The day before yesterday I went again to the climbing gym in Perm in order to meet Anton. Anastasia arranged this contact to me. Anton wants to go to rock climbing the next day and I asked him, if I could join him. He agreed and will pick me up the next morning at 8 o’clock.
After this organisation I went to the University in the evening in order to meet Aleksandra. She showed me a little bit around the campus, before we went to a small pub. There was some live music and already a table was reserved for us, by a friend of her. Alexey showed up some minutes after us and I had a very nice conversation with them for two drinks before we went finally home.
Yesterday in the morning after arriving I got a coffee in Perm and needed to change my host quickly, as the first one did no longer replying. But I got luck and Aleksandra responded quickly and at noon we met at her flat. In the late afternoon I met with Anya. She is another CS member of Perm and was my guide for about an hour. Unfortunately we couldn’t spend such much time together, as she went to holidays to Greece later in the evening. But I enjoyed the city tour a lot and she showed me some nice secret spots, which were for sure not mentioned in any guidebook. In the evening I went to the Skalaclub climbing gym of Perm, which is by the way the highest in Russia. Here I met Anna, also a CS member. I was in contact with her since some time and she really introduced me very kindly to the local climbing scene. As I had nobody for belaying me, one of the local instructors Anastasia, was so kind for helping me out. I had really a nice evening, but in the end…or even in between…my arms were pumped up.
The local transport in Perm is highly complicated, if you don’t understand the Russian announcements. Even if the trams have final destinations, it can be, that they just drive in another way or direction. I had the luck, that I went wrong two times. And also it takes really always longer than expected. On my way home, after waiting for 15 min, I got a tram. But unfortunately, it only drove for a couple of stations and then everybody need to get out. Another one was coming but nobody was allowed to enter. Finally, as it was already late, I just took a bus. I got even to manage where it was driving and at which station I need to connect to another line. This last one was my first ride with an electric autobus. So in the end it took me almost 1.5 hours to get back from the climbing gym to my host.
The day before yesterday I took the next train to Perm. This train only runs I guess three times a week and is the only direct train connection from Kazan to Perm. And the train was almost full, as there were only 3 places left in the third class, when I booked my ticket. And as I got onto the wagon, this was already pretty full of people mainly from young people and children of two sport clubs. When I got to my seat, my opposite neighbour asked me, if I cannot change my place with the one from her husband in the next wagon. But I explained her (half in Russian half in English) that I will got to the final destination, but she wanted to leave the train earlier. Somehow she managed that another girl changed the places with her seat. So now Irina was sitting opposite to me. Her English was as good as my Russian…maybe a little better. So we tried to communicate a little bit for a while. When I went to the Samovar for my first time to get hot water for my tea, an employee from the RZD was just staying next to the conductor and asked me in English, if I am an foreigner. I told him about my trip and we had some short conversation. After about 5 hours Irina and more than the half train disembarked in Izhevsk and I prepared my bed for the night.
The day before yesterday I went in the afternoon to a Soviet style museum, where a lot of pieces from these times where on exhibit. Sometimes it was not clear to me, if they were original or not. And even if they were from the Soviet Union, it is for sure also questionable in which quantity and to whom these were available.
Afterwards I met again with Olga. We first grabbed again some Tatarstan food and the went nearby the Kremlin in order for a nice sunset, where we enjoyed our bakeries, which includes “Talkysh kaleve” and “Kystyby”. We had also something original to drink with us, which tasted like a mixture of beer and lemonade but with almost not alcohol. Nevertheless, on the way home, we stopped in a bar for a (real) beer.
The day before yesterday I met my new host Olga at hear office, after having my second cup of coffee with milk. I could leave my large backpack at her office and headed afterwards just with my day pack to the city. I first walked to the Kremlin and strolled through it. As it was Monday, all museums were closed and only the Mosque was open. So I got the first time into it and had a look inside from one of the balconies. After that I continued my walk to the cathedral nearby. It was built from the same architect as the Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, as Ivan the Terrible decided not to cut of his hands after the cathedral in Moscow. So you can decide which one looks more beautiful…or maybe the architect didn’t want to get in the same trouble again.
I had a short lunch break in a park nearby an artificial pond and went further to the main pedestrian street. In the late afternoon I went to a real Tatarstan restaurant which was suggested by Olga. It was not really cheap, but once a month in travel I thought it is OK to taste some horse flesh and other local Tatarstan dishes. Especially the warm salad was very nice. After that we met again in the office and went home. On the way we grabbed again some local food for the evening and just went to Olgas flat for a nice conversation. She offered to me some sweets, like something like cooked evaporated milk and чак-чак.