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Published: September 1st 2010
Not a long time has passed since my trip to Altai. Now, three weeks after we returned to our homes and lived up to the end of summer, having nice conversations in the evenings with Dasha (appears under the alias of D. in the Altai story) and dreaming of our return to the mountains, we have had our fun in Chelyabinsk. Ludochka (the second girl) was also there, so there were three of us.
Chelyabinsk is not as old as other cities like Kazan or Nizhny Novgorod for examples. It’s sort of a diary, so I write about every little trip for me to remember; moreover, I might have said earlier that Samara was the beginning (better say, continuation) of my Russian cities tour; so Chelyabinsk is next. You had the opportunity to see Yekaterinburg in an earlier entry and now Chelyabinsk - located also near the Urals, so one can see what they have in common. This Russian City Tour includes Krasnoyarsk, Kursk, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod (an entry will appear perhaps about that city in addition to the existing one), and Sochi; perhaps I will write a small note about Moscow, but it’s unlikely, and I still
might write memoirs about my long stay in St. Petersburg. Other cities will be appearing with the course of time. They may not be interested for a sophisticated traveler, but I am interested in my country and I am going to attract at least some attention to our largest cities.
For me, it is rather difficult to communicate in a group of people, especially if they are girls… I am not very talkative. When two people are making fun of you it is of course not that bad, but sometimes a person can get self-absorbed, and feel him- or herself unnecessary. One needs to be a communicable guy to attract the attention of two girls. A less communicable guy will encounter some trouble. When the girls talked, I often felt an outsider. That’s why I prefer private conversations. When people are making too many jokes one could only wonder what’s a joke and what’s not a joke… I am missing Dasha particularly already. How it All Began
Soon after our return from Altai Dasha invited me to come to Chelyabinsk and be her guest; I didn’t hesitate a moment. We talked much via the internet,
and now it would be again live conversation. I bought train tickets at once; Chelyabinsk is very close to my region. We’ve tackled the topic of meeting in Chelyabinsk during the mountain trip (oh, look, that might be called trekking, I’m sure!)
I looked forward to the meeting, and it proved to be amazing. What about Us
As I mentioned earlier, there were three of us: Dasha, Ludochka and myself. Two pleasant, attractive, lively, lovely, talkative, emotional, optimistic and interesting girls and a tall man with a rare smile on his face... Dasha is from Chelyabinsk, and we stayed at her flat. It is a very cozy flat. Ludochka is from Ufa; we came on different trains. She decided to come only at the very last moment. Me and Dasha walked for 2 hours and fed some birds with crumbs of a small loaf and then we met Ludochka and the train station. Don’t you find feeding birds romantic?... I begin to love trains passionately because my latest journeys on trains were so quick, only several hours; no time to get bored or depressed, and the future trip to Tiesto’s concert in Nizhny Novgorod will also be
Dasha works as a computer designer and also has a pedagogic occupation. Ludochka is involved in biology and landscaping. I am a freelance translator… Lazy sometimes, you know. Sometimes, very hard-working. Dasha’s parents were at the summer house for the whole two days; we saw them only in the evening before departure. Dasha made us a very tasty cake with condensed milk and also hot chocolate, so sweet it was! See the Sights
I came to the train station early in the morning and was very happy to see Dasha. How particularly strong now is that feeling of having a part of my soul staying somewhere far in the Altai Mountains, and another part - somewhere in Chelyabinsk! There is no need to render our conversations here; we spoke about jobs, life in general, the city etc…
Speaking of Chelyabinsk sights, it is possible to say that they can be seen on a one long walk during one day. Dasha showed us the major attractions of the city and I must say that she is a wonderful guide. I will not describe our route, since I don’t quite remember street names,
but there will be photos. At first, weather was not looking too nice, but then after a short rain it all became warm and fine. We went to a cafe and drank tea (myself) and cocktails (the girls). We saw two beautiful churches and then came to the bridge and crossed the Miass River to see the Opera and Ballet Theater and then came to Dasha’s favourite monument dedicated to the “Valiant Sons of the Motherland”, where we sat and had a rest. Our talks touched various topics; now I realize fully how important it is to make notes right after the trip and, still better, during the trip, in order not to forget anything. We took pictures rather often in that area of the city.
I may violate the chronological order, but I remember how we went to a clothes shop and the girls tried some items on, but bought nothing. As for me, I love spending money. Dasha does not love shopping so much; neither do I when I don’t have any money or don’t intend to buy anything. We agreed to dress me in new clothes some day. I want to put a smile here,
but I won’t; the girls will read this and smile also… I almost never visit any shops during trips, except for food or may be a map or something like a camera bag when I was in Warsaw. This is because my journeys are generally very short, perhaps.
The clothes shop was followed by a short visit to McDonalds; I’ve been only several times to this world-famous establishment. The girls had a snack; I didn’t - I was lazy enough not to stand in the queue. There is an attractive construction near McDonalds - called “The Sphere of Love”; I find it definitely a nice work of modern art. I am no art expert, though. Chelyabinsk is only about 250 years old; one will not find too many old buildings here.
Kirovka is a street for pedestrians only. It’s most notable for the many statues of various characters made in metal or other materials (a beggar, a painter, several carriages, a jazz musician etc). We walked for a long time there and took many photos of each other. The street was full with people of all ages (it was evening). I love streets of that kind.
The girls again went to a clothes shop for a while; I stayed outside.
In the evening Dasha suggested making a cake with condensed milk and hot chocolate. We also watched a film called Jeux d'enfants. It is a film about love. We all liked it, though its end was a bit puzzling. That night we stayed until 3-4 o’clock, talked, ate, watched some photos, and remembered our stay in Altai. Dasha’s favourite film is Giorgino, but we didn’t watch it, may be next time. Cinema, Walking, Picnic
Day two was not devoted to the sights. First of all we went to a cinema to watch the cartoon “Sammys Avonturen 3D” about adventures of a little turtle; it was the first time I ever watched a film in 3D; that’s really splendid! I liked the cartoon. After the cinema we went for a short walk, and then there was a little rain and the girls went twice to shops; Ludochka bought a small magnet for herself; then we decided to have a walk in the park. Look how quick everything is in my short retelling... We sat in the park for a while and
not working now
talked and then everybody agreed to go to a cafe and have a bite. I and Ludochka ate some pizza; Dasha didn’t. She says nothing can be compared to the genuine Italian pizza.
Our last stop that day was the Aloye Pole (Scarlet Field) Park where we saw the Orlenok Monument and a beautiful red Organ Hall and had a small picnic with pizza, salad, oranges, tomatoes, and cucumbers. It is often forbidden to have picnics on the grass in a park, but there were no forbidding signs so we didn’t care much. We sat for more than an hour and talked again on various topics - even about love.
We got home an hour or so before leaving for the train station. We met Dasha’s parents and then Dasha saw the two of us off at the train station. My train was about an hour before Ludochka’s. Transportation
The city is large (more than 1 mln dwellers); there is no metro, but I think it would make transportation easier - we took small buses (marshrutkas) almost always, and I confess I hate the marshrutkas because of the small space and lack
of fresh air, though they are quick. Generally, roads are wide there and the city authorities intend to widen the major streets - we saw many areas of street which were being widened. Also, in the evening of the second day, when the three of us were going to the train station, several marshrutkas refused to take us to the train station (because it was already evening, 10 PM), but a normal bus was all right.
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