Photo: Burana Tower
Day 4, Wednesday April 24- Lake Issyk-Kul, Bishkek Kyrgyzstan
We are up early this morning.
After a fine breakfast, we are off on the Western Road along the lake to the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Our journey is not a straight line and the mountains seem to move and disappear as we drive over the sometimes bumpy and narrow roads. We are not driving in the mountains. We are crossing a fertile valley or plain filled with farms and villages.
I can’t get over all of the Poplar trees surrounding us.
Bishkek is some distance away over rough roads and through the beautiful countryside.
There is something odd about this place. Oh, that’s what it is. Yes. There is never a piece of trash anywhere to be seen. Not in the cities or villages or along the road out in the countryside. No trash.
The women are up early every morning to sweep the streets and their yards of anything, that has appeared over night. The entire area is pristine. The people take pride in their communities and know that they are judged by the appearance of their neighborhoods.
What a concept.
We are going to see the Burana Tower on the way to Bishkek. The tower is what remains of a citadel of Balasagun surrounded by formally high, mud brick walls. It was a watch tower with a fire burning there at night.
The tower has been repaired and there is a small, interesting museum here to look through. There is a gift shop in a urt here, watched over by two, not so young, local women. They look like a pair not to be trifled with.
The tower was a structure to look out from and over the surrounding countryside for invaders and danger during the day and a light tower to guide traders here at night.
The walls now are just mounds of earth covered by many varieties of plants. There is sill a small river running near the former mighty city that was one of the reasons it stood here.
The views here of the countryside and the mountains are stunning. I never imagined this part of the world would be so beautiful.
I worried about the political situations in these countries and wondered what might happen to a couple of tourists who ventured here.
I could imagine the headlines and hear others talking about the stupid American tourists coming to this part of the world. It doesn’t matter now.
The facilities on this trip are sometimes, primitive. Be aware of that and you will not be disappointed.
I have been rewarded with the beginning of a wonderful and enlightening experience.
What’s that smell?