Atyrau is an interesting and slowly changing city. The main roads in the city are lined with gleaming glass fronted modern office buildings, interspersed with Soviet style apartment blocks. The back streets are lined with a mishmash of old wooden and corrugated homes (often painted blue) all rubbing shoulders in a city of contrasts. Only just over 20 years ago the country obtained independence and these things take time, generational time in fact. In the meantime the eclectic mix of the old and new makes for interesting viewing.