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Published: August 23rd 2010
14th August 2010
The train got into Krasnoyarsk at 11.30am. We jumped on a public bus which brought us into town. We popped into a posh hotel and used their WIFI to find a hostel for the night. Unfortunately there are no hostels in Krasnoyarsk (I don’t think it’s on the tourist trail yet) so we ended up renting a ‘luxury’ apartment for $60 a night. The office to pick up the keys was only round the corner from where we were and the apartment was in the centre of town. The entrances to Russian apartments are appalling, akin to Ballymun flats. The stairs and landings stink- this one smelt like cat pee and all the doors look like fort knocks, but once you are inside, they are basic, functional and clean. We had a bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom overlooking a main street in the city centre complete with washing machine and an enclosed balcony for drying clothes-so on went the wash. The apartment was also right beside the river so we took a stroll where semi permanent beer tents and restaurants were set up for the Summer months, and people were fishing off the docks and
boats were moored. It was a very pleasant way to spend the day.
There was a playground downstairs and lots of kids Sid’s age turned up and so he had great fun playing with them while they practiced all their English words (English is compulsory in school although most Russians don’t get to practice outside of school). A lady watching beside us translated that the kids were saying things like “I wish I had spent more time listening in English class and I’m going to pay more attention next time”.
Unfortunately, like in many other towns, the hot water pipes are centralised and are often shut down for weeks on end during the Summer for cleaning / maintenance so there was no hot shower or water in our apartment. There were some big pots in the kitchen and a kettle, so I boiled up water and made a hot bath. Sid was in his element as he could see the TV from the bath- mind you, the only thing worth watching in Russian was the European Diving Championships.
15th August 2010
The Waiting Game
Noooooooo, woke up to torrential rain again- you’d think we were in Siberia
or something, oh, we are! We played the waiting game for a while; had breakfast, watched a DVD, read books, played Monopoly, wrote our journals, had lunch….. still raining at 5pm, so we bit the bullet, put on our rain jackets and went out . The weather eased off after a while and we went back to the playground downstairs but none of the other kids turned up. A real ‘non’ day in Krasnoyarsk!
16th August 2010
After baths all round we dropped off the keys to the apartment at 10am, went to the supermarket and bought snacks for the train and boarded at 12.30pm for an overnight train to Yekaterinburg. Again, a nice modern train and a cabin to ourselves!
17th August 2010
On the train again
This is the longest stretch for us on a train, arriving at 11pm tonight with a total of 30 hours altogether. Luckily our carriage was full of Russian families travelling and kids were very sociable playing together in various cabins. We had 3 Russian kids in with Sid watching Scooby Do and a 9 year old boy gave Sid a skull bouncy ball and they coloured
Sid makes a potion in the apartment
.... did I mention it was a 'luxury' apartment?
dinosaurs together, as well as the odd game of ‘chase the girls’ along the corridors until someone gave out! We were arriving late at night but there was no chance of putting Sid down for a kip before we arrived with all the excitement, so he soldiered on till we got off the train. Constantine, our guide was there to pick us up and he drove us a hour out of town to stay in his ‘Dacha’- wooden Summer home.
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