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Walking Almaty, Almaty

5.0
#1 of 39 in Tours in Kazakhstan
Historical Tour · Walking tour
When I moved to Almaty to study Kazakh in the summer of 2013, I became a voracious walker. I was living with a host family on Seifullin and Mametova, one corner of the downtown core, and my university was a long diagonal away, on the opposite side of the center. Every day I walked bаck and forth to school, three miles each way, and every day I found a new route, a different way to zig and zag across town. As I tried to make my new home familiar, there were patterns in the public space that baffled me: What is this ragged stone, full of fossils, that is used on the faces of all the buildings? What’s the story with all the little canals lining the streets, and why are some full of water and some full of trash? Why are there so many pharmacies? I spoke Russian and Kazakh, but urban Almaty seemed to be written in a language I couldn’t understand.

Walking Almaty is a project that emerged from all these wonderings. It’s a project about learning to read a city’s visual landscape, and my tool is systematic classification. I’ve taken the forms around me and filed them into dozens of folders, taking thousands of photos to document everything I deem a phenomenon. I’ve now been in Almaty for more than a year, and if you look at the map on my site you can see that I’ve obsessively walked hundreds of miles, in every corner of the city. On all my walks, I’ve had a lot of time to think, and I’ve decided that this all will become a book some day. For now, you can explore my albums and articles, and I will add explanatory information as I write it.
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Walking Almaty reviews

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  • I really enjoyed my tour with Dennis! His passion and interest in Kazakhstan are very evident, and I enjoyed our conversation about Almaty and the history of Kazakhstan. I am an expat living in...  more »
  • Dennis, who runs Walking Almaty, is an American who has a very long relationship with Almaty since his teen years and now lives here. He knows the city and its history backwards, having studied it...  more »
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