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

I got to see two Almatys in my life.

Almaty was a completely different city when I first arrived in late May 1997. My first memory is still the pollution. Almaty always had an air pollution problem, but in the late 1990s, you could 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 so I could breath.

Still, I 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 great, not potholes. The air clean. It was more like a Western city. I like both versions of Almaty but miss the older one.

I took the photos around 1997-1999 with my Fuji camera. I used my Samsung Note and iPhone 6S+ phones for 2013-2016 images. I did not edit any pictures..

Almaty, Kazakhstan (May, 1997)
My first view of Almaty. 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 miss these outside ice-cream sellers.
Ascension Cathedral in Almaty, Kazakhstan, (May, 1997)
The Ascension Cathedral was undergoing renovation when I arrived.
Tsum in Almaty, Kazakhstan (May, 1997)
Tsum in August 1998. We spent a lot of time there. I visited 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 in the late 90s. It was too dangerous to fly with Air Kazakstan. These were the days before Air Astana.
On the train in Almaty (August, 1998).
A view of Astana Motors. I knew it was 1998 because Kazakhstan switched its 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 ran the dormitories at the nearby 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 in 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 liked about the "new" Almaty was Eko Taxi. It was expensive when I first arrived, but when the Kazakhstan Tenge devalued. Eko Taxi became affordable.
Alatau Mountains from Miras International School in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
I 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 my apartment at Solichnaya Dalina.
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 when Costas was packed.
First President's Park in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The First President's Park opposite 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. On this flight, 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. This 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.