Last week I was in Astana, Kazakhstan! The Canadian team was there to race in the first World Cup of the year. There were people from all over the world competing against each other for points to qualify for the Olympics.
Kazakhstan is on the other side of the world, even farther than China! It is a transcontinental country, meaning that it is part of Europe and Asia. It is the 9th largest country in the world, and the largest landlocked country.
It is a 12 hour time change from Calgary. It took 24 hours of travel to get there and we were very jet lagged! When we were awake our bodies wanted to sleep and when we tried to sleep our bodies wanted to be awake!
A lot of things were very different from Calgary, they served fish with breakfast and they spoke Russian and Kazak, very few people spoke English. The weather however felt very similar to Calgary, the air was dry and cold.
Here are a few photos from the trip!
Here is the inside of the velodrome where we raced:
The city of Astana became the capital of Kazakhstan in 1998 and began huge changes. The new buildings are beautiful and the architecture is very creative, but there is still a lot of poverty in the city. In this photo you can see the brand new velodrome in the background and the old buildings in the front. It was -11 degrees outside and yet they were still hanging clothes out to dry outside.
This house is made from mud and straw bricks.
The velodrome building looks like an aero helment. The biggest velodrome I have ever been to.
The volcano shaped building is a shopping mall with a beach inside! Complete with water, palm trees, and very warm temperatures. The building glows blue at night.
The Bayterek is a common symbol for the city of Astana.
I am back in North America now and getting ready for our next trip to Cali, Colombia in South America!