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Peak Belukha (Beluha) climbing 4506m in 2004. Karatyurek, Kucherla, Shambala, Akkem.

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Ski-base Karakol

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Karakol valley.

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Kyrgyzstan. Issuk-Kul

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July-August 2006. 3 weeks in Europe.

July-August 2006. 3 weeks in Europe.

This year 2006 we were waiting impatiently for the summer holidays because we were invited by my friends to visit Europe for one month. My friends - Jean-Claude Legros and Evelyne Felix, his wife - are from Belgium and we know each other many years already. In 2004 they were invited by me to visit Russia and we had a beatiful trip to Altai mountains, where we had a climbing to the highest peak of that region - Belukha (Beluha) Mt. 4506 m. After that travel I was invited to visit their country - Belgium. In 2005 this plan was skipped, but in 2006 we could find the needed time and some money for this dream of childhood.
To get a visa to Belgium (we were asking for Shengen visa) in Novosibirsk was not too easy. First of all we were obliged to use Belgium general consulate in Moscow because there are no any other departments in Russia. But we were lucky to have an agreement with their staff to send all needed documents via post not visiting them personally. In total we spent half a year to gather all recuired documents and papers and al last we got this travel visa for me and my wife, Zhanna (Jane).
So, in July we packed up our rucksacks and took a train from Novosibirsk (Russia) to Almaty (Kazakhstan). From Almaty we had a car to Karakol (the eastern part of Issyk-Kul Lake, Kyrgyzstan) via Kegen town on the Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan border. We went to Kyrgyzstan first, because we decided to leave our daughter Lyuba with our parents while we have a trip to Europe. This choice was the best for that time - Issyk-Kul region has a perfect climate for the health of our daughter.
In 19th of July we had a flight from Kyrgyzstan's main airport "Manas" (Bishkek) to Moscow, Sheremetyevo-2 (Russia), where we had a next flight to Brussels. Upon landing in Brussels' airport we were met by Jean-Claude and were brought by his car (Renault Megane - good medium car) to his house in Awan - a settlement near Aywaille city.
From the landing in Brussels in the first day and to the last day we had there we tried to see as much as it possible. Those three weeks we actually spent there we had no any rest, because it was pity to have that - we were walking around and kkeping an eye on all what was happening around - the style of European life was really interesting for us.
During this travel we had time to visit Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland and Holland (Netherlands). And the general effect of this trip is very positive and that's clear for us now why so many people try to move to Europe leaving the countries where they live now. In our opinion now - Russia is behind the current economical and social situation of Europe on 50 years, not to mention Central Asian republics like Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan...
That's all in short above. We have so many emotions after European holidays so there is no enough time and paper to describe it. We had a camera with us and it was working all the time so we have a lot of pictures. The best photographs of Europe and our holidays I post here. I have added descriptions to every picture, so you can understand what every picture is about and where it was taken. Click on the photo and the new window with larger picture and full description will be opened...


There are many bicycle parking like this. Some of bicycles are standing there for a few years I think.
Amsterdam. Bicycle parking.
One of the famous places of Amsterdam - Coffee-shop where you can buy marijuana and some other thing with this grass. Don't thik to buy there something ususal like a coffee, tea or beer - you can but them but stuffed with grass.
Amsterdam. Coffee-shop and marijuana.
One of many coffee-shops with fun warning for under ages.
Amsterdam. Coffee-shop.
There are plenty of channels in the center of Amsterdam. We could take an excursion on boats, but we didn't.
Amsterdam. Channels.
On the way back I had a train stop in Rotterdam city. Some sky-scrapers near the train station at the photo.
Holland. Rotterdam.
At the railway station Brussel-Nord (Bruxelles-Noord). I am waiting for the train to Liege where Jean-Claude should pick me up.
Belgium. Brussels. Railway station.
After my trip to Holland we spend one day visiting some interesting places of Belgium. My friend Eugen came with his family from Germany. First, we visited Jacques chocolate factory and museum. Bought a lot of tasteful real chocolate and candies.
Belgium. Eugen and Nelly.
There is a special chocolate-machine inside of museum. You can see the fresh 'super chocolate' going out from this machine.
Belgium. Jacques chocolate factory.
Chocolate Museum in Belgium is inside of factory building. There are many interesting things shown.
Belgium. Jacques chocolate museum.
Exhibition of old forms for chocolate producing.
Belgium. Jacques chocolate museum. Forms.
The special route in the factory leads you into the process of chocolate producing. But of course oyu won't see the area where ingridients are mixing - only the packing area is accessible for all.
Belgium. Jacques chocolate factory inside.
This is a special route in the factory where you can observe the packing proccess through the windows.
Belgium. Inside of Jacques chocolate factory.
After chocolate museum we visited Liege where we had some shopping.
Belgium. Liege.
Nelly was tired from the shoppig and decided to have some sleep.
Liege. Eugen with Nelly.
While Irina was doing shopping - Eugen was happy to wait for her outside.
Liege. Eugen is very happy.
From left to right: Me, Zhanna, Irina, Nelly, Eugen. We are at the square of Liege.
Liege. Alltogether.
The central square of Liege.
Liege. The central square.
Very fascinating way of spending time - shopping.
Liege. Shopping.
We visited a shop. First we thought it's a cheese or candies - but it was soap! :-)
Liege. Soap.
That was one of our last days in Europe. And we decided to visit one pretty place nearby. This rocky place is not far from Awan and called Sy - is the beginning of famous Arden Belgium forests.
Belgium. Sy. Rocks.
We were going through the forest and our way is finished with the reat view and deep steep. There was a river below and some houses.
Belgium. Sy. Rocks. River.
The view was very exciting from this rocks. There were some houses down there. We guess that's so great to live in this corner of nature.
Belgium. Sy. Rocks and steep.
After going down from the rocks we were walking along the river where children were paddling. We also could see the fish (small troats) in the clear water of the river.
Belgium. Sy. River and kayaks.
The road brought us to the rock. We decided to go to the top of this rock not climbing like alpinists but going around and up.
Belgium. Sy. The rock wall.
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