Russia
Primorskiy Kray

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16 travelers at this place

  • Day62

    First night out of Vladivistok

    June 26, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

    I couldn't get my car ready yesterday. It was very late when I got home.
    To get the car into the container I had to let some air out of the tyres. When unloading the car, I wanted to pump up the tyres, but when unpacking the air compressor I found that the curled hose had totally disintegrated and fallen into lots of pieces. Waiting for help. Yuri and I had still some shipping business to finalise, so he brought along an air compressor. What would we overlanders do without Yuri!
    After dinner with Yuri i drove home. As I wanted to get a head start for the next morning, I drove to the supermarket to stock up with all the stuff I still needed.
    The Carpark is very narrow (oh we spoilt Aussies) so I took one corner too short and
    dinted a super loved and polished old timer car. Got out of it with 200$US . Sounded like a good deal to me, but involved a lot of discussion, talking and waiting.
    This morning, after packing up and sorting out the van it wax time to say good by to my new found friends Katya and Vera. Katya has extra baked some apple and berry pies for me, Vera presented me with Vietnamese Coffee ( you should try it one day. Really yummy!), Russian chocolate and honey.
    Now I had to get a hose for this air compressor and fill up my gas bottle. After driving around Vladivostok for hours I did not succeed with any of it so I ended up buying a cheap compressor so i can use its hose and buying a gas cooker. In the process I got to close again to another car in an even tighter car park in China town, which this time resulted in no damage to the other car but to mine.
    Just a small dint, doesn't bother me, but my driving confidence is shaken by now. I only tinted 2x in my hole life and now 2x within 24 hours. What's going on??!!
    Finally at 4o'clock I'm headed out of town.
    Rexelby has been overjoyed to have the van back. I hardly got him out the car last night when i showed him what I brought home.
    Now , at around 5 he is making himself known. He had been extremely patient with me so I drove off the highway trip find a spot where i ciuld take him for a walk.
    Once you leave the highway there are mainly really bad dirt roads. So I travel along this really horrible dirt road, when I, I kid you not, drive the left front wheel into a ditch, so it its air borne. Here i am stuck again! Can you believe this? For no reason! Thank goodness a truck comes along and to my rescue. He has really deserved some of Katja's apple pies!
    I took this as a sign to call it a day! I hadn't realised how stressed I must have been. Time to rest and have a good sleep. There's a new start tomorrow!
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  • Day90

    On the road again

    June 8, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    He's back! After four weeks and five days of being apart, we're reunited with Hans. Thanks to Brent from Bikes abroad (our Australian agent) and Yuri and Svetlana from Links, LTD. (our Russian agent), the shipping of the car went as smoothly as can be, with only a minor delay of 4days (delays of a week or more are more than common. Ship schedules are a finicky thing.).
    Tom and I were anxiously waiting for Yuri's call this morning. Papers had been cleared yesterday, now it was just a question of when the container would be unloaded. Once Yuri called, everything went super fast. He picked us up and drove us to the terminal where the container was already on the ground. It was opened in our presence and there he was: Hans. The engine started on first try, he was driven out and after we had paid Yuri, he was ours once again.
    No more hostel searching and worrying about kitchen access, we've got our home back!
    A couple of hours later (we needed to unpack our backpacks, rearrange a few things, shop groceries and fill up our tank), we are on the road. Jeez, it feels good!
    Tom quickly got used to driving on the right side again (even in a right-hand drive), but we still need to get a feeling for the road conditions. So many potholes! The landscape is quite similar to home (Germany in this case), the sun is shining and just before dark (daylight is till about 9pm) we find a beautiful spot next to a lake about 15min from the highway.
    Brotzeit (cheese, bread, mustard, vegan dip, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers) for dinner makes this a perfect day.
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  • Day85

    Wladiwostok - first impressions

    June 3, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    We made it! We are in Russia, in particular in Wladiwostok, all the way on the East Coast.
    Russia is a country neither of us has been to yet and seems a bit daunting, to be honest.
    We had already been super excited about our granted visa (the process is not the easiest but actually fairly straight forward if you got all the information), but I think we were even happier once we passed immigration (Tom: I almost peed my pants when they triple checked my passport!!).

