Blogs from Russia, Europe - page 9

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Europe » Russia » South » Astrakhan August 10th 2014

Arrived about noon after 450km jolly from Volgograd 5hrs, stated early before heat, bike says 39C. Now 5000km on clock, over halfway to China. Mix of cultures here, more Muslim as U go into Kazakhstan. Road here was good - few potholes, with little traffic early Sunday, but countryside is flat and bare, towns very few, fuel stops every 50ks but wizzed past (500k range on Safari tank), 2..3 lakes or is river Volga, but water level well down, 2..3 herds (not many for distance covered) of sheep or cattle pushed about by shepherd - some lose on road too. Stay Park inn, tall so easy to find, not cheapest £60 one night, but did print my stuff and map to Iran consulate instantly, good view from 9th floor, with strong internet link, might get video ... read more
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Europe » Russia » South » Volgograd August 7th 2014

Left Moscow Wednesday, two long days on bike, 450km or more, easy if roads are good, but slow in heavy traffic and bumpy roads. The cafes well what can I say - don't take more than sheets loo roll or U will get grief! Tambor - Bastion hotel was nice, good sauna suits, we had basic version with meat and potatoes for supper - served in room. Fixed puncture in spare tube, but re-tie of tent was inadequate, it let go & jambed back wheel at 60mph, skid was no fun we were lucky. Then bike refused to start in Vologorad while looking for hotel all in a rather long day. Volograd, Kristine Hotel was brill, big outdoor pool with diving board, lots of sunshine, with small shop nearby. Volograd, Lady with sword "The Motherland Calls", ... read more
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Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow August 5th 2014

In to Moscow 4pm Monday, 3500km on trip, nearly half way there. To meet Dmitry in Night Train cafe, what a bikers joint, crowded with Hareleys for a Monday. Then set off to a quiet hotel not by motorway, beautiful night ride along river past all major sites. Day off bike in Moscow to see tourist sites, Red Square - is neither red or square, Lenin still lies in state (but joe missed it - found short cut, much whistle blowing), Cathedral spires are very colourful with beautiful tenor singing (don't russtle y'r shopping), amazing shopping mall on east side of square with shops equal to Harrods & design fur coats (bigger? cirtainly more chic than Mall of America).... read more
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Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow August 4th 2014

Seen so many fields since we left home, could not count if I tried, all with no livestock. Really pleased to meet these old girls hanging out in park at Smolensk Russia yesterday.... read more
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Europe » Russia » Far East » Vladivostok August 4th 2014

I met Grigori in a hostel in Vladivostok(far east of Russia). Actually i was planning to start my hitchhike trip from Vladivostok to the west but i had not so much hitchhike experience in far east of Siberia till i met Grigori. Grigori had lot of hitchhike experience. So special about him was that he always hitchhiked and traveled without money (He maked distance of 10.000km hitchhiking without money)! So after i asked him to hitchhike together to Khabarovsk 870km far from Vladivovstok. After that time our adventure was started. By the way Grigori didn't know any word of English in Vladivostok. (some guys on the hostel helped us with translate). After a week he started to speek with some basic english words and sencences:) We started our hitchhike trip in Vladivostok to Khabarovsk 870km. It ... read more
Grigory
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Europe » Russia » Centre » Vladimir August 3rd 2014

Combining a trip to both these towns within a single day is a hard task but I managed to do it, though with a very stupid mistake. Both these towns are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and so are of highest priority for me. This time I managed to board the train without any occurrences, and arrived to Vladimir in three hours. Instead of doing the sights at once, I decided first to go by bus to Suzdal, and proceed with Vladimir. All would be done rather quickly. The bus station is right in front of the train station, nevertheless, I had to wait for half an hour for the bus. I bought a ticket to Suzdal (there were many people in queues) and it turned out I, as many other passengers, had standing places. ... read more
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Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow August 2nd 2014

This entry includes details of several interesting places I saw in Moscow. Perhaps, or most likely, it will be updated. August 2 I wanted to go to Rostov on Saturday and had railway tickets. It got up not early enough, came to the train station a couple of minutes before departure, and naturally missed the train. Unfortunately, I cancelled my electronic registration of the ticket and got the printed ticket from the machine, thus losing the precious minutes. If I just had the electronic registration I’d most likely catch up with it. Instead, I tried to run as fast as I could, while the train was not yet in motion, but missed it. I fell down and scratched my knee, and was very sad, but blamed only myself. Nothing doing, I decided to do some sights ... read more
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Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow July 28th 2014

Arriving aroud 9pm we decide to get a taxi to the hotel so had to negotiate with the dodgy taxi drivers, our 5 star hotel (probably the first one I have ever stayed in) was located a few kilometres away in a beautifully restored building. Our room is lovely, comfortable and modern, I dont think they see many people wander in with backpacks. After check in we enjoyed a few drinks at a local bar before crashing out. Next morning we headed down to the Hermitage which is truly an amazing museum, the palace is so beautifully decorated it is a piece of art itself, comparable to the Monet and Da Vinci it houses. My favorite areas would be the central asia and caucasius sections and knights and armour section. We went to look at the ... read more
The Hermitage
One of the old gods
Stunning paintings from Tajikistan

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Alexandrov July 27th 2014

I took the express train to Alexandrov from Yaroslavsky Station at 9-20. It went smoothly and quickly, bypassing all the stops except Pushkino and Sergiev Posad. The seats were comfortable and the hostesses young and beautiful. The tickets for this particular train could not be bought via the numerous ticket vending machines. I had a schematic map of Alexandrov in my phone and consulted it but the map turned out not quite exact. At first, I waited for the bus to Alexandrov Sloboda at the wrong stop, then decided to walk in the wrong way, feeling instinctively that I was going the wrong way, and almost at once I figured out the correct way and decided to go on foot and take the bus if I saw it. As such, Alexandrov Sloboda is the only reason ... read more
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Europe » Russia » Centre July 26th 2014

If you haven’t been to Yelets, you haven’t seen one of Russia’s old treasures. There is a list of so-called historical towns and cities, comprising forty best (from historic viewpoint) Russian curiosities. Many of them are unknown even to the average Russian. My initial plan was to visit Kineshma and Ivanovo, but, due to an unexpected job, I decided to shorten the trip and go to Yelets instead. I spent three hours in Yelets, with about one and a half hours devoted to sightseeing. I took the train from Kursky Railway Station and arrived in Yelets at 8 in the morning. There were fellow passengers in the car, young men I guess from school, who disturbed my sleep a lot by their loud talking. I do hate such persons but I cannot point out to them ... read more
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