Brief description of all the photos
Notes for the photographically minded. These pics were taken on a Canon EOS 300, and then scanned on an HP 3400C scanner. The scanner is the weak link in the chain. If any of these pics don't look so good, it's the scanner, not the camera.
(I think the Russian spelling in Latin characters is "Goluboi Zaliv", but I ignored that and called it Guluboy Zalev.)
Location of Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan. A bit of info about Kazakhstan
Me sat on the bridge over the Ulba.
This is the view from outside the house we were staying in during our time at Guluboy Zalev (Blue Bay).
3 South Americans. Well, OK, 2 Spanish, and one English. David, Calum, and Paco.
This is the kind of view you see all the time while driving around.
The Russians have this kind of love affair with semitchki (sun flower seeds). The don't like them to be shelled either. This picture just shows a little stand at the side of the road. You pay the price (around 200 tenge to the pound when I was there) and get a little newspaper cone full of them. If you want to look completely Russian, just buy some of these.
This is me eating chiburechki, which are a sort of deep-fried meat pasty.
The combination of Blackthorns, and sun maketh man do strange things...
This is the hill you have to make it down to get to the dacha. Tarmac? What's that? :). We may all mock the Lada, and the Moskvitch, but they handle the roads/potholes/craters much better than our cars would. What's the point of having a lowered car with spoilers if they'll just get ripped off after 10 seconds?
This is a shopping centre in Moscow, just opposite the Kremlin. Very upmarket shops inside - designer gear all round. Far too pricy for a poor Westener like me. We did buy an ice-cream though.
This is me and Elenas father walking through the undergrowth near Guluboy Zalev.
This is a view of the bay we were staying on from up a mountain a bit.
This is the road from Ust-Kamenogorsk to Guluboy Zalev. Note the high surface quality. ;o)
This was in a museaum in Ust-Kamenogorsk. I'm not sure exactly what it is - Elena knows what it is in Russian, but she doesn't know what the English equivalent is - but I decided to call the picture "hugedeer".
Tea, like what one drinks in Blighty, is drunk from bowls like this in Kazakhstan.
Just a little path, in the blazing heat.
Elena with a "milk cocktail" - Red Square and the Kremlin are right behind the photo taker.
This is the point where measurements from Moscow are taken.
You can just see a mountain lake on the right-hand side.
A pile of rocks outside the house we were staying in in Guluboy Zalev.
Some more rocks (the ones on the right hand side of the picture called road.jpg)
This is some factory/school/building snapped from the car.
Another pile of rocks.
As the title says. From left to right, Polina, Elena, and her sister Natasha.
This is Elena and Natasha by the river Ulba.
Half of the sniper family... ;)
I don't like caviare, but they eat it on pancakes for breakfast. Crazy bunch...
A fisherman catching some fish at Guluboy Zalev.
This is where my wife was born.
Look closely at the vegetation around me. If only I could have got all this lot to Holland, I could have been rich.
Doesn't look as good in the picture as it did in real life.
This is how guards in the olden days would have looked.
Down at the waters edge. The water here was surprisingly warm, considering all the cold mountain streams that feed it. Could be something to do with the hot yellow thing in the sky....
Father, and both daughters walking down a street in Ust-Kamenogorsk.
Me and Elena by the bridge over the Ulba in Ust Kamenogorsk. Damn hot it was too. That's why we were in the shade.
A thistle on top of a hill, halfway along a little bumpy track.
This is the kind of artwork that adorns the metro stations of Moscow. There was better examples, mosaics, paintings, sculptures etc, but we just snapped this quickly.
Apparently, this is what the Tsar and Tsarina might have looked like.
We just took this picture in case the rope broke, and we could make some money from the Sun or something.
Me making my way through a pint of Blackthorns at the Ashton Court festival in Bristol, UK.
St Basils church at the end of Red Square down by the river. I know it's touristy to take pictures like this, but...
These silver birches are all over Russia and Kazakhstan.
This is a dacha where we went. The idea is that they are little "country houses" where after the war people could grow food to stop themselves starving as the farming regions had been destroyed.
The track to the dachas.
A little path leading up a hill. If you happened to be taken short, and you didn't want to face the hole in the ground that they called the toilets, you could wander off, and find a quiet spot.
Kazakhstan (well, the small area we went to) is full of mountains, lakes, rivers, forests etc.
We took this just after going and looking at Lenin. It's wierd - kind of like a freak-show, or circus. They should bury him - it's not dignified having lots of foreign tourists gawping at him. Mind you, while people will still pay to do so...
You can see the house we were staying in here. If you look for the two red-brick houses on the waters edge, we were in the two story one on the left.
Another view of a street.
You have no idea how hot it was as I took this photo. Sweat pouring off the face, looking for some shade to dash into after it was taken.
This is a shot of the inside of a metro station. The pic is blurred as it needed about a .5 second exposure time.
For a much better picture of the Moscow Metro, look here
I was quite surprised to find that this little plant grows everywhere in Ust-Kamenogorsk - in the street, in the fields, in gardens - no wonder it's called a weed.
This wasn't as dark as it looks - I think they messed up the printing of it (in England I hasten to add)
We sneaked a picture of the inside of this Kazaki tent.
This is the river Irtish, at the point that it flows past the dacha we were heading to.
If you're ever in Moscow, and are looking for a really nice restaurant to eat in, check out the Chulanchik restaurant on Prospect Lenina, just over the river from the Kremlin. It does lovely food, at reasonable (for Westerners) prices, and the music, and the interior decor is very nice.
Chulanchik actually translates as little cupboard - as in one under the stairs, where you'd keep the hoover, but it's not like that at all.
Tell them I sent you ;)
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