Well I’ve been in Atyrau for a week. Been sunny and warm throughout. Had a very good Sunday walking round the place. We, that’s four of us including a guy called Peter with whom I worked on Ruwais (west of Abu Dhabi) several years ago. He seemed to be the fountain of al knowledge and directed us to various places. We have a good lamb curry for lunch and afternoon tea in a local shop. Then concluded the day with a trip to the local market. Market has everything. Fruit and veggies, clothing, electronics etc.
Stupidly I did not bring my camera…. So apologies. Next Sunday for sure I’ll be clicking away. And I can assure you there are a lot of beautiful sites and lots of interesting bits and pieces.
Strangely through it is a difficult place to describe. Its old soviet union buildings and modern ones seem to sit side by side. Also the few big houses you come across are all new. So there is obviously a lot of new money around. Even saw a Hummer parked up on a side street…. It’s like going back to the 1970’s with the large council housing projects, and yet so very different. Photos would help I know…
Cost of living. Difficult to say but not cheap. I think all the oil development has enables locals to open more bars and restaurants and support services to cater for expats. Apartment blocks to high standards etc. These places are of course expensive. Example. Bottle of beer in the supermarket is 1 US $. In a restaurant is 6US$. I think I’ll be remaining sober for a long time in Atyrau. Bread is about 60 cents US$ in the supermarket. Our curry lamb lunch with a coffee was US$ 20. So you can get some idea of cost.
Places to see and places to go. There a re a few monuments, mainly war heroes and there is a quite stunning blue mosque and a beautiful Roman Orthodox church. Photos to follow.
The main river apparently freezes over in winter. When for several months it can get down to -15Deg C or lower… Not looking forward to that.
Photos to follow.