Top Ten: Astana’s Awesome Architecture

All municipalities have some sort of urban planning in place, but many cities reveal a hodgepodge of the old and new, remnants of earlier days mixed with deliberate planned contemporary structures. Rarely do you see a city that is as meticulously planned as Astana, Kazakhstan.

Formerly a small, industrial town in central Kazakhstan, Astana was named the country’s capital city in 1997 (moved from Almaty, the former capital). At that point, Kazakhstan’s President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, contracted architects across the globe to design the futuristic structures rise on the left bank out of the steppe grasslands that mark the Kazakh countryside.

The city’s infrastructure fits with the goal of a population of one million inhabitants by the year 2030 – currently there are ~800,000 people – the result being that the city core feels vast, spacious, almost empty…waiting to be filled.

We took some snaps of our Top Ten structures you can find in Astana.

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A Tale of Two Cities

Sometimes a trip practically plans itself.

We are very fresh from a trip to both Kazakhstan and Turkey; the former because of a conference in Astana, and the latter because our flights routed through Istanbul so we figured we’d stop over and vacation there.

Two more different cities you could not find. The circumstance of visiting both back to back presented a marked study in contrasts: approaches to heritage, tourism, culture, infrastructure and development.

In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing some of the fun, interesting and challenging things we experienced in Astana and Istanbul. Hope you’ll come along for the ride.

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Sometimes the theme song for a trip presents itself

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Brush with the Bruins

Combining our love for travel and our son’s love for the Bruins saw us heading to Boston a few weeks ago to visit family and hang out in the city.

For sure one of the highlights was the Bruins vs Leafs hockey game, where Declan was chosen (at random) to wait outside the home team’s dressing room and high-five the players as they went out onto the ice.

We thought we’d put together a little video (our first time experimenting with iMovie – yes, we are late adopters to techie stuff) to remember that fun evening. Enjoy!

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Photo of the Day: Milltown Malbay, Ireland

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Get out there and see the world – now!!

africa2009 048Came across this interesting piece about travel and regret. The bottom line: do it now while you can. Don’t put it off and court regret. Carpe Diem!

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Auschwitz: 70 years later

Today is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. We visited the site 6 years ago. Some thoughts about our experience.

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