MOSCOW - Russia's first President Boris Yeltsin headed Wednesday to the mountains of Kyrgyzstan for a lakeside vacation complete with stewed trout, boat outings and horse races.
Yeltsin and his wife Naina plan to spend about 10 days at a resort on Lake Issyk-Kul, Yeltsin aide Vladimir Shevchenko was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying. The sparkling lake in Central Asia near China's western border was a premier vacation destination for Communist elites when Kyrgyzstan was part of the Soviet Union.
Chefs at the resort in the town of Cholpon-Ata are preparing a special menu for Yeltsin of Kyrgyz and European dishes including stewed trout with honey, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.
The 71-year-old ex-president is expected to make several boat trips around the lake, located 1,610 meters (5,300 feet) above sea level, and watch horse races at the town's hippodrome.
Yeltsin, who underwent quintuple heart bypass surgery as president and was debilitated by illness for long periods during his eight-year tenure, dropped from public view after unexpectedly quitting the Kremlin Dec. 31, 1999, and handing power to his prime minister, Vladimir Putin.
While Yeltsin's health woes limited his travel schedule while he was president, he has taken several vacations since leaving office.
Associated Press, July 17, 2002