And so our adventure begins. An overnight stay at the Holiday Inn next to Edinburgh airport, highly recommend this for a reasonably priced but comfortable stay, off to the long term parking and at the airport in really good time. All very smooth so far. Onto a plane with Turkish airlines and left on time. Loads of films to choose from although I was not in the mood and went for a downloaded episode of my current serial The Good Wife.
So what is our adventure going to be like? A good question. We don’t know a lot as yet. We are staying with our host in Bishkek for a couple of days and she has suggested exploring Bishkek and then off to the World Nomad Games some 70 kms away and will be taken from there to view the beautiful mountains and lakes. 90% of Kyrgyzstan is over 1500metres I read on Wikipedia. That’s higher than Ben Nevis!
Trip advisor tells me there is not a lot to see in Bishkek. Having been invaded by a series of people’s since the Mongols, and latterly being a communist country under the Russians, the buildings are very utilitarian, it says and not many truly historic monuments remain. There are some interesting looking bazaars which I am really looking forward to seeing. And smelling I guess as there are bags of spices and loads of breads.
The mountains and lakes appear glorious. There are a number of blogs on the internet from travellers who seem unanimous in their praise of the beautiful sights and friendly people. And some hot springs it seems. (I also noticed that there is a high chance of earthquakes in Kyrgyzstan, something I have not yet experienced. Not sure if that is a wish or a fear!)
And finally what will living conditions be like? Aina commented on all my nick nacks round the house so I am expecting a fairly simple style of living. Will the toilets be European? Will I remember to take my shoes off before entering every house, yurt, home stay? Will Ian, 😊! The food seems to consist of lots of meat, beef, horse, lamb, goat, chicken, noodle broths, bread and it’s a good thing we are not vegetarian- apparently there is no catering for vegetarian very few vegetables on offer. Lots of fruit though. Then we have Kumiss to look forward to, fermented mares milk.
I am looking forward to staying in a yurt at some point. There will demos at the games on constructing a yurt. That too I am looking forward to as well as a Master Chef competition between 6 countries. Cooked on an open fire, the advert says.
But all of that is 14 hours away after two five hour flights and a four hour stopover.
Exciting, scarey, possibly challenging. We shall see.