Russia
Khabarovsk

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

2 travelers at this place:

  • Day232

    Дурак и дороги #3

    August 24, 2017 in Russia

    Komsomolsk-on-Amur to Khabarovsk
    400km

    Anton dropped me off by the traffic police check point just outside Komsomolsk and my journey began. The road was slow, most traffic seemed to be going into the city rather than away from it and of the few cars that were on the road most either had two people in the front, I'm yet to get picked up by anyone who wasn't alone in the car; were trucks that couldn't take passengers, e.g. petrol tankers; or they were simply driven by people who ether blanked me completely or looked at me in that stone faced way that Russians do so well.

    I was starting to wonder if stopping by a police checkpoint was really such a great idea as it might give the guardians of the road an unwanted, on the driver's half, opportunity to check their documents. Then a car pulled in.

    #1 Alex

    My first ride came from a youngish looking guy in some sort of official uniform. I thought he might've just been stopping to chat to the traffic police but as he didn't park up assumed it must have been for me.

    "I'm only going up to (insert place name here)?"
    "That's ok."
    "Alright, get in."

    This time in the Far East I've heard the word местный (local) used a lot. Apparently it's something people from this part of Russia care about. The climbers I met in Vladivostok told me that to them even people from other parts of the Far East can be treated with some disdain. Alex though, unlike almost all the other (ethnic) Russians I'd met so far on this trip was definitely not местный. He was from Voronezh, a city 10,000 kilometers away that's closer, in distance, to Ukraine than Moscow. He was on service in Komsomolsk and had been for about five years, he wanted to get re-posted to Habarovsk but all his attempts hadn't worked out so far. I never actually asked what her actually did, I assumed given he said he was 'serving' and the uniform, blue jacket with a Russian flag on the sleeve, it must have been related to one of the seemingly many military branches located nearby.

    Alex fired out question at quite a fast rate wanting to know what I thought of Russia and how it was different to home. Somewhat surprisingly, given the uniform, he quite quickly voiced his opposition to the government, 'Instead of doing things that help people, like in other Europe, they seem to constantly trying to make things harder.', and stated that he was a patriot who loved his country.

    Unfortunately the ride only lasted about 30 minutes and I was dropped off by a bus station and warned several times to be off the road, and not in the forest, by nightfall as there are bears in the area. It was only 1230 so I assured him I'd be alright and he took off his jacket so we could get a photo - apparently it's forbidden to take selfies in uniform.

    #2 Simeon

    Whilst waiting for my next ride a lot of the same cars and trucks drove past that I'd seen earlier in the day. The man in the orange petrol tanker made a shrugging motion this time, backing up the 'X' he'd made with his arms an hour before. I decided he'd probably have offered me a lift if it weren't for the petrol.

    After about 15 minutes wait Simeon pulled up in what looked like a camo outfit but having just looked back at the photo it was actually a sort of hawaiian (t-)shirt - autumn in Russia edition. Again he was only going down the road but the bears had probably already picked up the scent of peanut butter coming from my bag so it was definitely time to leave. At this point I stopped making such a point of explicitly stating 'I have no money.' to people as everyone who'd picked me up seemed to already get the picture: person with a huge rucksack who doesn't look местный and is stood in the middle of nowhere with his thumb up probably isn't looking for a taxi.

    Simeon worked as some sort of mechanic in Komsomolsk but was on a day off and en route to his friend's/boss' house to pick them up for a fishing trip. He was pretty surprised by my plan to hitchhike across Russia, asking several times if I was serious or not then laughing when I answered. As he was dropping me off he asked to take a picture before I'd even gotten the chance to ask the same question. I chucked up the gang signs for his photo so he did the same for mine.

    #3 Sergei

    I was stood outside a truck stop that I'd stopped on the drive into Komsomolsk two days before. There were two cafes, a ramp for driving up encase you want to poke around under your car and a bus stop full of people. I'd walked away from the bus stop so as to create some sort of distinction between myself and the people looking to pay for a lift. Yet again I saw the orange oil tanker, this time the driver just seemed to laugh, which amused me for a while whilst waiting for the next car to appear. Again the road was slow and any cars that were pulling over were rolling straight over to the cafes.

