Distance travelled: 14.425 km
Khabarovsk, oh Khabarovsk how i love thee - jewel of the Amur...
I was getting wearier with Russia on the train by the minute, fortunantly I was lucky enough to have the compartment by myself, but every time i peaked out the door to get some fresh air from the open windows, eyes, suspicious eyes from bare breasted beer bellied men with bad hairdoes and tatoos, followed my every move - I was not very comfortable to say the least.
Nervously i walked through the train station, Had Russia really been this bad all along? As i entered the station square, i drew a sigh of relief, no it hadn't - two boys were playing in the fountain, couples were promenading, youngsters chatting away on the mobile phones, mothers watching their children playing around - no it hadn't - this was the normal everyday Russia i've grown to know and like.
Khabarovsk was much more though, as it turned out, out here in the far eastern corner, long away from Moscow, I had found a paradise city, well maybe paradise might be pushing it, but the gras was green, and the girls indeed pretty - suspiciously so, this was Russian girls Saint Peterburg style. As I looked around with a smile on my face, I also noticed that humidity was in the air again, I was closing in on the pacific, and out of the dirt dry air of the Siberian and Mongolian plains, it felt somewhat like landing in the tropics.
I found a Hotel, which again is eating money out of my wallet faster than i can get them out of the ATM (2150 RUB / 456 DKK per night), I had a much needed shower after 3 days on a train, and went for a walk around town, and was in awe by the lack of Soviet concrete, the massive parks, newly laid sidewalks, posh stores, and again - the pretty girls :o) As i got to the banks of the Amur i was further impressed by a beautiful promonade, stralleded with party tents full of young Russians laughing and drinking, and colourful lanterns in the trees. Yes, many a Russian city could learn from Khabarovsk. 3 days i've spend here, hanging out at the beach, drinking beer while peoplewatching. without being bored, every other Siberian town i've been through, you could see in a day.
Tomorrow it's of to Sakhalin island, and then it's just a short ferry ride away from Japan.
Might or might not get Internet for a long time to come, so if you don't hear from me the next 2 weeks, there shouldn't be anything to worry about.