Almaty - my first love
Hi dear friends!
Welcome to Almaty! Why do I call it "my first love"? Well, you see, I really adore this city! And we also have a musical festival here that is held every year and called "Almaty - my first love". I'm hundred per cent sure that every person first time visited Almaty would love it forever.
'Almaty' or 'Alma-Ata'?
Some people believe that "Alma-Ata" is Russian city-name and "Almaty' is Kazakh one. But they are wrong of course. During the Soviet times the city was called "Alma-Ata" which meant "Father of apple" ("Alma" means "Apple", although "Ata" means "grandfather"). There is a legend which says that the name "Alma-Ata" was created in 30 minutes time during the meeting of the Soviet leaders. Later, when Kazakhstan got its independency, the city became "Almaty" that means "apple" (in a meaning of adjective) and it sounds more Kazakh now.
You see guys, the city used to be famous for its apple orchards. There were plenty of different apple sorts; the most noted one was "aport". Can you imagine - one fruit was as big as a baby head!
But where are those apples now? To all people great surprise the most of the apple orchards were cut down. Instead the new buildings have been built. And now we buy the apples from Uzbekistan or China. Quite sad, isn't it? We all are still really disappointed in that authorities' decision. But there are still apples, peach, and plum trees near houses here. Anyway the apple still remains the symbol of Almaty.
One of the places where the apple orchard used to be became the First President Park. And that park is amazing, I must say, although I keep thinking that nature couldn't be replaced by human being's creation.
The First President Park
Almaty is the biggest and the most beautiful city in Kazakhstan. There are about two million people currently living here. I like it for its relatively calm traffic; despite the fact that locals really love big cars. The city attracts a lot of foreigners. As I live in the so-called "business-center" of the city, almost 50 per cent of my neighbors are the foreigners. But I love the historical center with its buildings of the soviet period. There are some quiet streets where I love to walk especially in the autumn.
Business center of Almaty
Almaty is green city surrounded by mountains. When it's not raining you could see the proud peaks of the Trans-Ili Alatau.
There are also many students from different countries who are studying Russian language or teaching English or other languages. Almaty has a number of twin cities: Tucson (USA), Rennes (France), Daegu (South Korea), Moscow (Russia), Kazan (Tatarstan), Sankt-Petersburg (Russia), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Minsk (Belorussia), Vilnius (Lithuania), Istanbul (Turkey), Riga (Latvia), Tel-Aviv (Israel), Budapest (Hungary), Alexandria (Egypt), Urumqi (China), Federal state of Lower Austria, and Varna (Bulgaria). Every year youth from these countries visit Kazakhstan for a cultural exchange.
When I asked my friends what their favorite place in Almaty was they just gave me so many answers that I thought "OK, it's getting quite tough to choose". So I simply decided to attach the pictures of the most beautiful places which are around the city.
The Big Almaty Lake
Copy of Eiffel Tower in the center of Almaty
The Medeo Ice rink
Well, friends, I'm looking forward to your questions! What would you like to know about Almaty?