Archive for the 'Netherlands' Category

Hello Kazakhstan

October 18, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

After a long two days of traveling, i’m finally safe in the hotel in Atyrau, Kazakhstan. The accommodations are very nice! There’s even a bathrobe and slippers 🙂

The flight to Amsterdam was painless. It seems like a long time ago now! I watched two movies, but forget what they are. I had an open seat next to me, which was pretty special. We even arrived early in Amsterdam, which gave me another half hour to explore the city. I immediately hopped on the train to Amsterdam Centraal, the big station in the middle of town. It took about 15-20 minutes, and by 6:30 AM I was exploring the streets. It was very cool even though it was raining and nothing was open. By 7:00, I found a cafe and got a tomato and mozzarella sandwich for breakfast, with watercress on it or something that looked like watercress. It was great as I was very hungry.

After breakfast, it was still dark, but approaching 8:00 AM. So, I decided to go to the Anne Frank house.

Just kidding!! haha. At that point I made my way to the famous Bulldog Cafe for some… tasty coffee drink! I hung out there with some other tourists and chatted with the bar man. It was nice to be somewhere warm and inviting and with good music and out of the rain! at around 9:30, I made my way back to the airport without a hitch.

It was finally light at that time so I took this picture of the Beautiful train station there. That’s one view. I took it kind of hastily as it was raining. I got back to Schiphol airport with plenty of time to spare. Great news because there was a lot to explore there.

As I got on the plane to Atyrau, i started to feel very tired. The flight was empty so I moved into a row with three empty seats and was able to stretch out and finally get some zzzs. I slept for most of the flight which was 4.5 hours.  I liked how on Air Astana they give you little lemon candies before take off and landing I imagine for ears popping purposes.

One thing I noticed on this flight was that the ratio of men to women was about 25:1. There were about 4 women on the entire flight! After the flight, the line at immigration took Forever and during that wait I chatted with some guys from England and Australia that were also here on business. They learned that it was my first time here so they Insisted upon helping me get a cab to the hotel as the cab situation here is apparently pretty shady. They ended up getting one of their company cars to take me (for free!!) and I tipped the driver. Pretty nice and lucky!

Okay, now it’s time to get a much needed sleep. The hotel is right on the Ural River but I’m not sure if it’s on the Asia side or Europe side. Will provide an on which continent I’m sleeping in tomorrow.