Day 11 – to Bishkek

Today we head back to Bishkek for our last day in Kyrgyzstan. We drive through a mountainous region and pass a very large reservoir.

A group of horses gallop through a downtown Bishkek plaza. It rains for about 5 minutes, then all is clear once more.

We enter the Tsum Department Store, a creation of the Soviets in the 1970s. It features the first escalators in Kyrgyzstan.

Each floor is divided into areas of different shops and owners, more like a market than a department store.

A lot of space is given to electronics, but the entire fifth floor is devoted to the traditional handicrafts of Kyrgyzstan.

With no customers, this shopkeeper is keeping herself entertained on her phone.

In contrast, a very sweet girl sells corn outside on the street.

KFC is really big here, such a long way from Kentucky’s Colonel Sanders.

We attended a workshop run by a women’s cooperative called The Seven Sisters.

Each of us had the opportunity to make our own scarf, but I was starting to feel very tired so I went back to the bus to sleep. You can imagine how tired I was if I could not get the energy to make a scarf or take a cab back to the hotel. I was VERY tired.

On the way back to the bus, I passed this children’s activity center where the kids are strapped into some contraption so they can jump as high as they can off a trampoline. It looked like such great fun, I had to take some photos.

The workshop over, we returned to the hotel for a rest as we had to leave for the airport to take a very early morning flight to Istanbul.

So it’s goodbye to Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia.

I was glad to learn that the traditional ways of making felt and yurts are being preserved, but yurts are now made primarily for the export market and resorts. Entire communities getting together to make felt for their yurts is a thing of the past along with the nomadic way of life.

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