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Europe » Russia » Volga » Ufa May 13th 2015

Day 13 - Samara to Ufa Samara was a detour from the most direct route; it would have saved a day and 250 miles if we had gone straight from Kazan to Ufa. We had read however that Joseph Stalin's bunker had been found in Samara and turned into a museum. It is 37 metres deep, making it more protected than any other similar instalation of its time. Never used by Stalin, it remained hidden under a public building, unknown to locals, until its rediscovery in 1990. A mystery surrounds how such a project, clearly requiring hundreds of workers to construct, remained a secret to Samarans. One theory is that prisoners were used as slave labour then later executed. Unfortunately our (well, ok, my) planning had let us down. It turned out that the bunker and ... read more
war memorial, Samara
Bring me that horizon
The Undertaker

Europe » Russia » Volga » Ufa September 7th 2013

Look at the globe: Here it is, the Earth And on it, Bashkiria, No bigger than a leaf. Just one small birch leaf, One leaf on a tree. And the birch, the great Russia, Stands so green and tall. (poem by Mustai Karim. Translated by Arthur Shkarovsky) My life has been connected with Ufa since times immemorial, perhaps when I was seven or eight years old (let’s assume 1992-1993). Basically, there are three important cities in my life: Birsk, Ufa, and St. Petersburg. When I was a little child, mother took me and brother to the circus, of which I remember only taking photos on the clown’s lap. Our sister was too little back then. Also, my brother was having some medical treatment many years ago in a sanatorium, and I also remember visiting Ufa when ... read more
Dvorets Kultury
Office Building
Drama Theater

Europe » Russia » Volga » Ufa July 22nd 2013

Leaving Kazan I witnessed an example of the kind of thinking that exaggerates so many problems in life. I got a little lost and found myself on the wrong road out of town. Stuck in a traffic jam I looked at my map and saw an alternative route onto the highway that I wanted. Not wanting to go back to Kazan again through the traffic I decided to try the shortcut. As the road deteriorated I experienced a Catch-22 situation: the worse the road became, the less I wanted to turn back and cover the same ground again. I drove over the deteriorating road surface though a couple of villages and thought I had found the connecting road to take me to the highway. I was heartened to see a car coming out of the junction ... read more
DSC01601
P1010035
P1010042

Europe » Russia » Volga » Ufa August 25th 2010

My firm initial intention was to write no single word about the two trips to the mount of Iremel. However, thinking it over and having browsed through the photos, I came to the justified solution that it is unfair to omit these trips because, notwithstanding the fact of Rather Bad weather during them both, the experiences are worth sharing. I did not like to write about the trip only due to the reason that the weather was not quite excellent and I (we) did not see any panoramas. I like panoramas very much, specifically when on a mountain top. Given no panorama, I’m dissatisfied. Mount Iremel is about 1650 m high and is located in the Urals. It takes only four hours from Ufa to Station Vyazovaya by train. There are plenty of trains in that ... read more
Church
Shop
DSC09669

Europe » Russia » Volga » Ufa August 6th 2009

When the Soviet empire collapsed in the early nineties it was heralded in the west. The thought of centrally mandated collectivism makes a capitalist's blood run cold and many (if not most) Americans view, or were taught to view this shift as a great victory in the name of the human spirit. The communists doubtlesssly had innumerable failings but, as western popular media triumphed through "kill-a-commie" films and the end of the "Cold War" was heralded, many Russians suffered and starved. The loss of a way of life that was a full two generations thick proved stifling and left many without the means to survive. To us, these casualties never had a human face, untill now. Things have doubtlesly stabalized these days but many older Russians still have warm regards for the good old days when ... read more
Gift of freshly picked cherries
Friendly Armenians share their vodka and watermelon with us at the Asia-Europe border
Russian bus stop