    The driver of a van that had pulled up over the road shouted across to me asking where I was from. I explained what I was up to and he came over to offer some advice.

    'You should hold a sign saying 'иностранец' (foreigner), then people will find you interesting.'

    He offered to drive me into Komsomolsk but as the bears still hadn't appeared, it being about 1:30, I declined and carried on the hunt. Eventually one of the vans I'd seen pull up a little whilst earlier pulled out of the car park, he looked like he was going straight past me so I put down my hand then turned to watch him drive off. He put his indicators on. I walked over, as ever assuming that he was stopped for some other reason. Before I'd even explained that I was a hitchhiker he was telling me to just get in, a task made quite difficult thanks to my bag. He jumped out and opened up the side door of the van's box, whatever that's called, and in the bag went. I know nothing about vans, yet, but this was the kind of thing Sainsbury's use to deliver food to people's houses, only without a fridge compartment. Like all the other cars it was also Japanese but! this one was left-hand drive (the correct side for Russia).

    I was no longer in charge of saying whether it was safe to over-take vehicles or not and Sergei didn't seem too interested in chatting once the usual formalities were out the way. He, Sergei, must have been about 50 judging by the gold teeth (fronties), fact his four children were all grown up and by his general caring manner. At one point he suggested I sleep, which I'd read was the one thing you shouldn't do whilst hitching so decided against it. A little while later he handed me a battered thermos telling me it was tea then pulled over and gave me some прияники (sort of like ginger-bread though honestly most of it never tastes like ginger), after I'd poured some out he pulled away slowly so I didn't burn myself whilst drinking. I did the usual mental play through of the tea, then the gingerbread, being drugged and the bears being the least of my worries but as things didn't all start spiraling down into world of uninvited colours and I didn't find myself getting increasingly lucid and lightheaded I decided it was all going to be ok and got back to staring at the forest going past. With my bag in the back and Sergei not being that up for chatting there was little else to do and eventually I thought I'd try and take power naps - not actually sleeping but just resting my eyes and thus the journey continued.

    The road between Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk-on-Amur has a couple of especially bad sections where they've stripped back the asphalt ready for resurfacing, they've also stripped back any workers and equipment so quite when they're going to finish the road is unknown. That stretch is only actually 10km of the 400km road but it sure goes on a long way. Also it turns out that bouncy might be a word used to describe all trucks as, like in the dumpster that drove me part of the way to Habarovsk, I gained air on a number of occasions as we bounced over the innumerable holes that pepper the road. All this made sleeping quite hard but on a couple of occasions I was startled into action as I felt myself losing balance as the truck hit another bump in the road.

    Whilst most of the road is lined with birch trees on either side, there were a couple of sections that were tree-less and, Sergei told me, were actually bogs. Those sections stretched back and opened up what looked like miles and miles of perfectly flat land all green and lush until the trees begun again or you hit a hill somewhere off in the distance. Today I did more than the distance from home (up North) to Hounslow, 400km vs 300km, and saw basically nothing but trees, a few bogs and a relatively small amount of traffic on the road.

    If Russia has anything, it has space. Miles upon miles of beautiful, undisturbed space. I've gotten back to looking at maps again and although they don't quite scare me yet it is going to be one hell of a journey home.

    Note: The road pictures were actually done on the way North with Anton but as I didn't hitch that bit I'm not writing about it in this 'series' of posts. As they're of roads though the pictures belong here.
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  • Day242

    Captain's log day #14 [Part 1]

    September 3, 2017 in Russia

    The trip to Habarovsk took a funny turn before it had even begun. Anton’s invitation to visit the ‘ass of the world’ meant bailing on my hosts the evening after arriving then as I was in ‘the ass’ for longer than expected I could only stay with them again for one more night before relocating to a new host who’d invited me to a riverside BBQ they were organising the following day.

    In that short time I managed to gather some useful intel from the locals about waste management and mental health, my hosts’ careers. Whilst at this first location I was also exposed to something I’ve not seen for many years, Duplo, namely in the hands of the young one they seemed to be living with. It seems young ones like playing games that require the presence of someone else but don’t actually allow that person to do anything, including leave. This creature seemed to enjoy playing some version of a game they invented I named ‘I’ve built a robot, watch me play with it.’ I’m not sure as a twin I ever had such control over the games we played, I’m pretty sure they’d have gotten bored of watching. Apart from if it was Zelda.

