In Алматы: My friend, Dina, invited me to her hometown, Almaty, the cultural capital of Kazakhstan. She and her mother, Leila, treated me to wonderful Kazakh cuisine!

Here was our New Years’s feast:

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A Kazakh New Year's Eve feast awaits.

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In Almaty, I quite enjoyed walking around Panfilov Park. Ascension Cathedral was the highlight. This Russian Orthodox cathedral made entirely of wood and stone – without the use of a single nail – miraculously survived Almaty’s 1911 earthquake. Here’s a photo from inside of the cathedral:

Prayers for the New Year

Other important park sights include war memorial for the 28 guardsmen who defended Moscow from a German invasion during World War II and the National Museum of Folk Instruments.

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