I think even Mother Nature knew it was National Women’s Day in Kazakhstan yesterday. It was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the low 50’s. I spent the day with Sara and Julian. We walked, shopped, walked, ate, talked, walked and acted like tourists taking pictures along the way. We had a very nice day. The streets were full of people celebrating the holiday. It seems that prominent gifts for Women’s Day are flowers and cakes; the streets were lined with vendors selling gorgeous flowers, mostly roses and tulips. We went to Paniflov Park which is named for the Paniflov Heroes, they are the twenty-eight soldiers who died fighting off Nazi tanks in a village outside of Moscow in 1941. There is a huge war memorial to the Paniflov Heroes and an eternal flame in the park commemorating the soldiers of the Civil War and WWII.
The Zhenkov Cathedral is also in the park, it is made entirely of wood, even the nails are made from wood. From there we went over to the Zelyony Bazaar, otherwise know as the Green Market, it is recognized as the city’s most colorful market, we spent quite a while strolling through the market. We continued through the Silk Way walkway and mall over to TsUM and did some shopping. We ate then went back to Sara and Julian’s, they are staying in a nice apartment which is about a 40 minute walk from my hotel. We were out walking for about eight and a half hours, sorry I didn't post when I got back last night.
Today, Sunday, March 09, 2008, I went to see BB. It takes about fifteen minutes less traveling time to see him on the weekends. I think they were still in the holiday mood at the baby house, we arrived there a few minutes early and he had already been fed. He too seemed to have to much holiday spirit remaining from yesterday, he was fussy all morning and was totally mad at me when I wouldn’t let him put a wooden box in his mouth, then he tried to chew a wooden table and was even unhappier when I wouldn’t let him chew that either. His caretaker came in early to get him, so I only spent about an hour and a half with him today. Hopefully he will not be so fussy tomorrow.
This afternoon Sara and Julian came to meet me and we walked around my end of the city, we went to Republic Square and then to the RamStor. At Republic Square we saw several wedding parties, it seems like a tradition to get your wedding photos taken at the square and then make a wish on the golden hand. Later we went to dinner at the Guinness Pub. It had looked like it was going to rain all day, when we came out of the Pub it finally was. I’ve posted some pictures of our National Women’s Day walking tour and some pictures of the landscape that I see every day on my ride to the Issyk baby house. I hope you like them. Take care, Chris