    - The Russian government does think about reducing waste but those targets are mainly a way to generate income through fines. Companies themselves therefore have pretty good waste control/recycling policies however there’s little work being done to reduce household waste, which remains a big problem both in terms of volume, recycling options available and education about the need to recycle and reduce waste in the first place. That host’s job didn’t include emissions targets so I wasn’t able to gather any information on that.

    - Russian’s attitudes to mental health treatment is changing, slowly. Ten years ago working in the Far East was hard because people didn’t trust mental health workers, now it’s better but there’s a generational divide and older people still think they should sort out any issues on their own or at least without professional help. They also thought our understanding of people hasn’t advanced for over a decade and new treatments are just re-hashings of old ones. I didn’t ask about DSM-5 (update to the widely used diagnostic manual that was released maybe 5 years ago).

    - One of them also thought prices should be more consistent across Russia and that differences that are present don’t match up with differences in income and that this should be aided by government price fixing.

    - They had also studied, and now spoke, Japanese specifically because they were interested in their waste management system as a teenager.

    After relocating I spent the weekend with another Russian family that also had two more small self-mobile things that they seemed to keep as pets of some kind. These two were slightly older and younger than the one I’d met the previous day so our interactions were slightly different. The younger (14 months) one seemed to speak some tongue that was foreign to both me and my hosts. Unfortunately I didn’t make a recording of it for the future, hopefully I haven’t missed anything important. Aside from babbling it seemed to be investigating it’s surrounding area though in a more tactile manner than myself, it’s motor control wasn’t quite accurate and I think it made at least one primitive attempt at a war mask whilst eating. Not sure I trusted it fully, one bite from it could’ve been fatal. The older one (4 going on 5) seemed to also have adopted the local tongue and used it whilst introducing me to seemingly everything in the flat, one thing after another, very quickly, just after we met.

    This family lived in the North of the city, in an area named ‘Краснофлотский Район’ (Red fleet region) after the naval base that used to be located in the area. During that time it was built as a self-contained community including its own power and water supply, making houses in there favourable as the water can ‘be drunk without needing a filter’. My hosts moved in after a Great Uncle passed away and it was a decent size given the size of apartments in some old Soviet flats. It still had a lot of the furnishings my host, Alyosha, was familiar with from her childhood. After we’d gotten to know each other a bit; creator of things, crafts, t-shirts, videos, events, themed weddings; English teacher, at after school clubs for young kids; mother of younglings and wife of a military man; Alyosha showed me the photo albums her Great Uncle had made from the family archives.

    The Great Uncle, Nikolai, had collated several themed albums displaying the family lines, old holidays, their time spent in Algiers as he was working as an engineer (I can’t remember how long for but they returned in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s); and a collection of all the certificates and documents he’d received from a Soviet system that loved to hand out bits of paper with Lenin’s and, as was evident in his collection, until de-Stalinisation, Stalin’s face on. School grades, university diplomas, young pioneers’ awards, records of military service, etc.

    The photos themselves were mainly black and white, apart from a couple of colour images from the fifties and the re-appearance of colour in the 90s. They traced back over a century of their family’s history from Great Great Greats… born perhaps in the late 1800s, sporting the kind of beard you just don’t see in Russia anymore aside from on the face of Old Believers through to such and such’s wedding and the 1999-2000 New Year’s Party. There were men in uniform, kids in prams, people foraging in the woods with buckets, trips to the beach and that time uncle someone or other sailed his little catamaran down the river to Amursk. Nikolai used to develop some of the images himself which, alongside the other largely monochrome images made everything look much older than they actually were. On display were (some of) the same haircuts, clothes, faces and facial-expressions you see today whilst travelling across Russia.

    At the start of the first album, there were six in total, the following had been written:

    “ Посвящение

    Память человека не вечна и длится столько, сколько предназначено ему прожить, и все же есть в ней бессмертие как есть бессмертие в звездах.

    Мы будем жить вечно, вы в нас, мы в вас, как вечно жив человек, взявший наголо от Адама.

