Blogs from Far East, Russia, Europe - page 9

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Europe » Russia » Far East » Komsomolsk-Na-Amure May 11th 2010

Komsomolsk, a Russian city of 250,000 on the same longitude as Japan but much further North, so unknown I had to put in a special request to TravelBlog to get it added to its list of locations. "Look at it - God forgot this place," Misha told me as we trudged shivering through the gentle mid-May snow towards the bus station, me in a pair of yellow plastic sandals: my boots were still wet from falling into a patch of semi-melted ice on Lake Baikal, three days and half the world away. "What do you mean?" I asked, falsely. "You know what I mean," he replied. Of course I knew. No one was meant to live here other than the indigenous nomads who had adapted to the extreme climate over milenia and who had been consumed ... read more
A cathedral in Khabarovsk
A building in Khabarovsk city centre
Solnichny, a town 40km from Komsomolsk-na-Amure

Europe » Russia » Far East May 8th 2010

The train chugged its way east through the most spectacular scenery I have seen anywhere in Russia. Endless taiga forests, gargantuan snow-streaked mountains, valleys whose rivers had only just begun to melt, their banks strewn with vast chunks of ice, some as big as houses. We were moving through a land of stark, raw nature, a wilderness of gigantic proportions that had only had a few small vestiges of civilisation brought to it in the 1970s and 80s with the construction of the BAM railway on which I now traveled. These vestiges presented themselves every hour or so in the form of small villages and towns. The villages were usually made up of wooden shacks and the towns - if they could really be called that, for I doubted any of them had populations of more ... read more
Taksimo
Sign in Novy Urgal saying "Moscow 7696km"!!
One of the less dilapidated apartment blocks in Novy Urgal

Europe » Russia » Far East » Sakhalin January 26th 2010

The last couple of days have been quite chilled out. There seems to be a little bit of sickness going round, but I managed to get by relatively unscathed. I only had a sore throat for a day and a bit of a sniffly nose. I am currently sitting on my bed with Jake and Grim. Jake is actually cuddling Grim telling him how much he loves him, Grim is our dog here, who is actually a pretty cool dog despite regular dog annoyances like loudly licking himself, whilst we're trying to sleep. Today we went to the spring to get some water, 170L of water in fact, which should last about 2 weeks. The spring is nothing glamorous, just a couple of pipes near the bottom of a snow covered hill that trickle out water. ... read more
On the way to city mall
Apartments in Yuzhno
Blue

Europe » Russia » Far East » Sakhalin January 18th 2010

Dear People that read this, (I know for a fact that Mickey Gee, you said you would!) So since my last report I have had Christmas in Wortel, Belgium with the very rad and lovely Van Bavel family. Following that I went departed for Germany, stopping first at Köln, Where we checked out the Cathedral and The Chocolate museum (which I wasn't so keen on but, it turned out to be pretty alright). I'm currently travelling with a duffel bag that I sling over my shoulder, that probably wasn't the best idea and it really sucks dragging it around everywhere, I should probably have brought some sort of backpack or back with wheels or pretty much anything that doesn't put all the pressure on one shoulder. Our next stop along the way was Nuremberg, which I ... read more
Antwerpen Underground
Wortel Christmas
Nuremberg

Europe » Russia » Far East » Yakutsk January 8th 2010

2010 sera l'année de la Russie en France et de la France en Russie. beaucoup de manifestations se dérouleront dans les deux pays. Cet événement a comme objectif : -Favoriser et enrichir la connaissance des deux pays -Encourager dans tous les domaines d'intérêt commun les échanges tels que les échanges scolaires par le biais de notre projet "fresque sur le thème du réchauffement climatique" Cette fresque est déjà commencée en Yakoutie par les élèves de l'école Sakha Française de Khamagatta et de l'école Canadienne de Yakoutsk. Les premiers dessins ont été exposés en avril dernier à yakoutsk. Depuis la rentrée scolaire de septembre 2009, les élèves du collège Gabriel Goussault de Vibraye (72) et de l'ile de la Réunion ont commencé à réfléchir sur ce thème, des écoles des villes de Chinon, de Blois,(pays de la ... read more
Fresque

