PICTURE REPORT: Three days in Astana, the SF city built in only 10 years
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The capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, one decade ago was only a forgotten village in the steppe. Today, the new high buildings, looking like being from another planet, are hosting almost one million of inhabitants.
The night flight from Vienna to Astana does not show a single feature of the ex-communist nature of the destination. The plane is full, but there only few passengers with almond-shaped, specific for Kazakhstan, eyes. In rest, discussions in English, French and German clearly showing that we are specking of an airplane full of European businessmen, in the just next week willing to benefit of the Kazakh State desire for development.
The first contact with Astana leaves me breathless. First of all, literally, because the outside temperature at 6 o’clock in the morning is almost zero degrees. Kazbeh, the driver with a smile on his face, who is waiting for us at the airport, takes my luggage and invites us in the well heated car. In the first light beams I hardly can believe what I am seeing as we get into the city. Sky-scrapers, huge buildings of glass in futuristic shapes near gold-plated mosques, immaculate white blocks with Oriental roofs – everything is new, just like taken out of the box, including the trees and multicolored arrangements in the parks.