Written by D.
I still remember my first time in Astana. I was returning home from a meeting in Atyrau. After several delays, my flight to Frankfurt was suspended and all the passengers were forced to stay in Astana. It was around 2 am in the morning and Air Astana took us to a pension in the outskirts of the city. It was a really bizarre situation. But I was able to have a first contact with a city that looked fascinating. My first impression in the middle of the night was that Kazakhstan succeeded in creating a city full of lights, malls and new buildings in the middle of nowhere. This was my first (and very short) contact with the city, through the window of a van. It is still today that I wonder whether such situation actually happened or it was a dream.
Fortunately, several years after my first trip, I had the opportunity to go back to Astana three more times. Astana is the new capital of Kazakhstan (in the past it was Almaty). The city was everything I expected and more, with several futuristic buildings, full of character and even a shopping mall with an indoor beach resort.
It is true that Astana (and even Kazakhstan) is not in the list of most of the people’s places to visit in the world. But I am glad I had the opportunity to know such a wonderful city.