You may not known this, but Almaty is poised to become one of the world’s great destinations for skiing. With some big, beautiful mountains a pretty good shot at the 2022 Winter Olympics, you’ll definitely be hearing more about this Central Asian hub soon.
Dolphie didn’t get a chance to do any skiing (which is just as well, since he doesn’t have any legs), but he did get a chance to see some of the sights.
This is the Zenkov Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox church that is built, down to the nails, entirely out of wood (I guess except for the windows—wooden windows wouldn’t work very well). In fact, it is the world’s second tallest wooden building. It is located in Panfilov Park, which is a popular spot for strolling among locals and visitors alike.
Also in the park, Dolphie saw a war memorial that shows soldiers (fifteen of them, one for each of the Soviet republics) emerging from a map of the Soviet Union.
All of this sightseeing makes one hungry, so it was time to start hunting around for dinner options.
That looks familiar, right? The pictures to the right and left of the famous logo are of big spits of meat (usually beef and/or lamb). Doner kebab (yup, that’s where the name McDoner comes from) is make by slicing thin strips of meat off the spit, which are then served on a sandwich or in flatbread (like pita), usually with vegetables like lettuce, onion, and tomato. It is delicious. In Australia, it’s standard late night post-bar fare.
But Dolphie can’t support copyright violations, so he had to find something else to eat.
Traditional Kazakh cuisine features a lot of meat, including horse meat. Although most Americans today would consider eating horse to be only slightly less amoral than eating dog (which is also eaten in many parts of the world), for many people, it’s just another kind of meat. Like kangaroo, ostrich, or snake (which, by the way, is delicious, especially when roasted).
Because many people in Central Asia traditionally led a nomadic lifestyle, preserving foods has always been important. One method, of course, is drying. Dried apricots are particularly tasty.
(Two things: 1 – AW80D stands for Around the World in 80 Dolphies, wherein we follow the international adventures of Dolphie, mascot of Shoreline Community College; 2 – Credit where credit’s due, so thanks Wikipedia, The Boston Globe, and Lonely Planet, and if you’d like to see where I got my information, just click the links.)