Monday, 26 May 2008

Yekaterinburg

Екатеринбург
Distance traveled: 4160 km

We'd gotten of the train, and was trying to figure out a way to get to this Hotel - The Bolshoi (meaning large) when we bumped into a Swiss girl, escorted by to men in rather fancy uniforms. Turns out this was the case of two Russian gentlemen who had met our new friend on the train, and during their 5 hour layover, had insisted on escorting this "lost" woman to her hotel - In reality, they didn't have the faintest clue where this Hotel was, or how to get there - what they did have though, was the ability to speak Russian :-) and they did get us there, it has to be said.

Russia being the horribly expensive country it is, we opted for rooms without private showers, much to the bewilderment of our two captains, who was fighting a loosing battle trying to translate for us, add the confusion of 3 westeners on one hotel, going in two different directions, on three different days, to the registration paperwork - and we had a rather hillarious situation on our hands :-)

Anyway, we got our hard fought rooms, and we were all rather impressed with the place, until we arrived at our corridor, in the unrenovated section - and in a flash we were back so Soviet times!

Unpacked the girls had their comrade captains waiting, so we all went for drink, which very appropriately, since they were navy officers, hapenned on the Yellow submarine bar. Turns out that even though they were both 28 years old, we were the first foreigners they had ever met, seemed like we were making a rather good impression, since they had a 2nd beer with us before their train - and they weren't allowed to drink alcohol in the first place :)

We followed them back to the station, turned out they had been on the train for 3 days, going from Vladivostok, had another 8 hours, before they reached their destination, where they only had 3 days of recruitment to do, before they were going all the way back! crazy! Anyway we wen't back to the Hotel and a some beers and wine before going to bed.

Next morning we all went to the border between Europe and Asia, and had a foot on each continent, apparently it's very scientific, and the real deal, even though it didn't look all that impressive.

In the evening we were listening to music and drinking beers in the sun, at a bar in the park by the Hotel, sitting there enjoying myself, I had to admit that Russia is really growing on me!

Anyway goodbye to the girls, as i had a very late train to catch 1:45 at night, it even turned out to be an hour late, for a 3 nights and 2 days, train journey all the way across Siberia to Irkutsk. A journey of almost 3000 km
Ekaterinburg

2 comments:

David GK said...

Stefan. Du er bagud ;-)

Stefan Ertmann said...

I know, men jeg er med nu :)