Saturday, 6 April 2013

Amsterdam to Atyrau Kazakhstan

I arrived back at Amsterdam Schipol airport 2 hours ahead of my Air Astana flight to Atyrau. I checked in early and spent the time before the flight taking things easy and making sure I had all the paperwork needed for my 3 week stay in Atyrau. The flight took 5 hours and with the change of time zone I found myself walking into the customs and immigration hall at around 8pm local time. It is hard to imagine that this place was more than 2000 miles away from home - air travel these days just seems to relocate people like a piece on a chess board. Here as definitely somewhere I had never been before and a culture that was not only new to me but also new to a lot of the local inhabitants. The independent Republic of Kazakhstan had only existed since 1991 follow ing the break up of the former USSR. Anyone under the age of 22 was just like me - experiencing something new. Only difference was that I was flying in and out - they were living here all the time.

On my first week-end, I went out with my camera on the streets and to the local market. Fish is a speciality : caught in the shallow waters of the Caspian Sea and in the Ural River which flows through the town and which is the natural border between Europe and Asia.


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