A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: MikeinCairns

Train 025 to Moscow

Farwell to Kazan, for our last leg of the Trans Siberian

semi-overcast 20 °C

Caught the bus out to Church of All Regions (20 minutes), a kind of artistic project, and spirital centre started by one local guy.

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Returned to town and had a long lunch back at the Uzbecki restaurant. As mentioned in an earlier blog, some of the best food in Russia comes from the ex-Soviet states. Uzbek and Georgian are particularly popular. Central Asian food is heavy on the meat but also has a lot of delicious soups and desserts.

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Spent the day wanding around parts of Kazan we had not seen the day before, including the river front (Volga River).

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Off to the station for a 10pm departure to Moscow on train 025. It was the best train we have caught to date. A double-decker sleeper, very modern with all facilites. It even had a little kitchen with an urn, microwave and sink to wash up.

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Just a wandering around star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png 4 star day.

Posted by MikeinCairns 13:18 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

Kazan

Kazan by night

semi-overcast 24 °C
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Relaxed at the hotel most of the day catching up on emails, blogging, planning the journey. Had brunch at a quaint French place around the corner ($15 for two). It served traditional Tartar food in a French style.

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Went back to the Kremlin for some night photos

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And finally to the amazing Palace of Agriculture (read more here). It could be 200 years old but was in fact built in 2010!

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A rejuvinating star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png 4 star day.

Posted by MikeinCairns 14:30 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

Train 377 - across the Urals

Ekatarinberg to Kazan, across the Urals into European Russia

semi-overcast 25 °C
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This train was truely bad (are they getting worse as we travel West?). The train was so old I think Lenin himself could have travelled on it. And we had the students again as attendants so it wasn't real clean. We crossed the Urals into European Russia sometime in the middle of the night. Also went through another two time zones. Despite that we had a long sleep, waking at 11am!

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Arrived into Kazan around lunch time. Our Hotel was accross the road from the railway ($43 per night). Verry odd facade.

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View from our window (not my photo)

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This is the capital of Tartarstan a region dominated by the Tartars (traditionally muslims related to Turks). They have a unique culture, dress, achitecture and food. What an amazing place!

First stop - the Kazan Kremlin (there are many Kremlins in Russia - it simply means a fortified walled city)

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And some general wandering around town

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Had a great dinner at an Uzbeki restaurant ($30 for two).

A cultural star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png 5 star day.

Posted by MikeinCairns 14:06 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

The bloody saga continues

Forest outside Ekatarinberg

semi-overcast 25 °C
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To continue the Romonov saga, we caught the metro and bus to the forest location where the bodies were dumped. In the 1990's, when the bodies were removed, the area was developed into a major shrine for Orthodox pilgrims (the Romanovs were canonized as saints after the fall of soviet union). A large complex of churches and monestry were built in the forest.

The location in the forst was really peaceful and well done. We spent 2 hours there.

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On a recommendation from the internet we then caught three buses to a large cemetery where Russian mafia characters were buried and had built huge life size head stones and elaborate graves. It was not that interesting unless you know the characters.

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On the way to the station we found a huge shopping complex which had a food court. Sushi ($3) and home made hamburger ($3) for dinner. Then off to the train station again.

A spiritual star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png 4 star day.

Posted by MikeinCairns 09:10 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

Yekatarinberg

The bloody history of the Romanovs

sunny 26 °C
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Yekatarinberg is the 4th largest city in Russia, but it doesn't feel huge. From our beautiful AirBnb (8th floor appartment) we can see all the major sites out the window.

This is the place where the Romanov dynasty was ended when the Bolshoviks murdered the entire royal family (also Rasputin and a lot of other influentials). It is a grizzly story with a lot of twists and turns (and nowdays conspiracy theories). The family was murded in Yekatarinberg, then moved to a forest location thrown into a pit with acid, then dug up and reburied in a new location. Despite all this, some remains were recovered after the fall of the soviet union and reburied in the final place in St Petersburg. Apparently, DNA testing has proved the identities. But two of the 5 children have never been found leading to conspiracy theories that they survived.

The city council have created a 6.5km walk around all the major sights by painting a red line on the footpath and road. You just follow along and read about the locations. The red line ran right past our accommodation.

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Yekatarinberg has some beautiful buildings (including the President's Palace and is nicely located on a lake.

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It also has a lot of interesting sculpture scattered around the city (many outside the train station)

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The church on the Romanov murder site. in Orthodox churches, for some completely illogical religious reason, men must remove hats from their head and women must put a scarf to cover their head.

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Ate twice at Khemeli Suneli an upmarket Georgian restaurant ($30 for two).

An interesting (an sometimes grizzly) star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png 5 star day.

Posted by MikeinCairns 08:27 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

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