Kazakhstan and Karaganda 2014. The whole family left Buckingham palace and we ended up in a very interesting athmosphere in the former Soviet Republic of Karaganda. Pam was continuing her studies here and we ended up in a set of apartmentblocks which Chrustyev were behind and two rooms, not much more. the girls all shared a bed. When googling the country, it was mainly references to the movie Borat. Once there, i kind of felt at home immediately. It had a very distinct Russian and Soviet feel, which I remembered and liked well from the Siberian days. We all felt really good being in a new quite unknown place! Read more at http://kazakhstanunknownterritory.blogspot.com/
Shabanbai Bi, Kazakhstan 2014. It was such an interesting step leaving England and ending up in a post-Soviet society which kind of brought be back to the great memories I have from my year of skiing and canoing down the Kolyma. I was really happy to go to a small visit to a village called Shabanbai Bi together with Avalon geographic and Vitaly´s team. Wonderful village and surroundings. And Eva loved it and we did a long walk and climb touching the great Kyzelerai Mountains. One of the highlights was somehow finding a head statue of Lenin being thrown away behind a school. Kind of saying the Soviet Era was gone, but not fully.
Kazakhstan 2014. This is a very interesting country with a post-Soviet feel. Eva and me where very lucky to be invitated by the National Tourism Board to do a tour of Almaty and its suprb surroundings. Pam brought Dana to her lessons as a teacher in International Law. Eva and me spent a week with a great group and Kazakhstan is defimitely a bucket list must in my book. And great people indeeed! Thanks to Zhanar Alchimbayeva at the Tourism Department Of Alma Aty City and Zhanna Rahmatulian at Turan-Asian for inviting Eva and myself for this spectacular tour of parts of the extra ordinary Alma Aty Oblast. Read more here at http://kazakhstanunknownterritory.blogspot.com/2014/10/snow-leopards-and-centenarians-roam.html
2014. The village of Dolinka outside Karaganda. Possibly the only visible memory of Stalin´s evil Gulags after Perm 36 have been closed. There´s memorablia like statues of the evil boss of KGB:s forrunner, the Cheka, Feliks Dzerzhinsky. Lenin is there. And the museum is certainly one of the most important on earth. It all came as a huge surprise to me and I knew I had to come back and do a documentary about this. Locals told me there were still survivors around. It was an odd feeling me and the family walking around this what used to be such an evil place. Read more at http://kazakhstanunknownterritory.blogspot.com/2014/11/rediscovering-gulag-at-karlag-short-for.html
2014. Of course we got impressed visiting Astana. What a wonder! To a certain degree, I found Astana a bit like the Singapore of Central Asia. Wide and clean streets, very little rubbish, orderly traffic and hurrying citizens. And it also shows the capacity of human beings to create something extra ordinary in just a few years. Just imagine, none of this was here 15 years ago and now Astana is one of the modern wonders of the world. Read more at http://kazakhstanunknownterritory.blogspot.com/2014/11/astana-city-of-peace-and-reconsiliation.html
Karaganda. 2014. After three months, the girls and me returned back to Malmö and Pam stayed to finish her job at th University for another three months. It was a time which opened our times, I knew I wanted to return as soon as possible and even though our living quarters was really difficult, we had a superb time. We went to football and ice hockey and travelled around the countryside. Great people, stunning scenery and alwasys something to see and do! Read the report at http://kazakhstanunknownterritory.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-final-report-of-kazakh-diary.html