Central Asia cuisine consists of simple and tasty, often hearty dishes – the kind of dishes that help you get through a harsh winter in the heart of the steppes. A mixture of Turkish-Asian-Russian influence and nomadic traditions, there is a lot of grilled meat (mutton, horse) but also vegetarian dishes made of fresh vegetables and herbs that colour the stalls of street bazaars. We took pleasure in watching these foods being meticulously prepared and then cooked in steam, in a wok or tandoor (traditional oven used in Uzbekistan). But most of all, we enjoyed eating them by hand – the traditional way of tasting food in Central Asia!
A land of steppes, desert, mountains:
Welcome to Kazakhstan, a multifaceted country!
After a restful stay in Almaty, we were sure that we would not be disappointed at the end of our stay in Kazakhstan: the southern mountains and the green meadows of this region were the best thing to come for nature lovers like us. On our notebook, Charyn canyon came first…
Before entering Kazakhstan, we thought this country was a very vast and semi-desert land, with steppes as far as the eye can see. We even had gotten used to “Move along, there is nothing to see here”. We were, to tell the truth, far from suspecting that Kazakhstan actually had several sides… Of which we took pleasure to discover each of them!
Bonjour, Hello, Ciao, Dober dan, Dobar dan, Mirëdita, Geai sou, Merhaba, Barev, Gamarjoba, Salam! Welcome in our series of travel stories which traces, chapter by chapter, our great hitchhiking travel. You are now reading chapter 11 of our travel stories: Steppes conquest – Roadtrip in Kazakhstan.
When we traveled in southern Kazakhstan, one thing struck us: endless arid steppes have just given way to huge mountains with green slopes and snowy peaks. We were delighted to see this mountain range – hiking is our passion, and mountains are our favorite playground! We wasted no time in asking locals: “What to see in the surroundings?” “Do you know any good hiking trails?” They gave us several names, showed us pictures, pointed out places on a map. Among them was Kaindy – a spruce forest sunk in a high-altitude lake, whose specificity aroused our curiosity…