Last year Astana did not create its usual annual ice city, I heard the rumor that the reason was a previously warm and melty winter that destroyed a lot of the work before people could even enjoy it. Last year was a perfectly normal winter, wherein it dropped below zero some time in November and stayed cold into April.
This year, however, the city did decide to make an ice city, which sort of sucks because it has been a ridiculously warm winter, continually rising above freezing. Last weekend the temps got as low a the December norm of -20C so we went to check it out.
People kept jumping into the ice throne so we told the kids we could take photos around the bear - his legs were benchlike.
The ice castle was pretty awesome, even though it was just for show and there was no way to actually climb in or around it.