Recently I had to travel to Atyrau, Kazakhstan for work. I wasn’t really keen on doing so, especially since my darling couldn’t accompany me. The trip was arranged in a rush to coincide with everyone’s schedules. So tickets were booked on a Thursday and I flew out on the Friday. The trip there was long Perth – Singapore – Istanbul (14 hour layover) – Astana – Atyrau. I left home at 330pm Perth time Friday and arrived at my hotel at 5pm Perth time Sunday.

At Astana I had to get a visa on arrival. The form was confusing, most people didn’t speak English and I was unsure about the whole process. Fortunately I encountered an English gentleman (who was in international import export auditor) who confirmed I was doing the right thing. The immigration agent looked very ill, like she was going to collapse at any moment. Maybe that increased the speed of my processing? So after being processed through immigration I had a 4 hour wait for my Atyrau flight. Finally arrived in Atyrau airport, which is very small. Waited an age for my bags and then was taken to my hotel, or what I thought was my hotel.

The Chagala chain has two hotels in the Asia side of Atyrau, the old and the new, from the outside you would be hard pressed to discern the difference. So I had to call the taxi back to then get to the new Chagala. I found out on my return home that the area both hotels are is not very safe! Fortunately I chose to wait for the taxi to come. I finally checked in to my home for the next two weeks. Very basic and relatively old. It was at least somewhere to sleep and it did have wifi so I could FaceTime with my darling, so all was not too bad. After showering and changing I headed down to get some food at 6pm, only to find the restaurant only opened after 7pm. So back to the room and fell straight asleep. The trip home was much better, 26 hours door to door.

I didn’t get much chance to explore or take photo’s with my camera. Though I did take some pictures with my phone. Though I did travel from Asia to Europe every day. If you travel to Atyrau be sure to use taxis as even the most skilful drivers would find it a challenge driving here. The climate is fairly mild in Autumn, though there is a hint of the biting cold that is to come in winter.

It is an interesting place that I would like to learn more about, though I am not sure if I would have ever gone there by choice.

A filling station

A filling station

The Asia Side of the River

The Asia Side of the River

Part of the New Chagala Atyrau

Part of the New Chagala Atyrau

A meat lovers paradise

A meat lovers paradise

Caucasus mountains from the plane

Caucasus mountains from the plane

The airport

The airport

The city skyline

The city skyline

View from the bridge

View from the bridge

The Europe Side of the River

The Europe Side of the River

A hotel on the Asia side

A hotel on the Asia side