recently that someone said that photography is the art of learning so see so that eventually you don’t need a camera. I totally get that and walking about and imagining what. A scene would look like through a camera lens gives me a far greater feel and experience of a place. Once the shutter clicks I lose interest in the photo and only occasionally look at them again. Mind you, I haven’t learnt Photoshop yet. Once I do, my inner geek will have a field day.

    I then went back to the hostel and had a short power nap as I’m not a spring chicken any more. Afterwards, one of the advantages of hostelling, I got into conversation with a Dutch man, a Serbian woman and a gay Iranian couple. We spoke of our experiences of travelling and exchanged information and advice.

    Afterwards, myself and the Dutchman walked about 30mins to a restaurant the Serbian woman recommended for some authentic Kazakhstani food. It was dark now and the city looked very different with lots of couples and some people, but not many, having the craicski.

    I had what the menu said was a signature Kazakh dish. But it had horsemeat. I’ve never eaten horsemeat before and, to be honest, it wasn’t on my list of 100,000 things to do. But, when in Rome etc etc. So I ordered it. I wasn’t hugely impressed as it had a strong gamey flavour. I probably won’t order it again. Chalk it down to experience.

    I forgot to mention in my last blog but I had reindeer meat in Helsinki just because I never had it before. It was only a starter and quite small thankfully as I couldn’t get Rudolph out of my mind.

    That’s it, possums. Off to Almaty tomorrow. Please feel free to comment and say hi.
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