Monthly Archives: October 2018

Day 12 Family time

Our final day. What a great adventure we have had. Cannot believe this all came about because we like inviting people to our home. And Aina, Sultan, Omar, Altynai, Amir and their extended family could not have been more welcoming.

Birthday dinner later but no particular plans today. We had suggested we stay this final night in an hotel to allow the family to get the house back to normal before work and school tomorrow. So the morning was sent packing carefully and cleverly to fit everything thing in and safely. We had apricot and black currant jam to take home from Aina’s Mum. Honey and home dried fruit from Aina. Amir was very ‘helpful’ with the packing, all the while with that mischievous smile on his face. Omar helped lift furniture and Altynai tried out her English.

Early afternoon Aina took us to the hotel where we chilled and ate cake!

We were then picked up by Aina to join her entire family at a restaurant for an early birthday celebration. Happy birthday for tomorrow Aina.

This was a fantastic restaurant. If you go to Bishkek you must go to this restaurant. It is on the outskirts of the city but taxis are cheap remember. Supara. An eco restaurant. Basically a series of open huts and yurts set amongst the normal trees and vegetation of that area on rising ground. Would that the weather was good enough to build such a place here. Lots of activities for the children. We never saw Altynai and her cousin. They were on a slide and other playground rides all manufactured from natural products. There was also a central courtyard where musicians played local music and people took family group photos.

And the menu is extensive. And fascinating! I put myself in Aina’s hands as usual and ate what I was given. Including some horsemeat which I realised I had not tasted.

We also met Aina’s brother who we had not met before and spent some time discussing the differences in culture with him and his wife. They had spent some time in Dubai working.

And then it was time to say goodbye.

What an adventure……

Day eleven – Going it alone….

Our last but one day. What a great time we have had! We still speak not a word of Russian but we now feel brave enough to travel into Bishkek and wander round the city on our own.

Aina took us into the city centre and pointed out the two places we particularly wanted to visit. And then left us to it!

First place the Mikhail Frunze museum. Ian had never heard of this person but it seems he was at one time a potential successor to Lenin but due to being at odds with Stalin died early, under suspicious circumstances.



This was an …interesting ….. museum. Loads of memorabilia loosely related to Frunze with his life story and history told from a Russian perspective. He was a Bolshevik and involved in the Russian civil war. He was born in ‘Pishpek’ and the house of his birth is found on the ground floor, as the museum was built around it. Ian was fascinated by this museum. I enjoyed parts of it but enjoyed people watching the elderly ladies who policed each floor. There were very few visitors to the museum whilst we were there but I did not feel it was well advertised!

Time for coffee after this visit but finding a coffee shop was easier said than done. We were a little way away from the main shops and restaurants. But it was a lovely day and a rather smart restaurant garden beckoned. We asked if they did coffee and the waiter said that they were clearing up from an event the previous evening but please come this way. And he placed us at a table out of the way of all the frenetic activity. The coffee was lovely and we spent a good 30 mins soaking up the atmosphere.

Now for the State Museum of Fine Arts. No pictures as they were not allowed! First we had to find it but with the help of google maps we arrived at a very square concrete building with the most fascinating collection of textiles and paintings depicting life old and new in Kyrgyzstan. I loved the felt and woven room screens and wall hangings. And the paintings of ordinary Kyrgyz people. Including Kok Boru! There were lots of tourists here and we tagged on to a guided tour in English. Both museums were lacking in English translations, although more so Frunze’s museum!

Well past lunch time now and we had decided to return to the coffee shop we had passed some time earlier in our holiday. But this was quite a challenge. Where was it? We knew it was near the UN building, and we needed to go through an ‘underbus’ (Aina’s word) to get to it but we disagreed which way we needed to go and of course there were several branches of this cafe. But after a few false starts and a long walk we found it!

After a leisurely lunch we headed for the Post Office to see if they had a philately counter but when we got there, nobody spoke English so Ian decided not to attempt to explain. He had thought that being a relatively recently independent country it might be possible to collect all the stamps but he will need to look into that back home.

So we went to find a taxi back home. This was an adventure. It cost 200 SOM to come into the city previously. I showed the taxi drivers at a rank the address and immediately one guy asked how much? I asked him what he wanted. 800SOM says he. What says I! We only paid 200 previously. We settled for 400. All of £4 remember. All with virtually no English.

Home uneventfully in time for a lovely family meal and evening with Aina, Omar, Altynai and Amir. Altynai demanded Ian read the English books we had taken them. Would he say no?!!!