The author writes: In the former Soviet Union is no country more colorful and at the same time closed to prying eyes than Turkmenistan. About him go wildest rumors - and the universal veneration of Turkmenbashi, and the mad scale of construction in Ashgabat, and the total domination of the security services, and all sorts of conflicting laws. And last week, I had a unique chance to go there, at what not just a tourist who does not leave the "elephant trails." but in a slightly different role, which allows you to see a little more.
Naturally, being a great lover of travel in the post-Soviet territory, I could not miss such a chance, took a couple days off and decided on the spot to see what kind of a country and how there lives a simple working people. Looking ahead, I must say that this trip is just completely strip the threads in the head - so many surreal experiences I did not expect. But first things first. I warn you once - I'm not going to give any assessments, and will not talk about politics. As in the case of Georgia, try to only show pictures and tell what I saw there, and the reader is already decide for himself what was really going on. Of course, in the "wrong side" of the country, I did not look, it was not possible and that there is - nothing more than a "facade" through the eyes of an outsider. And once I apologize for the quality of many photos - especially not walked on foot, and photographed, mostly on the run from the machine at the maximum ISO. On the plane, "Turkmenhavayolara" at the entrance hangs a portrait of the current President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov Melyakkulimovicha. Immediately on takeoff declare that we do not just fly the airline, and "Turkmenistan Airlines behalf of President Saparmurat Turkmenbashi the Great." Along the way, the food is excellent pilaf or kebab, and you at this time stunned the type of endless desert under the wings. Upon arrival, local go in one direction, the other foreigners. Furthermore, all foreigners entering Turkmenistan must pay a fee of $ 12. By the word "tourist" visa costs $ 140. Customs slow, but quite calm, in contrast to Uzbekistan, Belarus and Russia. It is also said that on August 1 for all visiting foreigners established surveillance. Honestly, it was never noticed, especially when went into the desert for 250 kilometers from the capital to look a hell of a burning well Darwaza. In general, everything was very friendly and relaxed. The first trip was in Ashgabat night. And I can tell you that it's mind-blowing. This city and this country represent a completely crazy mix of Dubai desert, scoop, petrodollars, capitalism, and the Central Asian flavor. After the Cold Moscow offices and flight happening around seems complete fiction.
2. The first impression - a city of luminous buildings, fountains and monuments of Turkmenbashi.
4. The same day street