Photos Kazakhstan
Photos Kazakhstan

Photos - Kazakhstan

We started the 2009 Central Asia journey in Astana, a former steppe village declared Kazakh capital in 1997. From Astana we drove to Semipalatinsk-16, the site were the first Soviet nuclear bomb was detonated. From Semipalatinsk-16 we drove to Karaganda over the steppes in an UAZ 4x4 car. From Karaganda we took a train to Almaty the previous capital of Kazakhstan.

The government has invested Billions of Oil dollars to upgrade Astana to a modern metropolis. Giant projects, sometimes groundbreaking sometimes pure post Soviet kitsch are undertaken by famous architects such as Norman Foster. Apart from a site seeing tour in Astana did we made a daytrip to Akmola Labour Camp for Wives of Political Dissidents. After two days in Astana we drove North East to Semipalatinsk-16, the test side of the first Soviet Atomic Bomb. On the way we passed Aksu, a typical Soviet era industrial city with giant Steel and Power Plants and a park with dozens of Lenin statues and other communist monuments. Semipalatinsk-16 now renamed Kurchatov was one of the most secret locations in the Soviet Union and is now almost deserted since the nuclear test programme was terminated. From Kurchatov we drove to Karkaralinsk, which took a day straight trough the steppes, without any roads. The journey ended in Karaganda the heart of the Kazakh Gulag, were we visited the Ecology museum, Karlag headquarter in Dolinka and the giant steelworks of Temirtau. The last place in Kazakhstan was the former capital Almaty were we were we spend a couple of days before we moved on to Kyrgyzstan.

n/a - Central Asia map

Map of the route we travelled trough Central Asia in 2009

Kazakhstan - Kazakhstan map

Map of Kazakhstan showing our route from Astana to Kurchatov, Karkaralinsk, Karaganda and finally Almaty

n/a - Kazakhstan visa

A visa is required to travel in Kazakhstan, it is not expensive

Kazakhstan - Kazakhstan flag

The flag of Kazakhstan that was adopted in 1992, replacing the flag of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic

Kaliningrad - Khrabrovo Airport

Control tower of Khrabrovo Airport, the home base of KD Avia, the Kaliningrad based Russian low cost airline

Dusseldorf - KD Avia B-737

Boarding the KD Avia Boeing 737 to Astana via Kaliningrad

Astana - Astana International Airport

The main terminal of Astana International Airport, located 15km south of Astana

Astana - Tupolev Tu-154-B2

Yuzhnaya Aircompany Tupolev Tu-154-B2 with number UN-85478 with two AN-26 aircraft on Astana Airport

Astana - Tupolev Tu-154M

Kaz Air Tupolev Tu-154M with number UP-T5401 seen on Astana International Airport

Astana - Tupolev Tu-154M

Kaz Air Tupolev Tu-154M on Astana Airport with some other Soviet era aircraft in the background

Astana - Yakovlev Yak-40

Private Yakovlev Yak-40 with number UP-Y4007 on the tarmac of Astana Airport

Astana - Astana

The capital Astana rising out of the Kazakh steppes, seen from our aircraft during the landing

Astana - Astana

This picture clearly shows the swamps that surround Astana, seen from our car

Astana - Astana city centre

Office and government buildings on Astana’s new Main Square

Astana - Astana city centre

Brand new apartment buildings on Astana’s new main square