The wildflower meadows of Kyrgyzstan are an overlooked glory of Central Asia. At least to outsiders.
In fact, the most democratic of the former Soviet “Stans” celebrates its floral wealth with much the same nationalist pride that less enlightened countries reserve, say, for flippantly sacrificing such natural wonders. According to one botanical website, of the 80 varieties of tulips in the world, 22 can be found in Kyrgyzstan. “Holland is commonly known as the Tulip state,” the site notes testily, “but the original Tulip state is in fact Kyrgyzstan.”
I am walking across the world. I once studied biology.