Yekaterinburg – Chelyabinsk

Today I went first to the city. Due to the help of my host Nina I was able to put my backpack at the office of one of her friends Irina directly opposite to the Grinvich shopping mall. I wanted to meet with Olya again, but somehow she slept for 11 hours and missed my message. Therefore, I met Nikita by chance, or maybe even vice versa 😆, while I was waiting for Irina near Grinvich with a cup of coffee. He just stopped by and we had a very nice but short conversation, because he needed also wo go further on. His mother is teacher for English and German, so he was even able to speak some words in the later one. He suggested to me to visit the Buddhism temple at Mount Kachkanar but unfortunately I already booked my next train, and this would be even in the wrong direction. Also Nina told about this place and also, that there is a large company which want that the monks are leaving this place…because of minerals as you might have already guessed…

After depositing my large backpack I just strolled through the city in the direction to the Yelzin museum, until I got the message from Olya that she will be in the Metro station in a short time. So I went back to meet her and we were walking together to that new museum. After getting the tickets, we were enforced to drop off all our luggage. I took also an English audioguide, but this one was useless, as it gave only basic information which were on display anyhow. And the rest was only in Russian. Nevertheless, I had Olya with me and thus, she just explained and translated much for me.

The museum was really nice, because not that I even got some new information, but also it displayed a slightly differentiated view onto the Soviet and Russian history of the 20th century. We even discovered that the Soviets have had a similar famous poster than the U. S. of Uncle Sam. As it took longer than expected in the museum, we needed to hurry up. Catch my backup, and heading to the train station. At the plattform we said goodbye to each other.

In the train I shared my table with Vladimir. Even as I already told him in the very beginning, that I have only a very limited knowledge of Russian, he didn’t really stopped speaking throughout the train. During the 5 hours he drunk I guess about one bottle of vodka, but not publicly. He just refilled it in a water bottle and from that to his cup. As it was clear, that I only understand one word in one minute, the other 4 women in the compartment were embarrassed about his behaviour. And even for me it was exhausting and hard to be polite and just have a smile during all that time, because I can really hardly explain myself in Russian.

Now I’m in Chelyabinsk in a hostel and just had a nice conversation with August. He is travelling since one year, only by hitchhiking, at the moment from Vladivostok to Cremea. But afterwards he wants to go on to South Korea mainly at the southern “shore” of Asia. As his English is maybe as good as my Russian the Google translator was our main help.

QUERTY keyboard in the grass
They still using these robust trucks throughout the country
Nikita with his present for me – a lead pencil – and me
But some very high important people are also used to these type of transport
Some old blanket design which was popular during the 1930s
Voter turnout (first column) and voting results in the 1930s…Olya couldn’t believe these numbers…and I tried to explain that during that time, probably the main problem was to stay always below 100%
This is Vladimir my free entertainment for almost the whole train drive…no in this bottle iys really water. But as you can see, the taste was not was good as the stuff from the cup 😉
After we left Yekaterinburg, the landscape turned flat.
Sometimes some factories appeared with smoking chimneys
But also some lakes. But the weather is not yet good enough for swimming inside.
My train ticket

City Tour Yekaterinburg

Yesterday I went to a city tour in the afternoon. Therefore I took a marshrutka the first time at my own. But as I knew the number and the exit, it was not a really big deal. In the beginning the weather was still OK, but became worse after and after. So I just followed the red line at this time, and passed by several more or even less interesting buildings. The major attraction was for sure the 52nd floor of the highest building in town, from which I had a nice lookout throughout the city. After a couple of hours strolling around, I met again Nina in town. But we decided just tow went home for some Pelmeni and cup of tea, as it was again really chilly. I guess the day before yesterday it had about 2°C in the late evening.

