Arriving in Northern Kazakhstan, the first stop will probably be the capital of the Republic — Astana. It is an exciting and urbanized city, ready to give tourists an unforgettable experience.
When you come to Astana, you should also visit other places in the Akmola region. One of them is the Borovoe resort with its beautiful nature, clean air and multiple lakes. Also, close to Astana there is a historical site — ALZhIR, russian abbriviation for Akmol Labour Camp for Wives of Traitors of the Motherland.
Arriving in Astana. Transfer to the hotel. Some Rest.
After breakfast we start a tour around the city. Astana has been the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan since 1997. This is a modern city, designed by famous international architects, one of which is Norman Foster. A large number of buildings have an unusual design, which positively translates in the look of the city.
During the city tour the tourists will visit the symbol of the city — the 80-meter Baiterek Tower often seen on postcards and photos of Astana. Apart from Baiterek, there are lots of other places really worth seeing. They include the ethno-memorial complex Atameken, which is a kind of open-air map containing reduced copies of cities and sites of Kazakhstan. However, the complex is only open during the summer. You can also visit the Orthodox church and the beautiful Mosque, along with the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation. The building has an outstanding shape of the pyramid with a view point overlooking the whole city on the top floor.
A walk along the embankment is followed by the return to the hotel and overnight.
This day trip includes visiting one of the most beautiful places — the Borovoe resort. It is located in the Akmola region, 250 km from Astana. It is a true oasis of nature with crystal air. In addition to Lake Borovoe, there is another picturesque lake called Shchuchye. This area is distinct by the wide range of resorts, sports and health holiday centres and retreats.
Walking around the neighborhood, we are going to visit such places as the Abylai-Khan Glade, take a light hike to Mount Bolektau, from the top of which there is spectacular view of Lake Borovoe and its surroundings. Tourists visit the Khan pass and see Mount Burabai. There are a lot of amazing legends depicting distinctive character and history of Kazakh people to be heard when examining Mounts Ush-kyz, Ok-Zhetpes, Zhumbaktas and the Kokshetau mountains.
On our return to Astana, we are going to the hotel for some rest and overnight.
Our today’s trip is about visiting a historical and memorable site, namely the Akmol Labour Camp for Wives of Traitors of the Motherland, the Russian abbreviation to which is ALZhIR. Located 35 km from Astana, it holds many secrets, pain and grief. It was that very place that wives of so called traitors in the authorities’ judgement were exiled during the war.
The ALZhIR camp was a part of the Gulag, the Chief Administration of corrective labor camps and detention sites. This truly terrible and harsh place took away a large number of lives and crippled an even greater number of human destinies. The living conditions were unbearable, constant cold and exhausting work did their part. However, even in this place the prisoners managed to keep sane, set up their houses with straw, arrange amateur-talent groups, and left crumbs of bread in order to prevent the planted trees from the damage by hares.
It is worth noting the role of the Kazakh people who lived nearby. They would support the prisoners and throw them kurt (lumps of dried cottage cheese) that was mistaken for rocks by the guards.
Now in the premises of the former camp there is a museum complex that allows tourists to immerse into the pivots of the past and watch a documentary about the events that happened there.
On coming back to the city, tourists will return to the hotel and take some time to reflect of what they’ve seen or go straight to the airport. It will depend on the flight schedules and the tickets.