City of Apples (1997-1999 & 2013-2016)Almaty, Kazakhstan

I got to see two Almatys in my life.

Almaty was a completely differently city when I first arrived in late May, 1997. My first memories is still the pollution. Almaty always had an air pollution problem but in the late 1990s, you could actually see it floating above the streets lights. I had a hard time breathing during the first week in Almaty. The Peace Medical Officers (PCMOs) gave me Allegra and Flonase to take at the same time just so I can breath.

Still, I really loved the 1990s Almaty. The kiosks were still on the sidewalks. It had a different Central Asian feel to it. Most people still wore clothes imported from Turkey or China.

When I returned in November, 2013, Almaty had changed quite a bit. The roads were perfect. The air was cleaner. It was more like a Western city. To be honest, I like both versions of Almaty but miss the older one.

The photos below were all taken around 1997-1999 with my Fuji camera. The 2013-2016 photos were taken with with my Samsung Note, and later, iPhone 6S+ phones. None of these pictures were edited.

Almaty, Kazakhstan (May, 1997)
This is one of the first views of Almaty after arriving the night before. There was a lot of construction then.
Almaty, Kazakhstan (May, 1997)
Based on the location of the Alatau Mountains, I guess I was close to where I lived in 2013.
Almaty, Kazakhstan (May, 1997)
More construction.
Almaty Ice Cream seller in May, 1997
I really miss these outside ice cream sellers. The ice cream was much better then though I did find something similar in the stores when I moved back in 2013.
Ascension Cathedral in Almaty, Kazakhstan, (May, 1997)
The Ascension Cathedral was still being renovated when I arrived.
Tsum in Almaty, Kazakhstan (May, 1997)
Tsum in the August, 1998. We spent a lot of time there. I visited this place again in August, 2014.
Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen in Almaty (May, 1997)
The Peace Corps took us to the Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen.
Trains were the main mode of traveling in the late 1990s.
We took the train a lot which was Peace Corps policy at the time. It was too dangerous to fly with Air Kazakstan. These were the days before Air Astana.
On the train in Almaty (August, 1998).
Astana Motors in the Almaty on our train ride to Taraz. I knew it was 1998 because Kazakhstan switched their capital from Almaty to Akmola that year. Akmola was renamed Astana (literally, Capital in Kazakh).
The komandant (August, 1998).
We called her the Komandant. She was in charge of the dormotories at this sport's complex. The Peace Corps told us to stay there on unofficial visits to Almaty. During one visit, the Komandant told me how to take the tram so I could visit Ruth at another part of the city. I found it using just Kazakh.

Almaty 2013-2016

Alatau Moutains, Almaty, Kazakhstan (2013)
These were my first daylight views of Almaty in November, 2013. I forgot how beautiful the Alatau Mountains were.
Alatau Moutains, Almaty, Kazakhstan (2013)
View from Solichnaya Dalina where I lived until 2015.
Eko Taxi in Almaty, Kazakhstan (2014)
One of the things I really liked about the "new" Almaty was Eko Taxi. It was considered expensive when I first arrived but when the Kazakhstan Tenge devalued, it became affordable.
Alatau Mountains from Miras International School in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
I really miss these views. These are the foothills of the Alatau Mountains from the Miras International School. I taught here for three years before moving on to China.
Alatau Mountains from Solichnaya Dalina Apartments in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Another view of the Alatau Mountains from the Solichnaya Dalina Apartments.
Mega Center and Mega Towers in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
I lived at Mega Towers, in the distance, located at Mega Center, during my last year in Almaty.
Costas at Mega Center in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
We spent a lot of time at Costas at the Mega Center. Gloria's Coffee was the other coffee shop I visited as well when Costas was packed.
First President's Park in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The First President's Park is located opposite of the Miras International School.
Air Astana flight over Almaty, Kazakhstan, in May, 2015.
I had many trips from Almaty with Air Astana but this was one of the few daytime departures to Aktau, Kazakhstan, in May, 2015. This was the flight were I was able to take some photos of the Aral Sea when we flew over it.
Air Astana flight over Almaty, Kazakhstan, in May, 2015.
Another view of Almaty from the same Air Astana flight.

More photos coming

I have many pictures of Almaty (2013-2016) that I want to add. They will come later after I create a gallery component for this site.