One of the perks of living in part of the former Soviet Union is the plethora of parks. We have noticed them in Almaty, Bishkek, and now even in Karakol. You don’t really see forests in this part of the world, so parks often provide the greatest collection of trees around. A few months ago we were driving along a tree lined road from Bishkek to Karakol and Kirsten excitedly shouted “We are going through a forest!” Poor thing doesn’t really know what a forest is.
The closest park to our apartment is Victory Park, which is approximately four square blocks. Paths go along the perimeter of the park and diagonally through the park. Victory Park is a memorial to Kyrgyz war veterans. Most cities will have a memorial to war veterans. As with all the parks I’ve seen, Victory Park has its fair share of statues. The main entrance of the park leads to a wide path lined with white busts of war heroes and a tall central statue.
It is nice to stroll through a spacious park with the family. In bigger cities such as Bishkek and Almaty, parks provide a retreat from the noise and business of the city. It is popular for brides dressed in their wedding gowns to visit the parks in their city or town for pictures. Parks are also a common gathering place for friends. I am very thankful for these retreats into nature and into history.