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Experiences of a Dutch Journalist




Kazakhstan, various trips, March 1999 - October 2000

Culturally speaking, forget about Kazakhstan. But nature is absolutely beautiful. In the weekends, we tried to escape the dirty air in Almaty and discovered the region.


Big Almaty lake in April 1999, an hour and a half drive from Almaty. The lake is situated at a height of 2,500 metres.


Sharon Canyon, June 1999. Three hours from Almaty by car. Erosion caused by the... Sharon river.


More Sharon Canyon. Emile is wondering where I am. I always stay behind to take a picture...


Two rocks and two beloved leaning against each other in the Sharon Canyon.


August 1999. Trip to the highest mountain in Kazakstan, the Khan Tengri. Here horseback riding with American lawyer Rebecca near the first base camp at 2,500 metres.


This helicopter took us to the second base camp at 4,000 metres.


Posing in front of the Khan Tengri, over 7,000 metres high. Not trying to get up there, the air is very thin...


September 1999. Trying to see Uzbekistan in four days with American lawyer Rebecca.


More Uzbekistan. I was stupid enough to put the most beautiful images in a photo album (and can't get them out. Never again!).


November 1999. The petroglives on the way to Bishkek. Our guide was said to have created some of them himself!


April 1999. Going with Emile to the Shell office in Aktubinsk, close to the rigs, about 2,000 kilometres north east of Almaty. Russian style city with very little things to see...


Aktubinsk in May 2000. Visiting mineral mines for an article on a European Union project.


The capital Astana, May 2000. Astana was declared capital in 1998. Before, it was nothing more than a boring mining town. The reason to chose for Astana as a capital are that it is situated on a crossing point of railways and is in the middle of the country, which is strategically better, at least according to President Nursultan Nazarbaev.


Most ministries have moved to this new administration building. Most embassies haven't. Night life in Almaty is much nicer...


The old buildings in Astana were literally packed with a layer of plastic. Inside, most buildings have remained the same. The plastic is becoming dirty already...


August 2000. Lake Kapshagai, about sixty kilometres north of Almaty. Weekend for Shell employees.


Our friend Keith from Almaty is preparing desert: a water melon with a whole litre of Vodka...


Goodbye dinner for Shell Temir, especially desert was nice... Sakhalin we're ready!