There is a shuttle bus network to take individual visitors and travel groups alike around the scenic spots in the park.
The first place we went to this morning was just breathtaking.
There was a delicate layer of hoar frost on all things:
…and the sun was just coming up to start melting it all away:
I almost froze my butt off trying to capture the beauty of the place:
But even where I failed, I felt that it was still absolutely worth it, because…
…BEING there seemed rewarding enough:
I guess from these photographs, you would probably think that there weren’t that many people around:
In fact, the whole place was infested with camera enthusiasts like myself:
They were literally swarming around the area.
…I even saw one guy haul around a digital medium format from Sweden that must have cost something between 10 to 30 grand. Envy raises its monstrous head. Damn!
Anyway, the landscapes were awesome:
The Altai mountains were solemnly towering in the distance:
And eventually we came to a large body of water, the famous Kanas lake:
It is almost as big as Loch Ness in Scotland (45km² vs. 56km²), and almost as deep (188m vs. 230m).
And here’s the cool part: there is supposed to be a MONSTER in it too!
Of course I didn’t see it though:
Apparently, there is a population of large Siberian salmons living in the lake – fish that can grow up to 3 or 4 meters in length. Maybe they are responsible for the monster myth?
Anyway, I didn’t see any of them either.
Kanas Lake just looked like an emerald resting in the mountains, much like the ones I had seen in April 2008 near Lanzhou:
We decided to climb up a nearby hill to get a top view of the lake:
I had a laugh when I saw the viewing platform, which looked kind of like Asterix’ helmet:
And of course, there were more monsters up there:
That night, we went out and stood in the cold to look at the night sky above:
I figured the monsters were probably doing the same.