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Europe » Russia » Siberia » Krasnoyarsk July 27th 2018

We arrived in Krasnoyarsk about 10am on Friday. We were met and immediately taken off for a city tour. Unfortunately the weather had turned and it was misty, grey and threatening rain. We drove into the city centre and the main square, where predictably there was a theatre .There were some intersting "dancing" fountains which were amusing a lone small child in the centre of the square. To the left we were told to look at the clock tower. This was described as Krasnoyarsk's Big Ben. On the side of the square was another fountain which would hve been very pretty, but it was undegoing repair and restoration. This depicted the local rivers as maidens and the god of the river in the front accepting his guardianship. At the bottom was also a statue to Anton ... read more
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Europe » Russia » Siberia » Novosibirsk July 26th 2018

k and Krasnoyarsk We spent the day on the train, travelling between Ekaterinburg and Novosibirsk. We stopped for about half an hour at Omsk and were able to walk along the platform and stretch our legs. We had lunch on the train. Fletcher continued to work on his computer while I read and chatted to Elizabeth whose cabin is next to ours. At 4pm we went down to the restaurant car and Olga gave us a lesson in the Russian Language. Having been here three times before I can decipher most of the Cyrillic but some letters still give me problems. So this was fun, looking at the alphabet which has 32 letters and learning simple phrases such as “See you tomorrow”, “Where do you live?” and the numbers from 1-20. We had to write our ... read more
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Europe » Russia » Siberia July 23rd 2018

On Saturday morning we were up early and down to breakfast at 7am.We surprised the staff who weren’t quite ready for us. We checked out and left the hotel about 7-45am and followed signs to Heathrow and eventually to the Rental Car return place. We dropped off the car at Avis and then took the shuttle to Terminal 4 at Heathrow. We were early so had a coffee while we waited for the check in to open and then dropped our bags and headed for security and Passport control. All of this moved pretty swiftly so we had a couple of hours to wait for our flight. We connected to the WiFi and caught up on emails etc, Our Aeroflot flight was due to leave at 11-50am and we boarded early . It was packed with ... read more
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Europe » Russia » Siberia » Lake Baikal June 21st 2018

Ja, das habe ich mir sibirischer vorgestellt oder zumindest irgendwie anders… Aber als ich in Novosibirsk ankam, waren es morgens schon 28 Grad plus und es wurde noch wärmer. Mindestens einmal im Leben wollte ich gern in Novosibirsk sein, einer modernen Metropole mitten in Sibirien mit einem großen Opernhaus. Man ist hier sehr stolz in Sibirien zu leben. Viele junge Leute tragen „Iˋm Sibirian“ Shirts und überall in der Stadt wird für sibirisches Essen, sibirische Mode oder sibirische Künstler geworben. Ich hatte den Eindruck, dann man sich ganz bewußt etwas von Moskau distanziert – was die können, können wir auch – sich aber trotzdem sehr russisch fühlt. Und so feiert man jetzt hier am 24.6. auch ganz stolz den 125. Stadtgeburtstag und überhaupt keine Fussball-WM (die gibt es nur im Fernsehen und irgendwo weit weg in ... read more
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Europe » Russia » Siberia » Lake Baikal April 14th 2018

You have heard stories of people flying or traveling to the wrong Paris, Texas instead of France. Or Oakland, CA instead of Auckland, NZ. How about Grenada in the Caribbean instead of Granada, Spain? Worse yet, Birmingham, AL instead of Birmingham, England? Another similar name is Dhaka, Bangladesh instead of Dakar, Senegal. Or Ghana instead of Guyana? Or two places I have been, San Jose, CA or San Jose, Costa Rica? Las Vegas, New Mexico instead of Las Vegas, NV? Or even my new hometown of Clovis, CA versus Clovis, NM? My monumental mistake occurred in 2014 while on the Trans Siberian Railway. I stopped in Ekaterinburg, the fateful home of the last Tsar, Nicholas II and his family. After a pleasant two night stay, I taxied to the train station to continue my journey to ... read more
unexpected
My new Russian friends
Lake Baikal fish

