Rudi is an uncle!!

Trip Start Aug 01, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Russia  , Siberia,
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Good news first: Rudi's sister had her baby boy when we were in Krasnoyarsk. His birth date is 8.9.10 (cool!), he is 50cm and 3.59kg. The mummy is in great shape and the daddy is happy!!
Congratulations and good luck to both of them!

Back to our trip, Krasnoyarsk is the first city that we have not bothered to book a hostel in advance, and of course the fun starts at the very beginning when we are trying to find a place to stay for two nights. Our 'bible' Trans-Siberian Railway, Lonely Planet (2009 edition) fails us. The first hostel on the lists has been closed for two years now. Although, the hostel sign is still hanging on the wall. Few other attempts surprise us even more – many hotels in the city serve only Russian customers!?!? A few hours after we finally find a budget hotel that is less racist and we have a bed and a roof.

As we walk along the city streets we suddenly see a car that is on fire at the bottom of the vehicle. The driver is not aware of this yet and continues driving in our direction. We quickly decide to run! Nothing happened like in movies, the car didn’t blow up but it was a scary feeling.

Another instance when Lonely Planet does not prove to be efficient enough (and we don’t blame them) is when we start looking for Internet (thus the long delay of this posting). The indicated Internet cafes are closed and again the signs are still left behind to confuse us. The only Internet access in the city is in the local post office. It’s slow and crashes every time Agi opens her email. Ha, ha.

When walking trough the city we soon see that Krasnoyarsk is a very lively city. The main street of the city, Mira Avenue is cheerfully fulfilled with a street radio that plays nice music and with a help of numerous fountains presents Krasnoyarsk in a cute atmosphere. A lot of young people go out in the evening, so we observe a lot of high heels, street shashlik stands, beer and techno.

On the first day we walk on a hill that offers a good view of the city, then we return to the centre by exploring the city’s suburb area. It’s sad. We see people sleeping on the deserted streets and people living in abandoned houses that have missing roofs and missing walls.

The second day we decide to (finally) go in nature as we are so fed up with the Russian car exhume aroma. Half an hour bus ride (we managed to find the bus this time :)) takes us to Stolby National Wildlife Nature Reserve. This is where the growing Eastern Sayan mountains were pushed up by pulses of magma which arrived from great depths millions of years ago and left volcanic rock cliffs on the surface. The rocks are called "Stolby". "Stolby" is the plural of "stolb", the Russian for "pillar". Beautiful place. We saw a funny animal called ‘burunduk’ in Russian – Chipmunk in English. They were nicely popping out along the road as people passed by. Clever things – they know how to get easy food. We also saw a few woodpeckers and other beautiful birds.

We noticed few interesting food things: they love mayo over here. Rudi had pizza with mayo and chicken with tomato covered with a very fat layer of mayo over it. Mmmmm fatty… Also, when we wanted to pay for our meal we were surprised by the unexpected expensive bill. It turns out that all prices on the menu where shown per one portion, apart from the salmon that they charge per 100 grams. Cheeky, putting the most expensive dish per weight when you don’t even know how heavy it will be.

Also, interesting to mention, that public toilets are more expensive than one bus ride. And that you have to pay for a toilet visit in all of the outdoor bars and cafes.

Weather was excellent on our nature day, however on the third day we were surprised by a storm. Very strong winds carried us to the train station filling our eyes with sand. Not nice and a bit scary.

It is also interesting to note that Krasnoyarsk is on the 90 degrees longitude and if we consider New-Zealand to be almost on the 180 degrees longitude we are now closer to New Zealand eastward than London westward! It does not mean that we have almost arrived as obviously we have to change hemisphere and very soon we will be heading south...

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On pense bien à vous ; encore merci de nous faire profiter de votre escapade. Nous vous embrassons.

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