    Мы были обыкновенными людьми с обыкновенными надеждами, обыкновенными мечты, обыкновенными страхами.

    Остаться жить в сердцах тех, кого ты покинул, не значит умереть.”

    [Dedication

    A person’s memory is not eternal, it lasts as long as he is designed to live, but never the less within memory there is immortality as there is immortality in the stars.

    We will live forever, you in us, we in you, as forever there lives a man taken from Adam.

    We were ordinary people with ordinary hopes, ordinary dreams, ordinary fears.

    To remain alive in the hearts of those you left, does not mean to die. {possibly better interpreted as ‘…means not to die’}] (I might’ve used a translator for this.)
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  • Day242

    Captain's log day #14 [Part 2]

    September 3, 2017 in Russia

    That evening Pavel, Alyosha’s husband, came back from work. He worked in the military and, due to his work, he was limited in his opportunities to travel, both with regards to free time that wouldn’t be interrupted by special details that could take him away from home for several days on end, even though his base was in Khabarovsk, and because he needed certain clearances and permissions in order to leave Russia and to enter other countries. As such, hosting travellers gave the family an opportunity to meet and chat to people they otherwise not get to so both Alyosha and he seemed to enjoy the time we spent together. After we’d said hi and Alyosha had started preparing dinner, Pavel asked if I drank then we went out to buy beer, Amsterdam Navigator – 7%, and snacks for the evening. Whilst buying beer Pavel shared with me his dislike of gypsies, as ‘they steal and sell drugs’, then later in the evening whilst playing Mistakos, a tiny-chair stacking game, his dislike of homosexuality or anything associated with it. At this Alyosha reminded him that he did infact have a gay friend (but?) who, according to Pavel, was a ‘brutal gay’ (two separate adjectives) and therefore fitted into the same category as men who owned UAZ or Kamaz trucks - Russian trucks with a propensity to breakdown and are supposedly very uncomfortable but equally just keep working, if you know how to fix them.

    The next morning the rain was falling so the BBQ was relocated away from the river and up to their friends’ house just outside of the city, said friends had in the past few years bought one huskie then, soon, ended up with a whole pack of about 18 animals including a Laika and two Maine Coons. While getting ready to go out Pavel lent me some of his clothes that were better suited to being outdoors and took the opportunity to show me his ‘skinhead boots’. Whilst preparing the BBQ Pavel backed up his earlier point by asking whether I knew who the KKK were then told me his friends’ neighbours were from one of the ‘Stans and therefore made bad neighbours. More beer was drunk. Attitudes to homosexuality were again bought up and rebutted (“И что? Как я сказал вчера, мне всё равно. Если у тебя есть проблема это твоя проблема.”; ‘And what? Like I said yesterday, I don’t care. If you have a problem with it then that’s your problem.’ [me]). At one point whilst bbqing America came up in conversation so I asked Pavel and his friend (a policeman) what they thought of Trump the answer, from his friend, was that they thought Trump would be better than ‘that nigger, (reminded of or remembered name) Obama, but the sanctions have continued so he doesn’t seem that great.

    The next day my hosts were preparing to receive their own dog that was arriving in evening on the train from Omsk; apparently delivering dogs on trains is a viable job over here. I went and sat on a grassy bank near the river, writing about Komsomolsk (I think). Two men in security uniforms walked nearby, I looked up, they looked back (and kept walking), I looked up again – they were still looking, I looked up again then one stopped and walked over. “You keep looking at us as if you’re interested in us. Do you speak Russian? (Yes.) Are you related to Osama Bin Laden?” I laughed, told them I was British then, when he’d left, marvelled yet again at how absurd an approach to race, and terrorism concerns, Russian security services seem to employ.

    Back at the flat a fluffy new arrival had appeared and was being given the tour by the older of the younglings who seemed to have a special interest in fluffy self-mobile things judging by the way it had chased after the dogs the day before and the frequency with which it picked up and moved around the two tiny kittens that lived in the hallway of the apartment building. I think it was communicating with them, I’m still not sure I trust the younglings…
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  • Day229

    Дурак и дороги #2

    August 21, 2017 in Russia

    Vladivostok - Khabarovsk
    740km

    Приехал!

