Blogs from Kazan, Volga, Russia, Europe - page 3


Europe » Russia » Volga » Kazan April 16th 2006

A mix-up this morning meant that the girls thought I was sleeping at 10.30, and left the hotel without me while I was having a shower to get ready to go somewhere with them. I had to settle for a walk around the kremlin in the rain on my own; the perfect weather had changed but it was warm never-the-less. Overnight my phone balance went from 9 y.e to minus 9 y.e so I had to call in at a phone shop to sort the problem out. The rest of the day was sports' day. AK-BARS beat Omsk again to win the Russian championship - the people in the sports bar were more excited at the end of the game this time, but still not as wild as Ella. We walked home across ulitsa Baumana, to ... read more
Kazan patterns and architecture.
Kazan patterns and architecture.
Kazan patterns and architecture.

Europe » Russia » Volga » Kazan April 15th 2006

To serve me right I woke up exhausted today. I remembered that I'm here to relax and not just to sight-see, so I made today as quiet as possible. There was a little boy of about five in reception as I left this morning, I think the son of the woman who works there. When I walked past him he called to me "Hello!". I said a cheerful "Hello!" to him back, then he continued in Russian: "you're English, aren't you?" I said yes, and his eyes lit up and he started to giggle. I rested my elbows on the desk and settled in for a chat. When he asked me what I was doing I said I was here for a break and that I study in Tver... um... a town near Moscow. What do ... read more
Variations on a theme: the Kazan kremlin, and the clocktower at the entrance.
Kazan at night.
Variations on a theme: the Kazan kremlin, and the clocktower at the entrance.

Europe » Russia » Volga » Kazan April 14th 2006

The sky was blue today also, with a few more grey clouds, and it was as warm as yesterday. I even spent the morning without my coat on. We strolled around town for a couple of hours to find some more places. Kazan isn't just beautiful due to the architecture, the people are beautiful too. The boys dress from the MTV Moskva guide-book in expensive jackets and ripped jeans; for the girls ulitsa Baumana is a catwalk, to show off their new hairstyles and spring collection miniskirts. the Tatar girls dress a bit more modestly, but are just as stunning. The town speaks both Russian and Tatar. About every third person is of Mongol descent, with higher cheekbones and ever-so slightly darker, oriental skin. It is impossible to judge what language a person speaks from how ... read more
A Cathedral, ulitsa Karla Marksa.
The steps up to the kremlin, and the museum of Tatar culture.
A street that leads to the river.

Europe » Russia » Volga » Kazan April 13th 2006

We arrived at Hotel Fatima at about 10 in the morning. We all had a much needed shower, teeth clean and change of clothes, then left our comfortable rooms to stroll around the Kazan kremlin which is only two minutes walk away. It is the only fortress in the Russian Federation with both an orthodox cathedral and a mosque within its walls. My good friend Chris W, who I shared so many good times with in Yaroslavl, lives and studies here now. Unfortunately being a holiday he also made plans to go away and is in Moscow with his parents, so I couldn't see him. The sky was clear blue today and at the highest point of the city the breeze was fresh. It was a beautiful spring day, 16 degrees. A cobbled street runs down ... read more
Inside the kremlin.
Liza, myself, Sonia.
Ulitsa Kremlevskaya at night.

Europe » Russia » Volga » Kazan October 10th 2005

Myself and Emma used each other's head as a pillow, and we put our legs over Chris J's body as he was lying down opposite us, with his head in the corner on Sarah's feet. We didn't sleep that much but we had a lot to talk about, so it didn't bother anyone too much. We played another game of twenty questions - Precious guessed my 'Olga's pet terrapin' in just four! We stopped in the wilderness at about 2 for a 'wee break'. When we were all back from the forest Chris took his guitar out and played 'Angels' by Robbie Williams; we stood in a circle and sang with him. It sounded superb, and was a beautiful moment - because it was such a clear night (and we were hundreds of kilometres from anywhere) ... read more

Europe » Russia » Volga » Kazan October 9th 2005

We had breakfast at a diner on ulitsa Karl Marx, then went on a tour of the town. All of us had had enough of not being taken seriously, so we spoke Russian with each other and let the imam know we were annoyed. Kazan is bigger than Yaroslavl, but it has many gardens and parks so it feels like there is more space. The buildings are newer and better looking - houses are built in white brick in different designs, as opposed to Yaroslavl's uniform grey blocks. Also the people are more diverse; Kazan is half Muslim and half Russian Orthodox and there is both a mosque and a cathedral within the walls of the kremlin, the only one of it's kind in the Russian Federation. Our first trip was to the Kul Sharif mosque. ... read more
Kazan cathedral.
Gate to the city.

Europe » Russia » Volga » Kazan October 8th 2005

We squeezed into the minibus at 7 this evening, and set off for Kazan. The 850 kilometres of road was all bumpy and uncomfortable, and twelve seats for ten people didn't leave much room to sleep in. There were pot-holes everywhere that threw us around, and we even drove through two fields near Ivanovo when the driver got lost. Ivanovo in the dark was a frightening place, the fog and eerily silent wide streets making it feel hostile. We arrived in Tatarstan fifteen hours later, feeling very tired and sore. We got to Hotel Fatima at 10 in the morning, unpacked and had a shower. It is decorated in a middle eastern style: whitewashed rooms with low beds, Tatar paintings in the corridors, and cream teracotta floors and suede sofas in the foyer. I shared a ... read more

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