City Hall of Yekaterinburg
Main pedestrian street with the read line
Old merchant House in the city with one of the many sculptures in front of it. And yes, Russian people like pictures with themselves a lot…especially women
Aerial view to the west with the middle Ural mountains starting behind the city
South-East View with the airport and a starting plane…a little bit further away
Eastern view with some of the many chimneys

Perm – Yekaterinburg

Yesterday in the early morning I took the next train to Yekaterinburg, at the border between Europe and Asia. I met my host Nina at the metro station and I could put my backpack in her flat. As she needed to go to work again, I met Olya another CS member. She gave me a tour through the city with almost all major attractions. As it started to rain we headed to a restaurant for some tea in the Grinvich shopping mall and I got some dishes which originates from Uzbekistan (?!?… I’m no longer sure about this). In the evening I met again Nina and we had another walk through the city, as the weather was already OK again. At a pond we looked for the sunset, but as it became very chilly we went on. Before we head to one of her friends we grabbed some (German) beer and (Russian) dishes.

Some large and nice houses at the other side of the river Sylva

Church near Kungur
My seat for the journey. In the long distance trains there are only sleeping couches in the three classes available
I took the well known train 100 in eastbound direction, which drives all the way from Moscow to Vladivostok. That’s the train iterary of the 9300 km journey.
Istorichesky Skver, unfortunately during not so good weather
The old water tower in the background
Old wooden houses which now accommodate museums in the Literary Quarter
Church upon the Blood…at the site where the Romanov family was murdered 100 years ago
My guide Olya at the tour through the city
Lake side view of the highest building in town (now, after demolishing the old and never finished TV tower)
I guess you know this man which originates from Yekaterinburg
My host Nina during the sunset at the lake
The stadium is ready…
…directly opposite to the jail, just that you know 😉
There are not only old buses from Germany driving in Russia, sometimes you even encounter new ones which are fuelled by natural gas…well maybe also an economically and environmentally option for Germany due to the diesel gate…
My online train ticket

Afternoon walk in Perm

The day before yesterday I went to a walk through the downtown of Perm. There I followed the green line which passed by several major and minor attractions of the city. In the end it started to rain and I went back.

Old train station of Perm
Directly opposite of the train station is the old water station for steamboats, where nowadays river cruise ship departs
Mooring at the Kama river
Old banya (in front) and new one (?) directly behind
Old Hotel where one of the members of the Romanov family lived before murdered
Library of Perm which was the template for the one in Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago”
Another building which influenced Pasternak for the novel
The green line, I followed, and the “red line of love” infront of the Opera and Ballet theatre

Rock Climbing Excursion Perm

Yesterday I the morning my clock rang at half past six. I wanted to have some breakfast but I had a really hurting stomach ache. So I got only some tea and eventually also some medicine from Aleksandra. But as this didn’t helped very fast, so I needed to cancel the trip with Anton in the morning. I was really sad to do this, because I was really looking forward to go climbing at this sunny day.

Sasha (which is the short version of Aleksandra) returned at 14 o’clock and as I was OK we started our excursion in the late afternoon. After almost 2 hours drive because of traffic and bad roads, and maybe sometimes both together we arrived at the Ermak rock. Here we met Anton and his friends which were still climbing. I was directly warmly integrated into the group and could start climbing immediately, after Sasha tried it the first time in her life. As it was already late I made only three routes, but it was worth going the way out, because Anton, Ilya, and all super nice persons, and it would have been a pity not to meet them. After climbing we went to a restaurant and Anton told me the story about Ermak and why the rock was named after him.

River Sylva at the western foothills of the Middle Ural mountains
Highway and nice weather
Lovely landscape…but driving is quite “interesting”. In Germany we would call it rude, but here it is just normal.
Bad roads before the final destination. Maybe now it becomes clear why the Russian machines always need to be a little bit stronger and tougher.
Warmly welcome in the local climbing community
Anton in the left, who belayed me
Me in the route “Peace! Labour! May!” rated as 6a+ (UIAA XII- or Saxon Grade XIIIa). I never have lead such a hard route in the rocks (and even in the gym I make it only on a good climbing day), so it was pretty fine for me to go this route on Toprope.
Almost on top 😄