    That was surprisingly easy.
    Today's journey went in three stages.

    #1 Sasha

    The first started within about 10 minutes of standing arm out at the hitching spot I found online (hitchwiki.org) I'd got a lift north out of Vladivostok. Today's дурак #1 was Sasha who took me approx 40km away from Vladivostok on his way home, dropping me off by a roadside cafe and advising me to try and get a lift with a long-distance trucker who'd be more likely to take me precisely where I wanted to go.

    After getting in and being unable to pronounce 'англиский автостопшик' (British hitchhiker) correctly I quickly rinsed the travellers trifecta (hitchhikers re-fit); where are you from?, where did you start today?, where are you driving to?; and we'd already run out of things to say. Sasha made a few comments about the state of the road, there being an new (5 years old) bit just outside of Vladivostok, and eventually I remembered the bonus question of 'What kind of car is this?' which kept us going for a bit longer.

    The road today was, almost, all the (Russian Federal Highway) M60. The new section Sasha pointed out was just outside the city and, I think - having now looked at a map, involved the building of, another, new bridge to bypass going through Artyom. None of these place names will mean anything to pretty much anyone who happens to read this so let's just say this, Vladivostok used to be even more annoying to get to, then Putin turned up. It seems like the causal relationship some people have about Putin making things better is the wrong way around. If he goes somewhere stuff get's cleaned up before he arrives. Rather than him having gone there first and actually done it himself. At least that's the case with roads in Vladivostok, many of which in the city are currently being torn up and, presumably, replaced, ready for his visit in just over a week's time.

    Sasha's car, like all those I rode in today, was Japanese made. I've forgotten the model of his pick-up truck but he purchased it in '91 and it was already used when he bought it. She, cars are female by Russian's gendered grammar rules, seemed to work well enough though. Probably the best moment of that short journey was Sasha lamented the loss of people's social bonds with one another after the fall of the Soviet Union, "Back then if you stood with your arm out by the side of the ride not a single car would drive past without stopping to ask what you wanted and how they could help." (Not a direct translation but I think pretty accurate.) Phrases like that make you wish you could speak Russian better so you could get into a conversation about perestroika or something.

    #2 Denis

    Not five minutes later another car pulled up then drove away after hearing the word 'hitchhiker' ("Без денег не куда"; 'Without money, not to anywhere'). I was still pretty overjoyed at getting my first lift so as this guy drove off I raised my arm straight up up and not long after got a nod from someone in a dumpster. I thought he was just acknowledging me as a couple of other drivers had done then I turned to see him pulling in. As with my ride the other day I wondered if by the time I walked over he might have actually just been pulling over to get out rather than to pick me up but, after shouting up through the driver's side window he beckoned me to jump in, which it turns out is really hard to do when carrying a 20+ kilo backpack.

    After struggling in and then failing again at my pre-prepared phrases we were off as I tried to redeem myself by speaking actual Russian words. From what I gathered Denis was en-route to his home town of Ussuriysk, about 60km up the road from where he picked me up. He now lived in Vladivostok but was heading to a construction site, something to do with road building. He'd spent the previous three years driving cargo, trees, across the border to China and back and preferred the roads on the other side of the line.

    Again conversation wasn't exactly forthcoming so I realised I'd have to settle into just sitting in the truck which it turns out was quit hard as part of this stretch of the highway is atrocious, or the cabin of these trucks is meant to feel like a rollercoaster. I'm not sure which. Unfortunately I have no photos of the bad condition roads and if I did they'd probably just be a blurry picture of the camera flying out of my hand anyway.

    Unlike on the ride with Sasha I was able to keep my bag nearby, and not in the back of the truck, however I did start to wonder if things were all going wrong when we made a definite turn off the road to Habarovsk and into the town of Ussuriysk. Denis told me he was going to show me his hometown before returning to the road which was both a nice offer and somewhat disconcerting given I then realised I'd totally failed to make any note of what vehicle I'd chosen to get into. After a drive through the kind of town that sort of reminded me of Nantwich, in the 'dampest thing in the fridge, pressed between two of the driest things in the fridge' kind of a way rather than anything to do with Tudor Britain, I was dropped off outside another roadside cafe.

