The most amazing stillness I have experienced was in the Alatau mountains near Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan.
It was a fine warm day in August, and ice-cream and mineral water were available aplenty from the street vendors in Almaty.
We drove up the mountains in a car, to the first cable car stop; some light cardigans and cotton socks stocked in the boot in case it gets cooler at higher altitudes.
At that level there is a magnificent skating rink Medeu, the highest skating rink in the world at the altitude of 1691m.
There are three stretches of cable road overall leading up to the top and at the first interchange point thick padded jackets were offered for hire for a small fee. They are a must if you plan going higher in the mountains, even in summer.
We stopped for a break at the second interchange. We also needed to decide whether to go any higher. And so our little party of four held a mini-conference at the table at the high altitude café, holding plastic cups of tea, wrapped in our padded jackets, the landscape around us disappearing in thick milky fog.
Curiosity has won and we hopped onto the seats of the third stretch of the cable road, which took us to the Shimbulak ski resort.
While the ski lift was making its steady progress in the thick fog the most comforting and deep silence wrapped us gently and brought the sense of eternity with it. I would go back just to experience that stillness again.
We were met by the magnificent, breathtaking views at the top. Fields covered with carpets of wild flowers, yaks grazing on the grass, and the backdrop of majestic snow covered mountain picks and ridges.
The scale of distances and sizes is deceptive in the mountains. What appears like a pile of pebbles with some snow patches around from a distance proves to be a mountain of cobbles the size of a beer barrel or bigger each. And the patches of snow are in reality the size of a massive glacier.
After a while the weather changed for the worst and temperature started dropping very quickly, with the wind picking up, so our departure was hurried.
We were pleased to find ourselves back in the summer, with the ice-cream and mineral water still available aplenty in the streets of Almaty.