18 Oct 2009


After our three days in the train we reached Aktau, on the Caspian Sea, on a Wednesday morning. Aigul here took us in and fed us and let us use her shower :) We spent half the day walking around the city center shopping for a dress for Gulzhahan (Aizhan's oldest sister) to wear to the wedding. That evening Aizhan and I slept at Aigul's on sleeping mats.

The next morning Aizhan left for her hometown to help with wedding preparations and Aigul and I took a hike along the coastline under the white cliffs that gave the city its name.
Later in the afternoon we then went shopping for shoes for Aigul (without success), walked around the sights of Aktau, rode a swing-thing at a park and went grocery shopping at the bazaar. All in all we must have walked over 10 kilometers all over the place.

Aktau is in the dry Mangistau province. Most buildings are the same color as the ground, trees are scarce and it's hot.

All the trees have these protective walls around them, I guess to keep all the precious water near the roots.

The few days in Aktau really called on all my Russian skills, since Aigul didn't speak any English. But we got along. She told me all about the city and herself and other things and I understood. Then I'd reply in broken sentences and she'd understand and usually finished my sentences for me. It's just too bad that the whole 9 months couldn't have been Russian immersion like this. I think I learned more Russian in one week during the trip, than in a month or two of Almaty life.

the aktau of Aktau

and the Caspian Sea
It really was pretty

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