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Published: October 20th 2012
We were met on the platform by a non English speaking taxi driver who took us to the tall grey Communist style square building that was our hotel.It was another warm day,mid seventies-no complaints.The hotel was situated at the point where the two rivers,the Irytysh and the Om meet,and it had a very seaside feel about this small area of the city as there was a large sandy beach complete with lifeguard,a couple of changing huts,showers and ice cream sellers.
We checked into the hotel and I opened my birthday presents and cards.I had taken a few cards with me and Steph had bought me a lovely blue necklace in Listvyanka.She had also been carrying a few pressies around with her-a Sydney Bridge climb hat ( I bought one in 2007 but managed to lose it ),a sailors hat clip to stop me losing the new hat and a big bag of Minstrels.We sorted ourselves out and then went out for a wander.Omsk is a very small city and we were glad of this as the heat intesified as the day wore on.There are a few statues along the street so we set out to find these and along the
way passed the now familiar shops Benettton,Adidas and Nike.It was so hot we had an ice cream and then popped into Cafe Berlin for some refreshing homemade Mors*.
*Mors is a traditional non alcoholic drink made from sweetened red berry fruit juice diluted with water. Cranberry seemed to be the most popular flavour and it was delicious.
We found a small Lenin statue and the gardens which have the war memorial in.We also visited the Assumption Cathedral and supermarket.We went back to the hotel and there was a note under the room door,it said "Your surprise in the fridge". Reception had spotted it was my birthday from my passport when they registered me and left a card plus 2 cakes in the fridge.
We had steak for dinner in the Journalist restaurant which is covered in momentos from the newspaper industry.The steak wasn't quite up to Argentinian standards but it was a very nice birthday meal.As we were being transfered after breakfast the next day to the train station we had a relatively early night but a fireworks display put paid to that.We were on a high floor so had a brilliant view.
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