Anyone who knows Astana geography knows there is no beach for a good 3 hours' drive. And I certainly did not drive 3 hours each way today to get to a beach. I took a gigantic shortcut.
Khan Shatyr looks like a half-falling down tent, created by famed architect Norman Foster. It is, in fact, a shopping mall. As a counterpoint to Dubai's indoor skiing, Astana boasts a beach on the top floor. We had been meaning to check it out for almost the entire 23 months we have lived here and for one reason or another never made it. Today, we rectified that.
The sand for the beach was imported from the Maldives. The SkyBeach has two pool areas, one is a gently sloping beach-like wave pool, with two waterslides next to it (the slides drop off into a tiny pool that patrons are expected to quickly depart after splashing in). The other pool has a lengthy sandy "shore" about 5 inches below water, but that is essentially a shelf and you abruptly enter the pool from there at full depth. This section of beach is also studded with a rainbow of rocks and pebbles.
The kids had the best time ever. We stayed way longer than I thought we would. They were so worn out tonight there was no talk of stretching bedtime just a little bit longer.