Russia
Altai Krai

Here you’ll find travel reports about Altai Krai. Discover travel destinations in Russia of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

9 travelers at this place:

  • Day139

    Barnaul - getting things done

    July 27 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Yesterday we arrived in Barnaul and we've been super efficient since then.
    Knowing we have limited time (we want to get to Kyrgistan as quickly as we can), we contacted a fellow traveller (Nikos Knudsen) who lives in Barnaul well in advance. Reason being: we REALLY needed some new tyres. Instead of just telling us who to contact, Nikos researched, ordered and stored the tyres for us! How sweet is that?!
    So on arriving in the city, we simply drove up to his apartment where we were greeted by Kristina, his wife. She made coffee for us and offered us some fruit, we picked up the tyres and then even drove to the garage together to arrange the tyre change.
    We can't thank the two of you enough and are only sad about the fact we couldn't meet Nikos personally as he was travelling!
    Due to these pre-arrangements we then even had time to drive to the Toyota dealer who serviced and checked Hans then and there (while we were enjoying their massage chair). Hans is in great shape again. We still need to get a few smaller repairs done but as we want to travel further, we'll probably do that in Almaty.
    Afterwards we drove to the city beach and enjoyed the beautiful view towards Barnaul over the river before falling asleep. What a beautiful feeling to be on the road again!
    Today it's all about stocking up, filling up water and preparing for yet another border crossing. Kazakhstan tomorrow! (Hopefully ;-)).
    While we didn't see much of Barnaul, the people we met made it feel like a super nice place. People were waving to us on the street, a few even asked us from their car about our journey. We felt welcomed and are super happy how quickly we got everything done.
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  • Day140

    Russia to Kazakhstan

    July 28 in Russia ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Another border crossing. It seems like we got into something like a routine by now. The day before the crossing, we camp somewhere nearby with Internet reception and read on various blogs about what to expect and how to prepare. (Of course we usually have a general idea as it might be a bit late to apply for a visa the day before 😉 but it helps to refresh our memories).
    In case of this border we had friends crossing it just two days ago, so we even had a personal experience report.
    As we don't need a visa for Kazakhstan and the temporary import document for Hans is also still valid (Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgistan and Armenia form the Eurasian Custom Union), there is little to prepare. Thankfully!
    Hence, we get up, have breakfast, pack up and head to the border. We still have to drive for about 2 hours, but the beautiful landscape with so so so many sunflower fields makes time fly by. Just before the border, we fill our tank with precious Russian diesel and head to a small booth selling car insurances for KZ and KGZ. We chose the first one, which might not have been the cheapest (2400Rubel for 15days) but the friendly lady was too nice to say no to. We get a simcard, too (Beeline this time as we heard it's good for KZ), but as I'm not sure about reception in Kazachstan, I quickly give my mum a call. Tom is having lunch, while I'm happily chatting about all things back home. So close and yet still so far away... It's hard to hang up today (I really enjoyed talking to my Mum as if we've seen each other just yesterday), but it's time to go. The border is waiting.
    We rock up just shortly after 1pm and stand in line with two other cars. Passport control and customs on the Russian side are smooth and take less than half an hour. The Kazakh side is similarly efficient (with the passport officer trying to learn some English with me) and so we're out and on our way to Semey a mere 1.5hrs later. Wow!
    Notably, there is no settlement directly after the Kazakh border, so be prepared or else drive to Semey. We would be prepared but want to cover some ground, so we opt for the later in order to take a break at the city's river. By pure chance we discover a locals' favourite, or it least it seems like it due to the many families swimming, picnicking and camping here. Turns out we're even more lucky: the family right next to us immediately invites us over and shares their stories as well as their amazing food with us. The father is an enthusiastic hunter and so we get to try venison shashlik. And the son is on summer vacation from studying in Korea so there is pork belly with kimchi, too! Our planned coffee break thus turns into a second lunch/early dinner, filled with pictures and stories that the son and daughter-in-law translate for us. So cool!
    Passing by horses that surround Hans for a while add to the picture-perfect experience just before we continue our journey. How lovely! Thank you so much again, our start in Kazakhstan couldn't have been better!
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  • Day139

    Random Russia - Part 2

    July 27 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Russia is such a vast and diverse country that you actually can't talk about "things I've seen in Russia". Our experiences in the Far East of Russia and in Southern Siberia were sometimes quite different. Especially in terms of the landscape. So I'm dividing this post according to regions.

    In general:
    You can't buy alcohol before 11am.

    Churches are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. Women can borrow scarfs to cover their hair and sometimes wrap around skirts. It stood out to me that there are hardly any possibilities to sit down. Seems like the Russians worship standing up.

    Far East:
    I've seen more cowboys (men herding cows on horses) in Russia than in Australia.

    Cows and at times horses mostly roam around freely, no fences at all. Often they are unaccompanied. Free-range at its best.

    We've also seen herds of wild horses. Mongolia is close!

    Southern Siberia:
    If you want to have your car cleaned, you drive to a shop where they do everything by hand. Super detailed! (We only got the car cleaned from the outside, but we saw many cars shining bright as new even inside).

    People sell dried birch branches everywhere on the side of the street. These are used in the local saunas (banyas) to increase the effect.

    On the way from Barnaul to the Kazakh border we saw many beautiful settlements that had a gated entry from the main road. Unfortunately we don't know if anyone could enter or only the habitants. Houses of all shapes and colours, surrounded by what looked like super productive gardens. A dream!

    There are a high number of flowering fields. Some look like they are cover crops, but there was also a white flower that I really need to find out what it'll be used for. Often fields are lined with a flowering greenstrip, amazing for insects and local wildlife.
    It was also very beautiful to see if a field had been a sunflower field during the previous season. The bright yellow flowers surrounded the wheat or whatever else was growing and every now and then a single one would have popped up in between the new crop. Mother nature has her own way of creating beauty!

    Super duper friendly people all around! Don't believe US movies depicting the Russians as the villains all the time. We were welcomed warmly, invited for a random BBQ in the middle of nowhere and had people waving and greeting us from their cars in Barnaul. So so lovely!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Altayskiy Kray, Altai Krai, Kraï d'Altaï, Altajskij kraj, Алтайский край, Altaj

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