Latest News Traveleads Walk Around the World challenge. This week we have reached…..

by Traveleads | January 23, 2019 | CSR

This week our volunteers have really stepped it up, clocking up the highest number of miles since our challenge to Walk Around the World began. Heading in an easterly direction out of Moscow, our teams crossed the border between Russia and Kazakhstan and continued onwards to the country’s new capital of Astana. A journey of over 1,400 miles.

Astana was nothing more than a medium sized, provincial city in Kazakhstan until 1994. All of that changed when out of the blue President Nazarbaev announced it was to be Kazakhstan’s future capital city. It formally took over from the old capital (Almaty) in 1997 and has risen fast from the northern steppe. Why the sudden change? Nazarbaev cited reasons such as Astana’s geographical location – occupying a more central position made it less prone to earthquakes than Almaty. Astana also had better transport links to Russia, however some have suggested it had more to do with heading off secessionist sentiments among norther Kazakhstan’s large ethnic Russian population.

Whatever the reason, Astana has become a showpiece for 21st Century Kazakhstan.

With an eclectic architectural blend of Asian, Western and Soviet landmark buildings sitting proudly amongst wacky futuristic styles, it’s hard not to be impressed by the very concept of the city. The Khan Shatyr is probably the most extraordinary building, designed by celebrated British architect Norman Foster. It is a 150m-high, translucent, tent-like structure made of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, a heat-absorbing material that produces summer temperatures inside even when it’s -30°C outside!

As the city continues to grow its skyline is quickly catching up with other futuristic cities, in fact some have already dubbed Astana ‘The Dubai of the steppe’ – not bad for city once known only for its bitter winters.

In a country where many still live in poverty, it’s easy to question the spending of billions on prestige new architecture, but the ambitious and talented are becoming increasing drawn here, bringing investment and business to the country’s growing economy and the people of Kazakhstan are clearly very proud of their new capital.

6 hours ahead of the UK, Astana is well connected to the rest of Kazakhstan and the rest of the world. Astana International Airport is 14km south of the city centre. The train and bus stations are side by side, 3km north of the city. Taxis are very cheap in comparison to fares you would expect to pay in other global capital cities and are readily available at the airports and all parts of the city.

If you are visiting on business be sure to find some free time to discover the Bayterek Monument, The Palace of Peace & Accord, the Palace of Independence and of course the Khan Shatyr.

For advice on how to get to Astana, along with visa assistance and travel advice, call Traveleads today, our travel experts will be delighted to take care of all your business travel arrangements.

Join us next week to find out which incredible destination we have reached and don’t forget to sponsor or donate to our Walk Around the World charity fund. We’ve made it as easy as can be, simply text TRAV56 then £2.00 to 70070 to donate to our Air Ambulance Charity or TRAV62 then £2.00 to 70070 to donate to our Children’s Charity

£2.00 is our suggested donation but please feel free to donate whatever you can.

Charity details, along with the option to donate via our Just Giving page can be found here: Thank you for joining us on our journey…See you next week.

For your chance to win a case of wine from one of the Vineyards we will pass on our travels, just answer the following question: What number do you need to send text donations to? Send your answers to:

Distances travelled are measured in a straight line from point to point and make up our virtual journey destinations, actual miles may vary. Total miles travelled since our journey started 3,331

Destinations calculated courtesy of

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