Arriving in Yekaterinburg on the Trans Siberian Railway
After three days aboard my train I am now getting ‘my train legs’, oh yes just like sea legs prolonged train travel does interfere with your gait. I have adapted to the vibration and movement by slowing down, I tend to be a rather quick step sort of person and walking with my feet slightly further apart helps with the sway. Beginning to meet other passengers and share stories, why is it we tend to share the ‘what can go wrong’ stories first?
Although some of the advice I am receiving from seasoned travelers is helping formulate my itineraries for the cities and towns I will be visiting. Crossing from Europe into Asia was celebrated with a new friend and a glass of champagne, not quite sure of the exact crossing but who cares, the champagne was very nice and the scenery around the Urals magnificent. This Mountain range stretches north to south across western Russia and is the natural boundary between east and west.
We arrived in Yekaterinburg early evening and already we are in a different time zone, we are now GMT+5, two hours ahead of Moscow. This journey will eventually take me across seven time zones. I want to travel as freely as possible as in the words of Lao-Tzu, “a good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” I want to enjoy my journey not just be looking to my final destination.
Yekaterinburg is the fourth largest Russian city with the dubious honor of being where the Tsar Nicholas and his family were murdered in 1918. I organized an overnight stay in host accommodation and as the place sleeps 3 I invited the lady I met on the train to stay with me rather than in the hotel as she had planned. In return, as this was not her first visit she took me to a splendid restaurant the Stroganov-Grill, where I had my first taste of borsch and an excellent stroganov over mashed potatoes, my friend had blini and they are next on my ‘to try list’.
Tomorrow is serious sightseeing and to see if all the advice and research will help me manage to book my onward ticket. Plan of the day is find a ‘walking map’ these I am told are free and published by the tourist board, I have got instructions how to find the office and feel pretty confident I will manage that. Looking forward to visiting the Chinese bazaar and the mafia cemetery, I know, trashy, but still while I am here I want to satisfy my curiosity. I also intend to visit the Church on the Blood and the Qwerty monument and of course the Museum of Fine Arts. Da svidaniya