Howdy all. Well, back from my diary of 2017, I’m on the train for I think it was basically 48 hours from Irkutsk to Yekaterinburg. So today’s entry is pretty much all on board that very train as it rushed through the Russian countryside.
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To the DIARY!
14th of May 2017
Yep, another morning! Well, it’s after 12:00 o’clock or not depending on what time zone we are in. My phone says it’s 12:29 PM, however it still hasn’t changed from the Krasnoyarsk time zone. That makes it around 8:30 AM Moscow time. We’re due into Yekaterinburg at 11:30 AM Moscow time, supposedly 1:30 PM local time. Best, as I have said, to just go by Moscow time.
So back to last night – I can’t even remember what time locally it was when we stopped at Novosibirsk, 7:30 PM I think it was on Krasnoyarsk time. I can only presume zones have become merged and that at some point. It’s a two hour change. Anyways it was 18 degrees in Novosibirsk when I got off the train and said goodbye to Nicole and Stuart. We plan to meet up in Moscow so it’s not a final goodbye. I’m concerned he expects serious drinking though!
I continued on after finding a big bag of seven days croissants minis at the station! Yahoo! Then time to sleep. All the time the two on the top pretty much asleep. less communicative than the lady. I slept fitfully, we stopped at 3:00 AM ish at Barbarinsk. The guys on the two on the top bunks got off here had to strip their beds. Door open, sleep ceased for me then two more came on and had to make their beds. It was a 30-minute stop, then we were on our way again. I must have fallen back asleep. It was the next stop – 7:00 AM or so I think that again woke me up and that’s the last stop before Yekaterinburg.
The sky was free of clouds which it isn’t now. I got up officially at 10:00 AM ish, maybe 9:30. Stripped the bed. no wait that was 9:30 ish and at 12:00 PM I brushed teeth and tried to freshen up as it were. Packed my bag now waiting…. still loads of trees, 12:44 PM no time zone change.
2:10 PM probably my last diary writing before I get off this train. Not quite as cloudy now. Due in, I believe, in an hour and 20 minutes. I’ve enjoyed another great bowl of borscht at the restaurant carriage. They have an interesting crew. Two women, one a cook – rather rotund lady and the waitress a little bit of Miriam Margolis thing going on there.
The only downside of this carriage is the heating yesterday it was sweat-atorium. It was cool when I got here today, however they’ve turned the heating on. It’s warmed up. Still very foresty out there with the very odd farm. So much … land! A few pine trees out there as I just was writing a road big looking farm, soil overturned probably planting time. OK, see you in Yekaterinburg!
12:43 PM local time. So phone reception off and on again. 45 minutes to go ans there has been a two hour change in time zones. I’ve got three museums I want to see today if I can as won’t be open tomorrow, wish me luck! Oh goodness me, tired am I!
In my nice, if squashy hotel room here at Marin’s Park Hotel opposite the Yekaterinburg train station. It’s nice – TV will play some things off my USB drive so I guess I will be watching something when I finish these blasted entry.
So at the train station I went to get my ticket for the next and five final leg of the my trans Mongolian. It was a fair hike between various rooms/spaces and then 20 minutes in line but I got it done! I could see the Marin’s Park Hotel sign from the station and all I had to do was negotiate the road and I was here getting checked in by Andre.
Showered and shaved she felt good. On the 8th floor here where the view opposite of the station. Had some most of my clothes sent to be washed for free and in two to three hours I was told! Excellent indeed! And I headed out into the town. I took a tram advised by Andre but it wasn’t the best choice took me way wide of where I wanted to be. I walked across down Ave Lenina to the more central part of town with churches and museums etc.
The roads here are particularly wide and grand I must say. Tram/bus/trolleybus and metro – loads of different kinds of transportation options. A few out but not packed – it is Sunday after all. I made my way to have photographic museum at Mintaka house the house was the residence of a famous photographer and there were some interesting historical photos and film footage. I liked the historical stuff!
Down the main road I went, a couple of blocks to the Witkowski building a tall building where we all got in once more left to the 52nd floor and the outdoor viewing platform which gave a great view of the city. A few photos taken and down I went to the second floor where there is a small museum to the man the building was named after Vladimir Witkowski, a balladeer from Soviet times who appeared to tread close to the line. Also an actor, general performer dude they named the building after. Actually looks like an interesting guy!
From there a bit further down I found down the road I found after a bit of looking the Naryansk Icon Museum, a small museum… full of icons! Mostly 18th and 19th century from a town called Naryansk. I had a guide, Valentina who was great and explained heaps to me. A fair job as she didn’t speak English really!
Seems these icons were kept after the communists destroyed plenty. Lots of gold, St. John very big as was St Nick, then interesting depictions of Saint Andrew with a X shaped cross no idea what that was about. I’m cooked here! Took the number 28 marshrutka back to the station. McDonalds in hotel complex was my dinner! OK goodnight!
Thus endeth what one of my longest entries in the whole diary taking in my first half day in Yekaterinburg along with over half the train ride there! Thanks for reading today. More on the way so stay tuned to see if and how I made it Moscow! May the Journey Never End!