Almaty: Fountains and Steppe

Almaty (pop 1.5 million)

Kazakhstan (18 million)

October 7, 2018

Clear and Cool

Dear Friends,

When I planned my trip to Kazakhstan, I never expected to be almost immobile after I arrived.  I should have checked the elevation of Almaty, my first stop. (700-900 m or 2300-3000 ft)

For two or three days I am quite dizzy and barely able to leave my hotel room except to eat lunch and dinner at a nearby restaurant and to buy a Kazakhstan SIM card at the local telephone company.

I do manage to visit the State Museum and to have dinner with my charming Facebook friend Sardana and her friend and their young daughters.

You Can Read Cyrillic

L’viv

Ukraine

June 18, 2018

 

                            You Can read Cyrillic

In the photo galley I posted from Uzhhorod, Ukraine, in the caption under the photograph of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, I deliberately mentioned the exact location:  Cyril and Methodius Square.

Who are Cyril and Methodius?

En route - À la table

L’viv

Ukraine

June 16, 2018

I decide to rent a car for a few days and drive from L’viv to Uzhhorod and back.

Along the way I visit several villages and rural churches.

The mountain scenery is quite lovely.

On the way back to L’viv I stop for lunch.  I order soup and salad and potato pancakes.

In fact, throughout my trip in Ukraine I feast on food from “the Old Country”

Palanok Castle

Palanok Castle

Mukacheve

Transcarpathia

Ukraine

June 15, 2018

 

How can I resist?

An hour’s drive east from Uzhhorod near the Austro-Hungary-Czech town of Mukacheve, the hilltop Palanok Castle pops up from the surrounding plain.  How can I resist the climb?  (Actually, there is a parking lot about half way up.)

“This 14th Century castle is famous as the site where Croatian-Hungarian princess Ilona Zrini held off the Austrian Emperor’s army before finally capitulating in 1688.”

Uzhhorod: "Border Town"

Uzhhorod

Transcarpathia

Ukraine

June 14, 2018

 

Hello,

Can you imagine? 

At a Philharmonia concert last night, the local orchestra played two of my favorite pieces: the complete incidental music to Midsummer Night’s Dream Op.61 by Felix Mendelssohn and after a brief intermission Anastasia Dziciak, a young Ukrainian pianist, performed the Piano Concerto in A minor Op.16 by Edvard Grieg.  The price of admission was 50 Hryvnia (gryvna), or about $2.00 US!

The magnificent Philharmonia with its carved Moorish style façade is certainly the most impressive edifice in Uzhhorod.  It lies in Theatric Square.  Built in 1904, Philharmonia began life as the Uzhhorod Synagogue!  Before World War Two, 85,000 Jews lived in the area.

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