Saturday 13 May 2023
Highlights: Exploring landscape at Barskoon, Learning how Yurts are constructed, Cultural music, The beautiful Russian Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, Prejevalskiy Museum
After a good nights sleep, an enjoyable breakfast and some time with very young kittens we where off to bring exploring again. First up was a visit to the sanatorium that Yuri Gagarin stayed at to recover after the world’s first manned space flight in 1961. The sanatorium has seen better days and is undergoing repairs but we still learned about the strong Soviet Space program link in this area.
We then headed out into the wider Barskoon area to under a small hike in a stunning canyon surrounding by powerful mouintains. A major waterfall was frozen and then were a couple of Yuri Gagarin statues in the area.
Heading back into Barskoon village we visited the Ak-Orgo Workshop Centre to learn about how Yurts are constructed. This group is supported by G Adventures to help keep local traditions while creating employment.
We all got a chance to assist in constructing the Yurt. It’s fascinating to watch how these crafts create something so practical and necessary.
We also had an included lunch at this workshop, the meal was amazing but the real highlight was the music played by our host. So not only can he created world renowned Yurts but is a talented musican as well.
The next stop was in Karakol which started with a visit to the beautiful Russian Holy Trinity Orthodox Church. A couple in our group got in trouble for taking photos inside the church, but the real highlight was the outside structure. The singing inside during the service was very enchanting as well.
Travelling a little outside the city we visit the Prejevalskiy Museum. Nikolay Prejevalskiy was a Russian explorer in the 1800s who across five expeditions opened up a lot of Central Asia. He was a critical explorer for this region who also identied many new animals and plants and trees.
The last stop for the day was the Dungan Mosque, built by the Chinese who moved into this region it appears like a pagoda style building. While I didn’t find the building as a highlight the clothing some of our tour members had to wear to enter the grounds definitely was 🙂