Rita gifted our friend Daiva with a bling and she in turn took on a trip to Almaty. I confess to know nothing about the place but hopefully Daiva will fill me in on FB.
I got this from Wiki online:
"Almaty (Kazakh: Алматы / Almatı/ الماتى, pronounced [ɑlmɑtɯ]), formerly known as Alma-Ata (Russian: Алма-Ата) and Verniy, is the largest city in Kazakhstan, and was the country's capital until 1997. Despite losing its status as the capital to Astana, Almaty remains the major commercial and cultural centre of Kazakhstan, also with the biggest population. The city is located in the mountainous area of southern Kazakhstan...
From 1929 to 1936, Almaty was the capital of Kazakh ASSR. From 1936 to 1991, it was the capital of Kazakh SSR, and from 1991 to 1997, it was the capital of Kazakhstan. Almaty remains the largest, most developed, and most ethnically and culturally diverse city in Kazakhstan. The city is located in the foothills of Trans-Ili Alatau (or Zailiysky Alatau) in the extreme south-east and has a relatively mild climate with warm summers and quite cold winters. Since the city is located in a tectonically active area, there is a constant possibility of earthquakes. Although most of them do not represent any significant danger or cause damage, historically Almaty does have a record of some large destructive earthquakes.
In 1997, the capital was moved to Astana. Since then, Almaty has been referred to as the southern capital of Kazakhstan."
p.s. Daiva later explained she "was on a business trip in Exhibition. It was nice place near the Tian Shan mountains."