Driving into Almaty from a distance is a beautiful experience. You see the snow covered mountains in the background and your driver tells you: There is Almaty at the foot of the mountains. You feel relieved as you can see it in the distance and think, well we are almost there. However, you don't realize that it is further away than you thought. It took almost 1 1/2 more to get to the city as the distances are huge in this country. This is the former capital of Kazakhstan. Three are many good restaurants and nice things to see around the city such as the Panfilov park wirer the Zekov Cathedral is located.