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Irkutsk September 17th 2017

On the platform at Irkutsk we were met by Helen, our tour guide for the next two days. Although all of our group were in the same carriage, number 9, Helen seemed to think she had one more guest who had been travelling in carriage number 7. We all stood around whilst she went to investigate. Several minutes later she reemerged with a new addition to our party, Tobias from Germany. A twenty-something who had been travelling as a solo passenger starting his trip in Moscow. Until now, for reasons best known to ‘Go Russia’, he had been escorted around Moscow and Yekaterinburg as part of a German group (quite understandable). However, now he is alone so I guess the other Germans had taken a different route. Tobias spoke English fluently so immediately was ... read more
Boats moored on Lake Baikal
Autumn leaves in Eastern Siberia
Autumn in Listvyanka

Europe » Russia » Siberia September 15th 2017

Our next 56 hours were spent living in a small 3 x 4 cell being let out several times to ‘stretch our legs’. Some shared their ‘cell’ with three others. Roisin and I were two of the lucky ones. No, we hadn’t been arrested by the Russian Secret Police for my commentary about ‘Boris’ in my last blog. Although I refer to them as cells, Russian Rail prefers that I call them kupé compartments. There are no bars on the carriage windows but they were sealed shut and with no air conditioning, our ‘cabin’ became very stuffy. Despite this we both got a reasonable night’s rest albeit disturbed by the constant acceleration and deceleration plus what can only be described as ‘changing gears’. Not too sure if trains have gears but every so often the train ... read more
Chris enjoying a mug shot (spicy tomato and noodles!)
For the so called samovar read water boiler!
Roisin passing the time with fellow travellers

Europe » Russia » Siberia September 10th 2017

It’s amazing how many people we know or have met who have experienced the diverse adventure of the Trans-Siberian railway. From a friend I met through following Liverpool and England’s (lack of) fortune who started the long trek by train from the UK to Moscow via Belarus to friends we met whilst at sea (although we only found out quite recently) who journeyed back in the day when the Russian words perisroika and glasnosthad yet to make it in to the Oxford English dictionary!! This trip has always been near the top of our bucket list (along with being zoo keepers for the day!!) However, it was our good friends Donny and Marie who convinced us to step up to the plate. They provided the name of the company and in doing ... read more

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Irkutsk June 7th 2017

R: To recap; we were in Irkutsk for a single day. It was raining. We were on a tram into the centre of town. It was pretty drab. Most of the roads appeared partially destroyed, and if not, flooded. Richard and I looked at each other, both wanting to maintain a positivity while each wondering what we would do to spend the day here. We made a bee-line for the bus terminal where Marshrutkas collect. We had decided we wanted to see Lake Baikal - the largest and deepest freshwater lake in the world, and is the rift lake where Russia will one day divide. We got to the bus station about 5 minutes before the departure of the next Marshrutka and we quickly found tickets then made it out to the mass of similar looking ... read more
Time for Blinis
Omul Kebab
Irkutsk Wanderings

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Krasnoyarsk June 6th 2017

R: So by now it was Tuesday and we had one more day across Siberia before our first stop in Irkutsk. We had a lie in in the morning, mainly because the cabin was now so hot that it was difficult to move! The scenery had changed by now and there were more scattered villages, small holdings and animals roaming around. It certainly felt more rural. Between us, we had tonnes of information about the route. Richard had brought the Trans-Siberian Handbook, which has incredibly detailed information about the things you would pass. There are little white markers along the track that show your distance from Moscow which help you work out what you are passing. (We were now 4098 km from Moscow). This was quite entertaining, especially when there was nothing else to look at, ... read more
Siberian countryside
Buffet Car feast
Carpets of Orange wild flowers




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