As we spend more time here and get more comfortable with our surroundings we are adventuring out. We have been out to dinner once with our former cottage mates and have been out by ourselves a few times to do some grocery shopping. Most of our outings up to this point have been with our interpreter, Inna. Aside from the "your not from around here, are you" looks we get from people on the street most people have been very nice. A little Russian goes a long, long way here. The sidwalks are paved but are very uneven and in some cases have large openings without the token construction barricade to alert you. The main streets are paved but the side streets mostly not and have many large potholes. Think, Karen and Darryl's street not graded for the last 20 years.
The city we are in has a population of about 126,000 people. Information from the about Kazakhstan website provides the following: "Kokshetau city was founded in 1824 as an administrative outpost when the Russians extended their control over the Kazakhs. Kokshetau became a district administrative centre in 1868 and an oblast centre in 1944, but Kokshetau city greatest expansion occurred in the 1960s following the campaign to open virgin lands in Kazakhstan to agriculture and the construction of important new factories in the region... and is now a substantial industrial center and the junction of the Trans-Kazakhstan and Middle Siberian railways." Yes, that does say Siberian.
Saturday, Yuri and Inna were kind enough to take us on a tour of the city. We took some pictures to one day show Kathryn what her native city looked like when we were here. We have placed them in a slide show format which we hope you enjoy. Edit 10/4- As well, we have added additional photos that we took when we ventured out on our own around town.