Tours of Special Interest
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| The flowering of the wild Sievers apple trees is a unique and wide scale event. The hillsides of the Jungar Alatau are covering with a white and pink carpet. The fragrance of the apple flowers is so tart that is even felt when the gardens are not visible yet.
Route: Jungar Alatau (Almaty Region, Kazakhstan)
Season: Middle of May (approx. May 12-17)
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
Day 1. Almaty - Taldykorgan - Sarkand Osinovy Cordon
Departure from Almaty at 07:00. Arrival to Taldykorgan at 11:00 and visit to the Local History Museum of Almaty Region. Lunch and transfer to Sarkand. Arrival to Sarkand.
Sarkand was mentioned for the first time in Shokan Valikhanov’s articles about Semirechye study. These references date back to 1857 of the last century. Initially Sarkand was a village, based by Siberian Cossacks. The first solid settlements appeared on the banks of Sarkand river in 1858, when 22 families relocated from Kopal and Lepsinsk counties. In 1872, the first school was opened there. In 1928 Sarkand District was formed. It was composed of Cherkassk and Lepsinsk counties. Since 1964, Sarkand was urban-type settlements, and in 1968 it was transformed into the city. Today it is a small but very pretty town. The main activity of the locals is agriculture, production of excellent wines. There is even a small brewery and a cheese production plant.
Transfer to Osinovy cordon. Accommodation on the cordon, dinner.
Day 2. Osinovy Cordon
Breakfast. Then walk to the genetic reserves in Pikhtovoe and Soldatskoye gorges, which are natural places of growth of wild plantations of Sievers apple tree.
According to excavations, Sievers apple tree existed in the middle of the Cretaceous period. The biological dictionary of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR dates the time of origin of Sievers apple tree - 165 million years ago. The Kazakhs, who lived here in the foothills, were grown not only cereals, but also were planted fruit trees from the best forms of the Kazakh wild apple tree. Through these places, in the ancient times, the Great Silk Road ran. From here, along with the caravans, the apple tree began to spread east and west. Johann Sievers, a botanist from St. Petersburg, the first had paid attention to this apple tree and visited the Tarbagatai mountains. At the Kazakh village of Urdzhar, Sievers the first described these apples in 1796.
Return to the cordon. Dinner and overnight at the cordon.
Day 3. Osinovy Cordon - Lepsinsk - Black River Cordon
Breakfast. Transfer to Lepsinsk (37 km) and visit to a nursery of plants where more than 18 tree species are grown. In the nursery tourists will get acquainted with the technology of cultivation of Sievers apple-trees, main planting activities and caring for young plants. Lunch and rest. Transfer to Black River cordon and sightseeing at genetic reserves. Dinner and rest. Overnight at the cordon.
According to artifacts, it can be said that Lepsinsk area was already populated in the XII century. This is evidenced by finding of burial stone - Bal-Bal, dating from XII-X century. According to the stories of old-timers, there were three mounds in Lepsinsk with the Turkic stone sculptures of granite. The first was lying at the steps of the village council, the second stands at the the house of a local resident, the third, according to the stories, is buried in an area of Amur spring. In 1390, during a campaign deep into Moghulistan, Amir Timur were piled mounds on Uygentas pass near Lepsinsk. By such mounds he designated the boundaries of his empire. On the personal things he set his mark in the form of three rings. This sign was found in 1994 at the foot of Kok-Tobe mountain, near Lepsinsk. The modern history of Lepsinsk begins in 1822. Abolishment of Khan's power gave rise to the petition of joining of the Kazakh clan of Usun to Russia. But the first attempts were unsuccessful. Only in 1846 an agreement on the inclusion of Semirechensk region into Russia and the appointment of Lepsinsk was signed. This is only a small part of the interesting story of a small village, all the most interesting you will hear from the local old-timers.
Day 4. Black River Cordon
Breakfast. Walking and inspection of plants and wildlife. Dinner and night on the cordon "Black River".
Day 5. Black River Cordon - Lepsinsk
Wake up, breakfast. Transfer to Lepsinsk village. Visit to the local history museum, walk around the village, communicate with local residents. Lunch-picnic in nature with a view of Lepsinsk. Transfer to the guest house, dinner, sauna. Overnight at the guest house.
Day 6. Lepsinsk - Sarkand - Taldykorgan - Almaty
Breakfast and departure to Almaty. Lunch on the way. Arrival to Almaty at approx. 20:00.