We'd seen a lot of trees in Almaty and I knew Kazakhstan was the home of the apple, so I didn't expect such a dry landscape as we flew up to Ust-Kamenogorsk.
I didn't take many pictures of the city, but I did get this one of the new Cathedral.
A student showed me around town one morning and we walked along this river walk.
At the end of this walkway is a war memorial with an obelisk.
Here's the memorial and obelisk.
Me in front of the fountain in the river.
And this is my student/guide for the morning.
A park near the center of town.
The man in the boat represents the man who founded this city, which sits at the confluence of the rivers Irtush and Ulba.
We visited this ethnographic museum, where I enjoyed all the beautiful textiles. This is a typical yurt, which is the traditional home of the Kazakh. The wooden framework is covered on the outside by a thick layer of felt.
I wanted this photo to show how thick the felt covering of the yurt is, but I didn't want to touch the felt. It is about 1/2 inch or 1 cm. in thickness.
Inside, the walls are hung with beautiful woven fabrics and the floors covered with thick felted carpets.
The framework of the yurt is wooden. It can be taken down, moved and set up again in a remarkably short time.
And another photo of the beautiful textiles inside, including some beautiful woven strips hanging from the ceiling and woven together at the center.
This cloth is elaborately embroidered. The border at the bottom is similar to the symbol on the flag.
Compare these designs to that on the flag at the bottom of the page. This looks like appliquéd felt with embroidered outlining.
A traditional man's coat and hat.
Traditional dress for a woman and girl.
The inside of another yurt in another museum.
And another view of that yurt. To a rosemaler and fan of textiles and folk art, this is just sensory overload, but fabulous.
This is the central hole in the top of the yurt. It's called a shanyrak and also appears in the national emblem of Kazakhstan.
The flag of Kazakhstan depicts a sun, an eagle and a vertical stripe with a national ornament.
And this national emblem for the country has a shanyrak at the center with suns rays emanating from it and is flanked by two mythical winged horses.