Trip Start May 03, 2012
Trip End Jun 14, 2012

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Where I stayed
Gorky 6 Hostel

Flag of Russia  , Central Russia,
Thursday, May 31, 2012

I know you expected me to be in Yekaterinburg but I skipped it. More later.
I read my ticket wrong and thought I was in seat 33 and gave the woman there a hrad time to get out of my seat. Provodnitsa came along and sorted it out, I was supposed to be in seat 5. Woops. The lady in seat 7 took a shine to me but she cant speak english and I dont speak Russian.
The family in the next compartment bought out lunch. These people dont chuck a couple of sarnies in a bag for lunch on the train. They bought out salami, spare ribs,boiled eggs spring onions, tomato and bread. He has got no front teeth so he had to cut the meat off the bone. I had good old 2min noodles.
The lady in seat 7, I think her name is Ludmilla, tried to talk useing the books I have with me. A guy got on and took the bunk above her, his name was Yuriy, and he spoke english. He was able to translate for us. We finally got out the questions and answers we wanted to know. we had a great time learning a little about each other and our culture. This has been one of the better train rides. I gotta get off at midnite and try to get ticket to Kazan ASAP to catch up time.
17km west of Yekaterinburg I cross from Asia into Europe and leave Siberia and cross the Urals into Russia proper. Siberia is flat and full of trees so everything is made of wood. All the towns are wood houses, they dont paint them, and they all look the same....drab. I skipped Yekaterinburg cos they say there is nothing to see. The town was closed till1990 cos it is an industrial town, they have a lot of military type factories here. It is also where the Bolshevics shot the Romanovs and the birth place of Boris Yeltsin.
I left the train in Yekaterinburg, having already decided to get a ticket to Kazan ASAP. During the long ride I redid my itinery, for the 9th time, and I am running late. I came to see Moscow and want about 6 days if I can get it. I found the only ticket window open and asked for a ticket, in my best Russian. She started at me in Russsian and I said "no ruski, engliski" she was pissed. At 2am she doesnt want some dickhead at her window. I used all my charm and we finally got it sorted that I wanted ticket asap. There was no Plastkart so I had to go up to Kupe, 2nd class, and that will cost 50% more for the 13 hour than it cost for the 21hr ride to get here.We finally got it sorted and she gave me the ticket and I walked out and got straight back on the train I was just on. Kupe doesnt have the compartment down the side and the compartments have doors otherwise they are the same as plastkartny. I got a compartment with a guy and a woman and her kid. It was pretty quiet, between us we mostly slept. When I get to Kazan it will be 40hr since I left the hostel in Novosibersk and I have  had about 6 hr sleep. This train trip has seemed to be the slowest. It seems to take forever.
In Russia every town has a Kremlin. It is a fortified town centre usually where the Khan lived and with some churches and civic buildings with onion dome overload. Particularly where I am starting in the golden ring. It is what used to be Rus until it was taken over by Moscow. Tomorrow I will start with a tour of Kazan's Kremlin.

I got up early this morning and walked up to the Kremlin. Most of it was closed so I looked around then headed to town for some breakfast. The only place I could find was Macca's. They have a competition going for the soccer cup coming up. I tried to get a T shirt from them but I think they were saying they dont have them and I have to enter competition. I bought a T shirt..the first one so far. I went back to the Kremlin and went inside to get some pics. I got some in the Mosque but the Cathedral was empty except for me and the door man kept a close eye on me. I might go for another walk this arvo cos I am on an overnight train tonight to Nizhni Novgorod, or Nizhni as we call it up here.

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Ngaere on

You look like you have been traveling for forty hours. Take a rest and enjoy the scenery. Stay safe. Love to you

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