Nizhny Novgorod - the One with Medwedew…

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June 18th 2011
Published: June 18th 2011
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beautiful church in Nizhny [outside and inside!]
After a night spent in the train – without any special events probably due to the average age of the passengers in my ‘wagon’ – I was looking forward to a shower in Olga’s apartment. In her apartment this meant, putting water to boil, pour the hot water into a big pot, mix it with cold water from the tap, take a hug cup and off you go pouring the water over your body. In summer in Russia the government usually turns off the hot water for about two weeks by district or street in order to fix the pipes . I told Olga not to worry – the first time I went to Russia/St.Petersburg I stayed two weeks with a host family – guess which two weeks the hot water was turned off in their district?! 😊

In the afternoon we made a Nizhny Novgorod sightseeing tour – Olga was positively surprised by the beauty of her own city 😊 I really like Nizhny – the city is divided in the working district on one side of the river and the more let’s say touristic part
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Once again the Wolga :)
on the other side on the hill – the setting is beautiful! We looked at churches, the famous stairs, the Kremlin, the pedestrian shopping street , etc. Since it is Friday, some sights are crowded with beautiful brides and grooms – a tradition in Russia to visit the different sights in your city to take loads of pictures and drink champagne with your friends. This brought up again the famous topic of getting married and having kids between Olga and me – and led to an extensive conversation about emancipation in Switzerland/Western countries, Russian history, Russian laws, Swiss living standards, … first real culture shock – probably more for her than for me . Main conclusions : there aren’t enough Russian men; if my boyfriend ‘forbid’ me to go to Russia for three months I’d probably tell him ‘byebye’ – if a Russian girl went alone abroad for three months her boyfriend would probably tell her ‘byebye’; Swiss earn money and put it on a savings account –
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Famous stairs from the Wolga up to the Kreml
Russians earn money and buy a new car ; Switzerland had stable laws for centuries and centuries – Russia changes its laws with every new government which could mean that one day your money is yours, the next day it belongs to someone else ; Olga wouldn’t leave Russia to live somewhere else.

I forgot about Medwedew – he was in town for some summit. Olga lives on the main street to the airport. Sitting at lunch every time the police sirens where to be heard we went to the window to check who was passing by . I think about the 3rd or 4th convey was Medwedew’s – fancy limousine…

Saturday’s highlight was probably the 3 hour boat trip on the Wolga with beautiful sunset! Before we come to that, I first have to acquaint you with the question of the day: How does a Russian call the inhabitants of a rich district in the city? …

So – in the evening
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we bought plenty of beer, dried fish and some other snacks and went to the quay to do a прогулка on the Wolga. We caught a nice table on the top deck of the boat surrounded by plenty of locals taking out their food and drinks. Lena poured the first cups of local beer and we cheered once again to us having met. I would guess about 1 minute has passed by and Lena comments: “Manuela, you don’t like the beer?” – me slightly confused… A look at their glasses made me smile – they were almost empty whereas mine was still half full. The rest of the прогулка went by too quickly with dancing, talking, laughing and drinking. Looking at the smiles on Lena’s and Olga’s faces I assume that it has been a while since they last gave themselves such a treat…

The answer to the question of the day: бедный олигарх – Poor oligarch!

Additional photos below
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Some festival with traditional cloths and songs for pentecost
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Zhenja on a horse
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Olga and Nadia dancing
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On the ship: Lena, Olga, Nadia & Tania
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Sunset ;)
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Some bank in a nice building :)
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Pedestrian street

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