We have walked all over town over the last couple of days…and, after the cool weather in Kyrgyzstan the heat has hit us with a vengeance! Now one of the reasons for coming to Shymkent was because it was close to Sayram, a 3000 year old town on the Silk Road. Well, we caught a cab out there today, and yes there was evidence of the old city walls, mausoleums, mosques and a minaret…but it was so hot walking around that we didn’t really explore the town as well as we usually might! It was a guessing game with our non-English speaking taxi driver, who probably thought we were mad paying him to take us out there, looking around for less than an hour and then driving back to Shymkent!
Last night we took a double decker bus tour around Shymkent. That was fun, no English and a very enthusiastic guide speaking Kazakh or Russian…the only word we recognised was Shymkent! (There was also disco music blaring out…tour went from 8pm til 10pm…much cooler outside!) There are so many impressive buildings, fountains, monuments etc in town. We even found a library…was supposed to be a museum on the map!
There are plenty of parks, with fountains, Ferris wheels and other amusements nearby, as well as a very modern aircon plaza, which is welcome relief from the heat!
We are catching an overnight train to Astana tomorrow, there is a special Expo on there “Future Energy”….which everyone, even the border guards think is the reason we are going!