Sunday, July 31, 2011

First Weekend: Sunday

After a late Saturday night another late Sunday start we went to the Kazakh restaurant next door in Ardager to have some proper local food.  The restaurant is nicely decorated and the menu did look very local.  There were items such as a whole spit roasted sheep, sheep meat with boiled head, and various versions of horse. As you can see

I had manty which are dumplings stuffed, in this case, with lamb and onions.

Unfortunately the ground lamb which had been boiled with chopped onions and it was very greasy.  Sandra's shashlik was greasy too.

Our shared green salad turned out to be two piles of parsley and a bunch of dill and a lettuce leaf or three!

We didn't find much of interest in that! The flat bread we hoped would be like thin pita but it was more like a sweet dinner roll.

Not a great meal and I felt rather the worse for wear the rest of the afternoon.

In the afternoon we had signed up for a free  (for Ardagar Dom residents) boat trip up the Ural.  We went to the Europa Residence where the trip was to start only to find we were the only people and the boat had a technical problem.  So a driver came to collect us and take us to the boat, while they tried to fix it.  We ended up standing on the bank of the Ural in 40C heat waiting for the boat to cross the river and collect us.  It was rather a primative affair when it finally arrived.  A couple of chairs for seating, an awning for shade, a smelly cabin and a very loud and shaky engine all on a rusting hulk. A captain and his mate were our Russian speaking "hosts".  Here are the pictures of our journey showing the numerous "beaches" with people swimming, some old and new river craft and the buildings along the banks.

The vessel
As we got to the end of the journey we were presented with two plastic cups of luke warm sweet milky instant coffee, both of which I felt I had to drink.  We managed to slip the soggy cookies into Sandra's bag for later disposal.
We went to the Renaissance Hotel to have beer and recover from the tour!

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