Our guide has been on about some “special” event and this is it, a 2 hour trip on the lake which to be fair is a bit special as now I can legitimately say I have sailed on the two highest navigable lakes in the world.
Now apart from that the vodka and snacks served did help as it was quite cold for some and we had great fun throwing scraps to the seagulls (how the hell did they get this far inland ??).
Lake Issyk Kul was a stopover on the Silk Road which is why it is on the itinerary, it was a land route for travelers from the Far East to Europe.
Many historians believe that the lake was the point of origin for the Black Death that plagued Europe and Asia during the early and mid-14th century. The lake’s status as a byway for travelers allowed the plague to spread across these continents via medieval merchants who unknowingly carried infested vermin along with them. There was a shepherd in the surrounding hills who died of the Plague only about 6 weeks before we got there (the government sent in a team to eradicate what ever was the cause straight away)
There is a huge Sanatorium and I do mean huge it looks the size of a hospital but of course it is empty and not quite finished nobody seems to know when (or if) it ever will be, sometimes these good ideas dont quite work out.