Historical tour of Yekaterinburg

Trip Start Nov 15, 2004
Trip End Nov 10, 2005

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Saturday, July 9, 2005

Our journey continued west to the history strewn city of Yekaterinburg.
Once again it was enjoyable watching the landscape pass by our train window (although a window cleaner would have been handy!), lots of little villages with quaint wooden houses, sometimes colourfully decorated, and all with huge vegetable gardens. Every time the train stopped for more than a few minutes everyone jumped off and stocked up on supplies from the 'babushkass' selling home grown vegetables, berries and dinners. This particular journey was rather interesting as the train had originated in Mongolia and was full of traders selling a range of goods at every station. There was quite a lot of action as the locals come and try and pick up some bargains, but it got a little hairy at one point when we saw a trader being pulled from the carriage door by a guy trying to steal some jeans she was selling. Needless to say we went back to our compartment at this stage. We finished reading the 'complete prose of Pushkin' (Russian author; a book we found on the train from Mongolia) but were rather disappointed as most of the stories were incomplete! This has something to do with him dueling to his death in his early 30s!

Yekaterinburg is the place where Tsar Nicholas II and his family were killed in 1918 and has a lot of old buildings and museums (26) for visitors to explore. After eventually finding the hotel (hidden in a huge building complex without a sign!) we went on a walking tour that took us past many statues (including one of the guy that ordered the killing of the Tsar!), a very impressive City Hall, some old mansions, a huge statue of Lenin and a large golden domed Russian Orthodox Church - the Church of Blood (built in honor of the Tsar and family, now elevated to the status of Saints). The Church was very impressive and filled with golden framed images and candlestick holders. We also visited a photography museum where there were some interesting old photos of the town including some portraits or some interesting looking characters!

Next stop, Moscow!
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