Europe » Russia » Far East » Vladivostok August 31st 2009

Yes, Yes, Yes, We did it !!! 9289km by train !!! Finally arrived in Vladivostok ;-) For the second part of the Trans-Siberian, we shared the room with a ... military guy !!! Funny, in Russia, we've met almost only people working in the Marines... It's like in this country, if you can't become a gangster... euh meaning an Oligark, you're future is in the Army !!! With this guy, Vova, we experienced the same type of relationship as we already did here: you need 2 days to start having a friendly relationship even if we didn't share the same language... After this period, we start having fun, share drinks and food !!! He was a Bouriat (Mongol ethnic group living in the south of Russia, practicing boudhism and Chamanism). For this reason, we were thinking ... read more
siberien landscape
siberian village
vladivostok sea view

Europe » Russia » Far East » Vladivostok May 23rd 2009

Por fin llegamos a Irkutsk, tras pasar una noche horrible rodeados de un grupo de borrachos que no paran de beber y charlar en toda la noche. Con los ojos aun legañosos, salimos de la estacion y a los 5 minutos aparece Luiza, nuestra anfitriona en la ciudad. Los padres de Luiza son uzbekos que emigraron a Rusia antes de la desintegración de la Unión soviética, y tanto ella como su hermano Timur, nacieron en Rusia. Llegamos al bloque de apartamentos donde viven, nos sorprende lo nuevos e inmaculados que son, acostumbrados al tipico bloque sovietico. La escalera esta repleta de plantas, Luiza nos explica que su madre junto a una vecina son las encargadas de convertir la escalera en este simil de jardin botanico :)) y mas tarde su madre me asegura orgullosa que su ... read more
Irkutsk
Irkutsk
Listvianka mercado

Europe » Russia » Far East November 27th 2008

On the Trans-Siberian Express you kill time - in more ways than one. This is a journey where time slows to a halt - drained from the environment and stripped of any linear dimension. For once we are in control of time, yet also free to decide what it means. Modern life, with its neurotic assumptions about schedules and arrivals - falls away, leaving a protected environment and the freedom, for six days, to choose how to structure time. In a sense it's a return to a lost childhood: drowsy afternoons lying reading on a bunk, waiting for the call to supper, fiddling with transistor radios and day dreaming out of windows. Metaphysical considerations notwithstanding, the first part of the journey is practical: where is the station? This is not as simple as it sounds, since ... read more
Chinese Train number 4
Platform kiosk
Local architecture

Europe » Russia » Far East September 29th 2008

At 5am stopped at Ulan Ude - and our empty cabin is now occupied with two new mates. Petr - a Russian guide for Intrepid - and Alfonzo from Mexico. Tim thinks that it is only 1.30am - so gets off the train ti buy beer and vodka - not realising that it is really 6.30am (local time) and that his early morning drinking scared our new cabin mates. 120km until we get to the Mongolian Border. Arrived at the border town between Russia and Mongolia. Tully is the arse end of the earth. For 3 hours we were able to explore this place - which was mostly some very polluted and rubbish filled farm land, a shitty bridge and lots and lots of gnatty flies (which Tim ate 5 of and breathed in 2 of). ... read more
Day 17: Ulan Ude
Day 17: Ulan Ude
Day 17: Ulan Ude

Europe » Russia » Far East » Vladivostok September 8th 2008

Joseph Conrad said "I take it that what all men are really after is some form or perhaps only some formula of peace" This is obtained by simply holding the latest in beer bottle technology - finger grips on the bottle! And then turn it over and there is another feature - indented in the bottom is a beer bottle opener! Ussuriysk may be Russia, but there are not many Ladas, mostly Japanese cars with the steering wheel on the wrong side. Out in the bush, the GAZ 66 and the UAZ 469 still rule. Another surprise - the food is great, the accomodations in the refurbished Soviet era hotel are comfortable (they still have watchful ladies on each floor), and I had my first $10.00 beer here (in Ussuriysk) Yes, they still have the official ... read more
Round Bales and Wishing Well.
Going to work
Going to Work in our GAZ 66




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