Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Too bad about the smog!

Almaty would be a really nice city except for one thing... the smog is horrible. You don't really notice it when you're just out wandering around the city itself, but when you get to a higher viewpoint you can really see how bad it is.

Yesterday we hiked up to Kok Tobe, which is the top of the closest hill overlooking the city. There is a cable car that goes up there as well, but we thought it was too much money, plus we wanted some exercise.

We didn't know the best route though. I was just following the trails that were listed on my mapping app. So we ended up taking some wrong turns and dead ends. Not a big deal, because as I said, we wanted some exercise. But some of them turned out to be wet and muddy!

It didn't take long to get a bit of a view.
You can see the cable car system at the right.

Our path became wet and muddy!

Yikes. You can really see the smog!

Several factors influence how bad the pollution is here in Almaty. Emissions from a coal fired power plant, a high number of older vehicles, and a large number of homes being heated with wood and coal. Add that to the natural form of the mountains that limits horizontal air movement.

We finally made it out of the mud and onto a new paved path.

Looking back at the mud we had made our way through!

By mid afternoon the smog became way worse. I should have taken a before and after photo, but you could hardly make out the buildings later on.

At the top is an amusement park.

We met up with Ron and Danielle who took the cable car up. Had a snack to eat, and then wandered around at the top.

Us, with the Beatles statue at the top.

Looking towards the mountains.

Another view.

They have a small zoo with a lot of locals birds including this peacock.

And a lot of touristy things like dressing up for your photo with an eagle.

Ussie with Kevin, Ron, Ruth, and Danielle.

They headed back down on the cable car, and we walked. But this time we took a paved route the whole way! And we did a different route back through the city so we saw some different sights.

We stopped into the fancy Dostyk Mall to use the facilities!

The Central State Museum of Kazakhstan.

Nice wide sidewalks.

Scenery along the way.

Almaty City Hall.

The Monument of Independence.

Car on the side of a building.

We were done by the time we got back. We did over 16 kms (10 miles)!

Record low Cyber Monday deal on the Instant Pot Vortex 10 Quart Air Fryer.

And in Canada...

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