Something was strange on our first day in Kyrgyzstan…

Something was strange on our first day in Kyrgyzstan.

We arrived at 6AM, completely exhausted as that was the second night we’d spent on a plane (first was on the way to Istanbul). When we reached our hostel we fell onto two of the skinniest twin beds you’ve ever seen and passed out. When we awoke, we looked at our phones – it was noon! Time to hit the town.

Our first stop was the Trip Advisor #1 ranked restaurant in Bishkek called Cafe Faiza. It took us two hours to find it because we could not read any of the street signs and we didn’t buy a sim card at the airport so we had no internet. We had to find the place using that charming, old-timey method of just asking people for directions. When we finally found the restaurant, it was oddly not busy, even though all reviews said that its peak hour was 2pm. Hmm, weird.

After eating, we walked around aimlessly and ended up in a mall where there was some kind of teen dance-off tournament happening. This entertained us for more than an hour as we drank coffee and watched from two stories above. When we left, we were surprised to see that it was already getting dark. “Wow, it gets dark early here!” we exclaimed, then continued on our way.

We went back to the hostel to chill and read until dinner time. We left for dinner around 8 and were confused at how empty all of the restaurants were. “Where is everybody?” we asked, thoroughly baffled. Then we proceeded to discuss how the population density was quite low here and how there must not be much of an “eating out” culture. We ended up at a pub where we ate quickly and then went back to the hostel to snack and read and relax more. Around 10, we decided it was time to sleep again.

Just as we were laying down, Andrew suddenly said, “Audrey.”


“We never changed our clocks.”


“It’s 1 in the morning.”

Ahhh. That explained everything. In our exhaustion that morning, we had forgotten to set our phones 3 hours forward!

We had in fact slept until 3 in the afternoon, gone to “lunch” at 5PM and gone to “dinner” at 11PM. When we were surprised at how it was getting dark early, it was actually 8PM. Needless to say, we are still trying to get our sleep cycle back on track. And yes, we did remember to change our clocks upon arrival in Mongolia.

Tomorrow we leave on an 8 day tour of the Gobi Desert! Bye!


Andrew got hungry and made a spur of the moment decision to buy a strange hot dog. The decision did not pay off, as it was cold, chewy and questionable at best.

Strange occurrence at our hostel – they called everyone to the hangout room for a “concert”, which turned out to be an hour of singing and dancing from this group from Kazakhstan. It was hilarious because some of the dancers were clearly loving it, and some of them had clearly been forced by their parents to participate.

This was at a Georgian restaurant where we could neither read the menu nor speak to the waiters. We finally convinced them to just pick something for us, and they picked cheesy bread and garlic chicken. WIN

Eating at Cafe Faiza; we loved the stir fry but did not enjoy the dumplings.


Snagged a picture of wild goats through my binoculars while hiking.

It is hard to tell here, but it was very steep and slippery. I fell many times.

Ala Archa National Park- gorgeous!!