Central Asia was one of the few regions in the world that I had not yet visited. The exotic names of her countries have long attracted me with their strange combination of unusual and familiarity. I decided to start visiting this region from the most easily accessible and hospitable of his country - from Kyrgyzstan. Its hospitality lies in the fact that for her visit I do not need a visa (as well as for Kazakhstan). All these Russian-Belarusian-Central Asian troubles like registrations here have also been canceled long ago. And getting here is also relatively easy - Pegasus flies from Istanbul for very reasonable money (this is if you - like me - get from Europe). Therefore, I chose Bishkek as a landing site and promised myself to spend at least a couple of days here. It was a great favor at that moment for the simple reason that on the day of my arrival in Bishkek it was 32 degrees of heat. After the gracious Brussels, it was certainly a heat shock. But the local people assured me that I was lucky - only a couple of weeks before it was supposedly 42! Besides,there was not that deadly humidity that makes such temperatures unbearable, say in Southeast Asia. So everything is known in comparison.
Bishkek has caused me a lot of different associations (after all, I am a seasoned traveler and the kinds of places already seen arise in my memory practically by themselves). In the first place - with different Balkan capitals. He reminded me of Montenegrin Podgorica with his right plan, his streets, his accessibility and friendliness, and above all his heat. The center of Bishkek has been turned into something slightly disproportionately monumental - and by this, of course, he reminded me of Skopje, with its monumental excesses. And by its democratic character and unsettledness and even rudeness, it is similar to Belgrade. But of course the Balkans are rather the second derivative; The first derivative is the post-Soviet capitals, such as Yerevan and Chisinau - friendliness, provinciality, comfort in some way, unshakenness in some way, and of course the visual and language picture - all this is available here.
The most inhabited center is very pleasant indeed - fountains, statues, honest people. It is next to the main store, traditionally called the Central Department Store.
My very first impressions of Bishkek were due to the first taxi driver that drove me from the airport to the city. A guy named Azad told me about his time as a special forces fighter, about how he jumped with a parachute 50 times and landed somewhere in the south of Kyrgyzstan, where the sluggish war with Islamist militants is still going on. He told how he hates "amerikos", as everyone in Kyrgyzstan respects Putin, to such an extent that they named a peak in his honor, about "which country they ruined!" While driving at a speed of 180 km / h along the highway the police. He advised me to go to Issyk-Kul - "what kind of girls are there!" In general, I liked it.
Well, okay, and now about the monumental center. This is the main square of Ala-Too. Paradoxically, there are practically no government buildings on it. But in the distance you can see the mountains. In my opinion, this is wonderful.
Here you can see even better.
This is a view to the other side of Ala-Too Square - to the north. In the middle of it stands a monument to Manas - the main character of the endless Kyrgyz epic.
And the central building on it is not at all the parliament and not the president, but the National Museum. True, it is now closed to the public - is being restored.According to the testimony of visitors, there used to be an epic exposition for Leninist motives.
In the evenings, the area is full of idlers and holidaymakers. What are you not a tyrant? What is not Yerevan?
And the Museum looks like a mausoleum.
In the afternoon, the degree of epicity of the area still increases.
In the midday heat.
Long live Manas.
In the immediate vicinity of the Ala-Too Square there is a landmark building of the Kyrgyz democracy - the White House. It is remarkable in him that he can easily walk up to him and calmly take pictures of him through the fence - nobody cares. This is a sign of two things: first, local democracy; secondly, local pofigizma. Of course, nothing like this can be done in other countries of Central Asia - and by this Kyrgyzstan is beautiful.
The White House is remembered by pictures on TV during the local revolution, when it was repeatedly smoked and taken by revolutionaries and passed from hand to hand. Previously, it was the residence of the president, but then after another revolution, they made a castling here and transferred the parliament to the White House. In my opinion, this is how it should be - the proudest building should belong to a collective body, not personalities.
The seat of government. The one where the parliament used to be.Kyrgyzstan is now a parliamentary republic, the chairman of the government here has much more power than the president.
A few more buildings in the vicinity of Ala-Too. This is one of the characteristic buildings on Chui Avenue (former Lenin Avenue). This is what most of central Bishkek looks like - modernist buildings built around the 1930s. Yes, in its own way a wonderful architecture.
The place where Chui Avenue crosses Ala-Too Square.
One of the numerous monuments on Chui Avenue - this seems to be a monument to the friendship of the Russian and Kyrgyz peoples.
Another monument is right next to the White House. Here, at least the symbolism is obvious. The victory of the light forces over the dark - meaning the democratic revolution of 2010.
If you look at the map of Bishkek, in some places there are wonderful paintings - real patterns from the streets or park alleys. These areas and parks were broken up in the early 1920s — it was then that Bishkek was created — by all sorts of advanced settlers. For example, the alleys in Panfilov Park are a five-pointed star. There is also an area where the street plan looks like a wheel with spokes. This area is said to have lost the whole character of those times, so I didn’t go there,but the wonderful park could not help but visit, since it attracted me with a ferris wheel, which looked out from behind the White House. However, the wheel disappointed me - repair.
A couple of wonderful institutions of Bishkek. This is a changeable prospect - for several quarters in a row, one of the other has exchange offices. Paradoxically, the exchange rates in them are quite different. Who changes at unfavorable rates - a mystery. The laziest? I really did change my euros in the bank anyway to reduce the risk of fraud.
And this is just a song. Next to the main park is the club “For 30”, the Russian chanson “Uncle Misha”. But the most interesting is the club rules.