A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: MikeinCairns

Train 325 Siberia

28 hours Khabarovsk to Tynda (crossing one time zone)

overcast 27 °C
View Back in the USSR on MikeinCairns's travel map.

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In Russia the trains are numbered. Single digit trains such as 007, the train we caught from Vladiivostok are the most modern. Two digit trains a bit older and down to the oldest three digit train. Today we spent 28 hours Khabarovsk to Tynda (crossing one time zone) on train 325.

Even though it was old it was immaculately clean and functional. While we were on the train the Provodnik/Provodnitsa (attendants) came through and mopped our compartment, and then another came and cleaned the windows, handles, etc. The toilet was basic stainless steel with a hole and flush but always really clean. As it was not a bio toilet, it was locked at the larger stations. A sign on the toilet indicated closure times.

There was no power in this train (we brought our own battery pack to keep the tablets running). As always the samovar was steaming hot and kept us going with hot water for tea, coffe, soup, instant noodles.

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We brought quite a bit of food on board and whipped up some nice meals on the train. Ham on bread, smoked salmon on bread, beer and chocolate!

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Breakfast:

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Face of Russian chocolate:

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The train stopped frequently, mostly for just 1-2 minutes (a sign in the carriage listed all the stops). So farwe noticed the trains are prompt to the minute. There were a few stops of 15 min or more when everyone hopped off for a stretch. Local people often had a small market place or walked up and down the station with their produce.

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Not really anything much to see in the way of scenery. 28 hours of tundra - flat, wet swamps, with occasional pine forest. No animals or farms. Every few hours a small village or town.

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We kept ourselves amused with videos (Mike) and Sudoku (Margaret)

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Arrived at 11pm and walked 20 minutes to our accomodation.

A fun journey and star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png 4 star day

Posted by MikeinCairns 01:13 Archived in Russia Comments (1)

Architecture of Khabarovsk

Churches and buildings

overcast 24 °C

A late start on account of us making the most of being in a luxury hotel. Brunch at a fantastic cafe (goumet sandwich, cakeand cheese cake $10).

Last night discovered the main street of Khabarovsk (Murav'eva-Amurskogo St) with its beautiful 19th and 20th century awrchitecture. Went back for photos today. And Khabarovsk has an entire street of beautiful musuems (Shevchenko St) - National museum, Art museum, State Sports complex and Military Museum all housed in magnificent buildings.

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For anyone that cares - within just a few blocks you can see Neo Classical, Art Deco, Eclectic, Modernist, Soviet brutslist, Classical pre-revolution Russian, and others I am sure. Absolutely beautiful.

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Another feature of the Russian city is the cathedral. Khabarosvk has two - surrounded by impressive gardens.

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Not eactly sure what this is but it sounds like we need it in Australia.

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Off to the station in the evening for our next train journey

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A beautiful star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png 5 star day

Posted by MikeinCairns 08:53 Archived in Russia Comments (1)

Dó-bra-ye ú-tra Khabarovsk

"Good morning" Khabarovsk

sunny 26 °C
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Don't believe everything you read on travel blogs. Many blogs describe this town as boring. And TripAdvisor does not highly recommend, but we loved it!

We arrived at around 10am to the beautiful railway station (chandaliers hanging inside)

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Checked in to our little bit of luxury the Sopka Hotel ($100) right on the mighty Amur River.

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Lunch was caviar (what else?)

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Then out and about to enjoy this beautiful town

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Did some grocery shopping in preparation for some long upcoming train journeys. Bought ham, cheese, smoked salmon, and some other goodies for the train. Steaming hot water availble on the train, so we stocked up on tea, coffee, pot noodles and cupa soup. Thank goodness for Google translate (they are all Yogurt apparently!)

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Finished the day returning to the Khabarovsk brach of Satsivi ($20 for two). Can't go wrong with Georgian food!

Discovered the main street of Khabarovsk which is a very impressive stretch of beautiful historic buildings. We will return for a closer look tomorrow.

A luxurious star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png 5 star day

Posted by MikeinCairns 08:27 Archived in Russia Comments (1)

Da-svi-danya Vladivostok and train 007

"Farewell" Vladivostok

sunny 28 °C

Another warm day in Vladivostok, but threating storms. First stop the Automobile Museum 50 cents bus trip and $4 entry fee.

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Then 2 buses ($1) out to the lighthouse.

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Food from the Caucuses is famous in Russia and most cities will have a Georgian or Armenian restaurant. We ate at the magnificent Georgian Restaurant, Satsivi ($20 for two).

We then braved a terrential thunderstorm just as we went to the train station. First night on the TranSiberian!

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Train 007 (being a single digit train) was very modern. We departed at 11pm for a 12 hour journey to Khabarovsk (a short trip by Russian standards) , so didn't have time to enjoy any of the facilities. It was air-con, with power sockets and reading lights. After about 15 minutes the attendant (Provodnitsa) came through with our bedding and towels. We didn't get a chance to use the samovar (hot water system).

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

Posted by MikeinCairns 07:58 Archived in Russia Comments (1)

Zdrást-vuj-tye Russia

That's "Hello Russia"!

sunny 34 °C
View Back in the USSR on MikeinCairns's travel map.

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A horrible flight from Beijing at 3am got us to Vladivostok at 8am. Caught the airport train into the centre of the city then a 15 minute hike uphill to our beautiful hotel (One Sea), where we promptly collapsed and slept for a few hours.

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Interesting Fact - we are now back on Australian time. Vladivostok is so far east, we share the same tine zone. On our train journey to Moscow we will be crossing 8 time zones.

We struck some magnificent weather, so in the afternoon we did a big walk around the sights. First impressions - Vladivostok is a tourist town. There are heaps of Koreans here. The locals are much more friendly than I thought they would be. The women (and to be honest the blokes too) are hot; very beautiful people.

They call Vladivostok the San Francisco of the East due to its steep hills, bridge, and trams. Margaret was not happy after all the climbing on the Great Wall :(

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Trying hard to learn to read Russian. Here's St Cyril the monk who came up with the Cyrillic alphabet.

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Possibly the most famous poster in the history of Russia.

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From the internet:

The Motherland calls! by Irakli Toidze (1902–1985).

This is undoubtedly the most significant graphical work of the twentieth century Russia. It was created in July 1941 during the first days of Great Patriotic War between Nazi Germany and Soviet Union. Since then the poster has been printed millions of times becoming the ultimate symbol of Russian liberation fight. It also influenced many aspects of Soviet life, inspiring artists and sculptors to design memorials like 'The Motherland' – an 85 meter 8 000 ton sculpture.

The document in Motherland’s hand is the Soviet military oath (1939-1947). Every soldier had to swear allegiance to the nation, Soviet Motherland and Workers’ and Peasants’ Government.

The poster was created by Irakli Toidze on the spot. After hearing radio-announcement his wife Tamara rushed into the studio, crying out “War!” Irakli asked her to freeze and stay still. Her distinctive posture is now on the poster. Joseph Stalin immediately ordered printing of 5 thousand of copies and sent them to every commandant’s office and recruiting station in the Soviet Union.

Went inside a submarine

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Outside the submarine

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A hot and sunny star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png 4 star day

Posted by MikeinCairns 07:11 Archived in Russia Comments (1)

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