Day 9 - Aral / Kazahstan

Bratislava to Beijing
Aral / Kazahstan

Our first intention in Aralsk was to park the car at the bottom of the Aral sea and make a few shots against the background of abandoned ships. We even found a local tour guide to assist us. But on the spot the weather has made adjustments to our plans. Despite the fact that at night the temperature can drop to minus 20 degrees, during the day under the warm spring rays the ice begins to melt immediately. And since part of the way goes off-road there is a very high probability that we will come into the thawed saline and it will be simply impossible to get out of there.


We need to urgently adjust our plans in search of places indicating that once the city was on the beach. Today it makes a very sad impression. Heaps of rubbish, the streets are full of melt water and shabby houses. There is no work in the city at all, only at budget enterprises such as the police, hospital and schools. Most of the residents have been unemployed for many years. All their time they devote to the household. This allows them not to starve and make at least some money.


On the horizon we notice some tower cranes that once worked in the port. This is exactly what we are looking for shooting. All we need is to find a place where you can drive as close as possible to these giants. After talking with the locals we find out that they are on the territory of the former shipyard, but no one knows how to get there. We begin to travel around the city in search of the necessary checkpoint, it takes a lot of time, but in the end we find what we need. Cranes are striking in their size and at the same time looking at them you start to realize how thin is the line between prosperity and complete decline.


When we have finished shooting in Aralsk we promptly depart to Baikonur. Unfortunately, this time we won’t be able to get to the Russian territory, as we didn’t have time to prepare a special entry permit. But we’ll definitely come back here and visit all sights of the Russian city in Kazakhstan. We make a few photos next to the steles devoted to space exploration and set off to Shymkent.