Monday, July 9, 2012

Atyrau: Tourist Sites and Thoughts

When I walk around the city I always carry a camera.  One never knows when there might be something interesting or peculiar, spectacular or hum-drum that is worth recording for posterity.  Many of these pictures end up in this blog, though there are always some which I cannot fit into a particular section and end up in the "pending" file.

This blog is a selection from these, with my random thoughts, observations, but most likely questions about them.

I have blogged before about the painted trees.  Every year as winter ends tree painting begins.  Just today a sneaked a shot of a man painting some newly planted saplings.
A thoughtful reader of the blog wrote to me and explained that painting prevented diseases.  This make sense, but it doesn't help me understand the picture below.  The trees are the same type but the ones on the left were painted and the ones on the right were not?
Still on the subject of painting there is the continuing saga of the painting of the Satpaev Bridge.  It was closed on Sunday for road works and some major
barrier patching. 

In an earlier blog I explained how the "outside" railings were painted by a man leaning over the rail and aiming the spray gun bach towards himself, a tad messy!  Well this weekend the painter got over the rails and fastened a cord of some kind round the rails and his back and leant back to paint from the river side with a brush on a stick.  He was painting the bridge , not the rails, yellow.  
There seems to be a general disregard to Health and Safety considerations when doing maintenance work.  
I watched this man swinging all over, but he did have an hard hat and rope round his waist, so he was probably OK!  This man was less fussy, but he had a window frame to hang on to!
This woman was squatting on a plank with no harness three floors above the ground.
Which makes this chaps job look pretty straightforward.
Another hazardous job is cleaning the streets.  I have shown pictures of the sweepers before, they morph into snow clearers in winter.  These people, usually women are unbelievably hard working, keeping the streets clear of dust and snow all year seven days a week.  The traffic rushes by them sometimes only a few feet from them.
I watched this lady from the apartment window, she was sweeping a fairly safe bit of road, but I did wonder if it was making much impact with a 20Km/hr wind blowing across the dusty verges.  This man was sweeping the grass, I didn't quite figure this out but he had a nice broom.
The lady that was sweeping the riverside path near Sandra's office on Sunday was less well equipped.
The green twig is her broom, as you see below!  The cheesecloth face protection is ubiquitous.

As I walked along the pathway I was noticing that the railing posts had caps, but some of them had the tops missing, as in the top two pictures.  But further up the path there were some which had some kind of flap poles attached, seen in the bottom left.  So I can only assume that lots of the flag poles were broken off.  But as the picture further down shows, they are quite tall and there are many missing?  The remaining mystery is the purpose of those in the bottom right! 
Flag poles!  Notice the construction behind the centre flagpole, I have been watching this go up, it is on the beach, and I am intrigued as to its purpose.
I dont think it can be a changing cabin as we have one of those...
And in any case most swimmers are men and they just remove their pants and swim in their underwear. After their swim they just remove their wet underwear and put their pants back on...Hopefully with the benefit of a changing cabin, but not always!

I have seen a couple of these vessels in the river.  It is a bit hard to determine how they function, but to the best of my interpretation it is an inner tube type affair, with paddles made of pieces of tin or wood.  The strange thing is it doesn't seem to be a recreational activity, the fellows I've seen actually appear to be trying to go somewhere.
Another riverside activity is the taking of wedding pictures.  This is especially true outside the Renco building which seems to have some cache as a photo-op spot.
Of course there is also fishing in the river, and I have had lots of pictures of fishermen, in summer and in winter.  But I had never seen one catch a fish until this weekend!  Here is the proof.

And moving along....
This is a picture of a Bentley parked outside the Rixos Hotel in Almaty.  Regular readers may recall that the Rixos is the very posh hotel where the internet connections don't work.  I have to show you a picture of a Bentley in Almaty and not atyrau, because I have never seen one here. And that is because there aren't any registered here.  In fact according to an article I read supposedly based on government registration statistics, there are 36 bentley Continental GTs registered in Kazakhstan, and 31 are in Almaty.  Two are registered to 22 year old "girls" which just goes to show how hard working and entrepreneurial the young ladies are here. There are also 33 Maybachs registered in Kazakhstan, mostly in Almaty...but one in Atyrau!  The only two Aston Martins are in Almaty, as are the two Murcielagos and MacLarens. So the inventory of $250,000 cars in Kazakhstan seems to be heavily weighted to Almaty, which says two things, there are people with money living there and they have roads that cars drive on.  I think Atyrau has the Highest number of Toyota 4x4s but unfortunately nobody was interested enough for that to get reported. 

Here are some things that just puzzle me...
Why is the hot water this colour?
Why does this cookie/biscuit have a palm tree, two Flinstones and Santa skiing on it?
Did the designer of this sign think?

Where do the railings go to?  Many are just missing!
Is this really fit for purpose?  Would you stand on it to paint?
Is Sandra's umbrella really doing its job? (Since despatched to the bin!)
What happens to the tops of many of the buildings?  Why are they not fixed?

Why does this large pleasure boat not moor to a pier instead of ramming the banks?

1 comment:

  1. Found myself laughing at the captions! Found this post when I was Googling "tourism in Atyrau". :)