I received this lovely card from my friend Diana in Holland - it shows a nomadic family standing next to its traditional dwelling - the yurt - in the ruggedly beautiful land of Kyrgyzstan. I felt that I MUST write a blog post, so I immediately set to work doing some research...and I was completely shocked by my complete lack of knowledge about this lovely country. The capital city? No idea. ANY city in Kyrgyzstan? Can't name a single one. Traditions? Food? Landscape features? I know nothing! What do you know about Kyrgyzstan?
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Wikipedia provides some basic information about this former Soviet Republic, which is located here on the map. And it's good to know that the capital is named Bishkek, that people in Kyrgyzstan speak both Russian and Kyrgyz, and that about 5.4 million people live there. But I want some more interesting information, which I found at the Lonely Planet website.
Lonely Planet's Top Five Picks for Kyrgyzstan:
1. Horse treks: See the Kyrgyz countryside at its best by riding high into the mountains and galloping across summer pastures.
2. Lake Issyk-Köl: Hemmed in by mountains this bizarrely un-freezeable lake is the country's premier attraction.
3. Altyn Arashan: Breath-taking scenery, steaming hot pools and the first glimpse of the secret Ala-Köl lake makes for great trekking.
4. Osh: For centuries Silk Road traders have haggled their way from one stall to the next in a bazaar that locals claim is older than Rome - join them.
5. Arslanbob: Go nuts in the world's largest walnut forest on a network of blossoming woodland treks.