Europe » Russia » Volga » Ufa August 30th 2007

Hallo aus Ufa! Hier hab ich mal Pause von der Gruppe gemacht. Allen Schreibkram erledigt, Dias sortiert und am Mittag, als die Sonne wieder schien bin ich einfach vom Hotel aus los, um die nähere Umgebung zu erkunden. Ufa ist eine typisch kommunistische Stadt. Große Plätze, riesige, leider oft hässliche, öffentliche Bauten und jede Menge Heldendenkmäler. Mein Interesse galt vielmehr den Konsumgütern. Was können die Baschkieren denn hier alles kaufen? Ich war sehr erstaunt! Westmarken aller Art. Geschmackvoll eingerichtete Läden und bunte Basare. Voll Baff war ich von der Fisch-Theke im Supermarkt. Krebse, Karpfen, Tintenfische, Garnelen, Ale, Lachse, Kaviar und alles sehr lecker anzusehen. Liebe Grüße aus Ufa, der Stadt mit 1,2 Mio Einwohnern Andrea P.S. Die Stadt ist unter uns gesagt, ziemlich hässlich. Das liegt wohl an den Baschkieren. Die wurden gezwungen hier ... read more
Abriß Markthalle
Fischtheke
ZeltBazar

Europe » Russia » Volga » Ufa August 30th 2007

Guten Tag nach Hause, heute ein kurzer Bericht über den russischen Wodka, der Träne Gottes. Wodka sollte schmecken wie glasklares, frisches Wasser. Er wird in 100 oder 150 Gramm Einheiten bestellt und in einer Art Wasserglas Zimmer warm serviert. So weit so gut. Nun Glas an die Lippen gesetzt und in einem Zug weg mit dem geschmacksneutralen Zeugs. Jetzt warten. Und vielleicht stellt sich ein warmes, wohliges Gefühl ein. Ein Strom Behaglichkeit fließt vom Bauchraum ausgehend durch den ganzen Körper. Und das ist gut so im russischen Winter. Gott hat Mitleid mit frierenden Russen. Seid herzlichst gegrüßt Andrea ... read more
Watt is denn Kape??
Tankstellen
Vielleicht eine Ländergrenze?

Europe » Russia » Volga » Ufa August 8th 2006

Day 65, 4th August. Kalac na Donu - Volgograd - Primorsk Today was to be a day of great changes… We headed the 30 miles into Volgograd stopping for bread, cheese, eggs and milk on the way. Scott made a good roadside find; a Soviet passport complete with leather holder and 1,500 roubles! I don’t know what he’ll do with it. At the Volgograd sign we made a stop for photos, then headed for the centre, ending up right outside the Hotel Volgograd where we thought Toby may be. Rory checked, and he was there! Toby had had the chance to see some of the city yesterday and took us down to the steps overlooking the Volga river - it’s massive. There we had a beer and an unexpected round of decision making. Toby had bought ... read more
Oh my God!
Russian Market
Volga badlands

Europe » Russia » Volga » Ufa March 10th 2006

So liebe Leute, ich habe von den letzten fuenf Tagen mindestens die Haelfte im Zug verbracht. Dabei ca. 2500 km zurueckgelegt und zwei Zeitzonen hinter mir. Nun bin ich nach Zwischenstopp in Ufa wieder in Chelyabinsk gelandet. Komisch, wenn ich hierherkomme, als Gast, als Reisender und dennoch irgendwie auch als Rueckkehrer. Doch zuerst einmal kurz die Reiseerlebnisse beschrieben: 1. Start in Moskau: ich habe ein Video wie ich der Verkaeuferin erklaere das ich ein Zugticket nach Ufa moechte. Werde ich euch dann zuhaus vorfuehren. Ging alles reibungslos. Im Zug bin ich wieder per "Platzkart" unterwegs, dies ist ein Riesenabteil, mit Liegen uebereinander und ca. 50 Personen pro Wagon. Dies ist billiger, unbequemer und dennoch sicherer als ein Einzelabteil, da bei diesem, sobald die Tuer geschlossen ist, drin quasi alles moeglich ist...(ich werde diesen Punkt nicht ... read more




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