    These first two rides had reminded me of one of the lessons I learnt last time in Russia. First, just cause people don't look interested doesn't mean they aren't. And second, Russians can be awful at making conversation.

    #3 Anton

    After crossing assessing the map on my phone I crossed over the road and put my arm back up. A tractor was slowly crawling towards me with cars speeding up to overtake it on the far side. "They're all speeding up, none are going to stop." I thought to myself second before a car that'd just gone past said tractor did exactly that.

    Anton was a taxi drive from Komsomolsk-on-Amur, a city 200km north of Habarovsk. He'd caught the train down a couple of days ago, driven down to the coast for a night and was now driving back home, over 1000km away from where he'd spent the night. His aim for the day, like mine, was Habarovsk and, as he was alone, he thought a hitchhiker might make the next 650kms a bit more interesting.

    The conversation flowed, the sun was shining, and a mix of two dancehalls tracks, Metallica and assorted Russkii Rock blared out of his car speakers. The next 10 or so hours flowed smoothly punctuated by me trying to explain lyrics to the few English language songs on his playing, us getting pulled over for him to be given a fine for some minor driving offense and, ticking off part of my Russian to do list, to pick wild mushrooms!

    As in many countries, along the side of the road people set up stalls selling produce they've grown or foraged.

    "Такие грибы!" Anton exclaimed, pointing to a bucket we'd just driven past. They were huge, the size of a large saucer, and bubbling out of the bucket.
    I broke driving etiquette to turn down the stereo a bit so I could speak.
    "Я ни-когда не собирал грибы! Это моя цель здесь, этот раз в России." I explained.
    "Ни-когда?! Я покажу тебе."
    "Давайте!"

    Most of Russia is trees. Fact. This includes the area surrounding the roads. Half-an-hour later we Anton was pulling over the car just opposite another car, the passengers in which had presumably had the same idea and were now foraging amongst the bushes. Anton pulled out his phone and started recording a video, explaining to future viewers that I, the traveller from London had never picked mushrooms and he was going to show me how easy it was. We set off into the trees.

    'Look, these trails are all from mushroom hunters. To get the best ones you've got to get up early, lots of people have already been here today.'

    We walked along the trails, eyes to the ground.

    'Is that one?' I said pointing to a white mushroom-y looking thing on the ground.
    'No. ...' I can't remember what he said afterwards but basically it means don't pick that one, for some reason. '...ahh. There's got to be some here somewhere.'

    A few minute's later Anton had a couple of red capped fungi that looks like something straight out of a fairytale. They were shaped a bit like chanterelles but with a pastel red top. He explained the best way to cook them, which I totally didn't understand (all this was in Russian), and handed them to me. I took out Pierre to help capture the moment as Anton strode off looking for more. Within about fifteen minutes we had a couple of huge, thick, white mushrooms both larger than 12cm in height and 6cm across. He broke one open and gave it a sniff, it smelt very earthy, very much like a mushroom. Apparently that's one of the ways to identify whether it's edible or not, a method he learnt just from practice, as you do, the way many (cultural) lessons are handed down. As I didn't entirely understand what he said I won't be repeating this exercise alone but still, I've finally gone mushroom picking! :)

    I left our small collection on top of the car parked over the rode and we drove off, music blaring out. Towards the end of our journey Anton asked if I could read Russian, I can - slowly, then gave me a book to look at that his grandmother had handed him. It was produced by a Ukranian religious organisation, like most people in the Far East (of Russia) his relatives had arrived from other parts of the Soviet Union to help build Communism. The book detailed the 12 rules handed down by a Ukranian ('well..., he's Russian' - Anton corrected me) religious figure who supposedly lived into his mid fifties without every getting ill despite walking around all year with only a piece of cloth covering his upper legs and waist. The 12 rules included having a twice daily soaking in ice-cold water; abstaining from food or drink for 40 hours every weekend; abstaining totally from alcohol and cigarettes, this one Anton fell down on; keeping a positive attitude towards hardships, other people and our connectedness with the earth. Supposedly it helped save his, Anton's, life.

