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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Outing

We went out with a few colleagues this morning to tour around town.  None of us had had a lot of time to sightsee, since we were all attending multiple orientation sessions and writing syllabi.  We headed downtown by bus, and then walked to Bayterek Tower.  We bought tickets to go to the top.  It reminded me a lot of Seattle's Space Needle, in that you had to take elevators to the top, and then got a great view of the surrounding area.

From afar

Up close
Inside, at the top

View from the top--colors came out sort of muted for some reason

After that, we tried out an Italian restaurant for lunch, and started walking in the direction of the famous mall Khan Shatyr.  Malls and shopping centers have really proliferated here (as some of you might have guessed from some of my previous posts).  Khan Shatyr is particularly famous because it is shaped like a yurt.  It also contains an indoor beach and an amusement park.

Khan Shatyr from some distance

Fake flower display outside of Khan Shatyr.  I had never seen displays like these prior to moving to Kazakhstan.

Inside Khan Shatyr, looking up

Looking at Khan Shatyr's amusement park

American hotdogs in Astana

It was a very hot day (according to the weather on my phone, it got up to 100 F), so we all decided we'd had enough walking around after that.  It was a fun outing, though.  Our housing is pretty isolated from the rest of the city, which is a shame, since the downtown seems pretty pleasant.  It's good to get out to remind ourselves that there really is a city out there, not just a massive construction site that happens to contain our offices.  Here are a couple more random pictures from today:

Landscaping near Bayterek Tower

I think we all agreed that we didn't want to up to the top of the building on the right!

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