Three visits and one stopover in TarazTalas, Kyrgyzstan

Aelita's hometown.

During my stint with ACCELS Aelita and I made three visits to Talas. We scheduled a third one to allow more students from the Talas Oblast to participate in the program.

My assistant is also from Talas so her mother invited my driver and I to her apartment. Since my assistant's sister lived in Talas, her mother would send some food and vegetables with the driver. I enjoyed the Talas trip since I got to stopover in Taraz a couple times and Karatau on a couple trips.

Kyrgyz Alatoo - Talas, Kyrgyzstan.
Reminds me of Kazakhstan which is just on the other side of the mountains.
We are heading to Talas, Kyrgyzstan.
We are heading to Talas.
Kyrgyz horses and the Alatoo Mountains - Talas, Kyrgyzstan.
I need to remember to call these the Alatoo Mountains, not Alatau as in Kazakhstan. Ala is actually a rusty brown color. It is not named for Allah like many foreigners think.
Kyrgyz Mercedes - Talas, Kyrgyzstan.
This was called the Kyrgyz Mercedes back in 1999. We saw a lot of them on the Talas side of Kyrgyzstan. It should be noted, Talas was cut off from the country by a highway that went through Kazakhstan. Hence it took forever for goods to reach this side of the country in the late 90s.
Talas, Kyrgyzstan.
The Kyrgyz Alatoo. The other side is Kazakhstan where I spent two years of my life.
Talas, Kyrgyzstan.
Famous Kyrgyz Warrior.
Aelita, her mother, and my driver - Talas, Kyrgyzstan.
Aelita's sister and brother-in-law lived in Bishkek. Each trip her mother would send vegetables and food back to Bishkek.
Kirov Dam - Talas, Kyrgyzstan.
Kirov Dam with the statue of Stalin. For a while on the internet, I had the only pictures of the Kirov Dam. I remember having to email a professor about him using my photos without my permission.
Kirov Dam - Talas, Kyrgyzstan.
Kirov Dam.
Kirov Dam - Talas, Kyrgyzstan.
The famous Talas River below the Kirov Dam. The Chinese were defeated by the Arabs at the Battle of Talas in 751.
Third visit to Talas, Kyrgyzstan.
This was our third visit to Talas. Aelita was already at home. I had come from Karatau with the driver. On this trip I got hurt really bad after falling on snow covered marble stairs at the hotel in Talas. It took me several months to fully recover but nobody knew about it during this trip.
Winter in Talas, Kyrgyzstan.
The driver did not expect it to snow on this trip.
The school where we held the exams and interviews - Talas, Kyrgyzstan.
It was a nice scene but I remember wanting to return to Bishkek.

Reflection

There is a lot of "I should have done this or that" on the last Talas trip. To this day I regretted turning down an invitation to Aelita's mother on the final trip. I was in so much pain so I really just wanted to stay at the hotel. The things you remember as you get older.