Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring time in Almaty...Just kidding! I present you with: "more winter fun"

The view from the ski area

Yesterday I went with some work friends to the Ak Bulak Ski area.  The drive out of town was beautiful despite the left-over clouds from Monday's snowstorm.  Apple orchards line the roads and the mountains, always to the right, were white with new snow.

Fruit orchards outside Almaty
Skiing at Ak Bulak (including ski rental) costs 10,000 tenge for four hours and the run is separated into three levels.  The first chair lift will take you to the beginners' section, the enclosed gondola will take you twice as far to the "confident skiers'" section, and if you take an additional chairlift from their, you will arrive at the expert section.

I didn't go skiing though.  I was there for the ice rink.  A beautiful, full sized rink sits just below the resort hotel.  You can purchase ice time at the desk in the hotel lobby for 1000 tenge.

When I arrived I found three "champion" (according to the security guy) figure skaters using the ice for practice. I watched them for a while before taking the ice myself.  Eventually more casual skaters showed up and I felt a little bit less intimidated by sharing the ice with pros.  The best part of the day?  When the figure skaters took a half hour break and I had the whole rink to myself.  Very fun.


  1. Unbelievably gorgeous photos! Won't deny that I'm sort of enjoying having had 1/7 of last year's total snow in NYC, though. (Touch wood. April may yet bring surprises.)

    1. I know. Every time I see pictures of people riding their bicycles in shorts on the East Coast I experience the tiniest touch of envy. I have been told that winter isn't always this way here. Apparently last year the winter was warmer, sunnier, snowier, and shorter...Then again, yesterday was incomparable and I am happy to put up with just a little more snow to see landscapes like that.