Aktau was a fairly new town – like 19th/20th century new. Many buildings were from the 1960s and 70s, which meant they looked like this:
Sometimes they had little shops in them:
But there were also these fascinating ruins:
I looked at the crumbling walls, and I began to wonder: from what time was it, why was it not open to the public, were there other ruins that had survived?
There were some strange details, though, like these stairs:
They led to a headless monument of what looked like it might have been an eagle once:
And in one place there was this arrow that looked a bit peculiar:
I wondered and I wondered, until in the end a worker lifted the shroud of mystery when he explained to me that these ruins were in fact not old at all. A few decades or so before someone had planned to build a mosque in this place, and they had failed. Their construction had started to crumble, and they had left it that way:
There was no mystery to it at all.
I didn’t stick around after that. Instead I went further west, to the new part of Aktau:
My friend Karlygash had a pastry shop there. It was called SteppeBird, and it served a bunch of tasty things:
I ate two pieces of cake and a bunch of macarons that evening:
I think everyone knows by now that I love cake.
But I really fucking love macarons.