    As we got closer to Habarovsk I was invited to join him on the trip up to Komsomolsk tomorrow to visit his dacha, try out his banya ("Он такая баня!" [Put's thumb up and smiles]), and be shown the city that, by all his accounts, offers absolutely not opportunities for the people who live there.

    We're leaving tomorrow at 8am.
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  • Day6

    Hotel Verba (1. Nacht)

    July 6, 2017 in Russia

    Ein schönes, neues Hotel mitten in der Stadt, für "Stadtwanderer" wie mich in Fussdistanz zu den meisten Sehenswürdigkeiten gelegen.

    Das Hotelzimmer überrascht mich mit edlem Erscheinungsbild, selbst die offerierten Toilettenutensilien wirken edel.

    Wie üblich stecke ich meine Wertsachen in den Safe, bloss diesmal tat ich dies, ohne vorher zu prüfen, wie sich der Safe wieder öffnen lässt. Und prompt schnappt die Falle zu! Meine Wertsachen (vor allem mein Pass, meine Tickets und etwas Notgeld) liegen im Safe, und dieser lässt sich nicht mehr öffnen!

    Ich telefoniere mit der Reception, erkläre das Problem (die Dame spricht nicht schlecht Englisch), und wenig später steht jemand vom Hausdienst in meinem Zimmer und rüttelt am Safe herum. Offenbar klemmt das Schloss. Auch er kann den Safe nicht öffnen.

    Der Mann verschwindet kurz und kommt mit einem Schlüssel zurück. Er löst eine Abdeckung am Safegehäuse, legt ein Schlüsselloch frei und schliesst den Safe auf. Der Mann händigt mir diesen Notschlüssel aus, mit welchem ich den Safe auch ohne Zahlenkombination öffnen kann, und entschuldigt sich für die Umstände.
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  • Day8

    Grado-Chabarowsk-Kathedrale

    July 8, 2017 in Russia

    Ich bin auf dem Weg zur Schiffsanlegestelle und überquere gerade nichts ahnend den Komsomolskaja-Platz, da ertönt in lauten, schnellen Glockenschlägen ein penetrantes Geläute. Ich merke rasch, es stammt von der russisch-orthodoxe Kirche mit dem schwerfälligen Namen "Grado-Chabarowsk-Kathedrale der Verabschiedung der Mutter Gottes aus dem irdischen Leben", einer der grössten Kirchen im fernöstlichen Russland.

    In wenigen flinken Schritten habe ich mich zur Kirche begeben, wo ich nun einer Prozession zuschauen kann. Voraus schreiten die Würdenträger, Priester und Gehilfen, unmittelbar dahinter vier Träger mit einer Ikone, dann weitere Geistliche, gemischt mit vermutlich Angehörigen der Familie(n) und schliesslich weitere Gäste.

    Der Anlass der Prozession erschliesst sich mir nicht. Weder scheint es eine Hochzeit zu sein noch eine Abdankungsfeier, vielleicht einfach ein besonderer Gottesdienst. Ich kenne mich bei den orthodoxen Praktiken nicht aus.

    Jedenfalls verschwindet die Prozession bald in der Parkanlage auf der anderen Strassenseite, und ich nutze die Gelegenheit und schlüpfe durch das weit geöffnete Kirchenportal ins innere der Kathedrale, wo mich goldener Glanz empfängt. Der Innenraum ist reich geschmückt und verziert, die Wand gegenüber des Portals mit zahlreichen Bildern vollgehängt, an den Säulen sind weitere Ikonen unter Glas befestigt.

    Ich bestaune die prunkvolle Ausstattung, verlasse die Kirche dann wieder und setze meinen Weg zur Schiffsanlegestelle fort.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Khabarovsk, Chabarowsk, Chabarofsk, خاباروفسك, Горад Хабараўск, Habarovsk, Khabàrovsk, Chabarovsk, Χαμπάροφσκ, Ĥabarovsk, Jabárovsk, خاباروفسک, חברובסק, ख़ाबारोव्स्क, Habarovszk, Խաբարովսկ, KHV, ハバロフスク, Xabarovsk, 하바롭스크, Chabarovskas, Habarovska, 伯力, खबारोव्स्क, ہابروسک, Хабаровск, Хабаровскай, Khbarovsk, Хабаровськ, خابارووسک

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