The Kyrgyz Landscape

Legend has it that God created the world in six days and then took a rest, relaxing in all he had made.

Afterward, all the peoples of the earth came to his resting place to pay him homage. He gifted each tribe with a corner of the world in which to grow and prosper.

But the Kyrgyz representative arrived late. He had partied hard at the birth of the world and overslept, missing the ceremony completely.

Issyk Kul, by the way, is the world’s second largest salt lake (after the Caspian) and the second largest mountain lake (after Titicaca) at 100 miles long. That haze? Yeah, that’s a row of 3,500m snowcapped mountains on the far shore.

The man begged God’s forgiveness and pleaded for his people. The kind and loving God looked around him but there werer no lands left to be had. Here he said take the spot in which I have rested. It is all I have left. It houses a little bit of each place, a collection of all my earthly wonders.

And so, it is in a landscape made up of everywhere that the Kyrgyz people settled.

Now I’m not sure the moral of the story is that laziness pays off or that God is awesome. Possibly both. But the land now settled by the Kyrgyz is certainly a land of variety.

There are purple velvet mountains capped with snow; glacial lakes clearer than crystal; dusty deserts rugged in their terrible beauty; Wild West canyons scraped from red rock; soft rolling meadows of edelweiss as far as the eye can see; sprawling walnut forests more than 1000 years old; and scraggly slate scree so steep and sharp even the goats won’t venture up. And all within a space significantly smaller than Michigan or the UK (which are roughly the same in case you were wondering).

Even if I was a good photographer, you’d never believe the wonders I have seen. It’s truly awesome.

2 Responses to “The Kyrgyz Landscape”
  1. Emily Hayes Greenwald says:

    Your photos remind me a lot of my time in Wyoming, also a place with a lot of varied landscapes. Thanks for sharing your adventure!


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