    Russia is such a vast country, I still can't quite believe we'll be driving through it in a few days!
    We can't start yet, as we're waiting for Hans to arrive.
    Hence, we're staying in a cute hostel, high up in the hills (Wladiwostok is also called San Francisco of the East) and prepare for our adventures.
    Firstly, we learned a few phrases Russian and read about food&culture. Then it was time to go out and explore.

    The city feels quite welcoming and nice to stroll through once you have overcome your initial culture shock. Tom is even already able to read the Cyrillic alphabet (and I try, too), hence street and shop names as well as the signage can be deciphered and suddenly everything doesn't seem so strange and foreign anymore.
    We also discover beautiful neighbourhoods, great street art and nice coffee places and we manage to get a few smiles from people we try our Russian on. I firmly believe this will be a great adventure.
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  • Day9

    Here now!

    October 15, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ☀️ 4 °C

    Well, we arrived in Vladivostok on time this morning. George and Victoria were on the platform waiting for us and we then got a taxi to the hotel. It's a Time hotel, a little like the Tune hotels in Asia. It's so nice to have a bed that isn't moving! The view from our window isn't as good, but we'll be heading out soon to sample the delights that Vladivostok has to offer.Read more

  • Day19

    Venturing towards Vladivostock

    June 26, 2017 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    It was a daunting thought as I boarded the train at 07.47 on Friday morning, knowing I would be on it for the next three full days. Again it was a bit unnerving on arrival at Irkutsk station to see the departure board (only in Russian) and the station clock showing the time of departure (for what I had worked out must be the Vladivostok train) as being 02.47 (Moscow time). Even more confusingly, local trains were shown in the correct local time!

    On boarding, I was disappointed that for the first time my compartment was dirty and untidy, littered with food and drink debris. Summoning up my courage, I approached Madame Provodnitsa (Slack Svetlana from Siberia) and, with the aid of Google translate, let her know I was not happy. ‘Russian pigs’ she declared as she set about clearing out the berth. My travelling companion was a heavy built Russian lad who looked like a young Sumo wrestler with the face of a film star - ah yes, I remember - King Kong! He had his foodstuffs spread all over, and looked a bit sheepish as Senga told him off for being so untidy. After my complaint, Slack Svetlana made a show of cleaning the whole carriage with much huffing and puffing. To her credit however she did bring me a pack of fresh linen and a cup of tea in one of the lovely metal tea holders.

    The scenery was lovely as we left, with sweeping views of Lake Baikal as we skirted its southern edge. The train stops for 10 minutes at Slydyanka 500 metres from the lake, and some brave Trans Siberian passengers have been known to take the dare of running down to the lake for a quick dip before running back to catch the train. Apparently a few have missed it, so I decided to forego this pleasure.

    This original part of the line did not follow this route due to the expense of building through this mountainous part, and passengers were ferried across the Great Lake ( I have noticed there have been barely any tunnels on the entire route so far). However in winter the ferries could not break through the ice. At one point in 1904, troops had to make the crossing, and it was decided to lay tracks across the thick ice to allow the train to cross. However the train did not get too far before the ice cracked and the locomotive sank into the icy water Oops!

    At Ulan-Ude the line to Mongolia and Beijing branches off. Another passenger joined us here who reminded me of Gerry Begley from the Apollo Players (no offence Gerry if you are reading) - a friendly Russian, kind and generous with his food which he offered to share. King Kong needed no 2nd invitation, and soon was tucking into roast chicken and home made bread.

    Gerry Begley proudly showed us photos of his children and grandchildren ‘look how she can put her jacket on, all by herself - ah’. He told me in his limited English he was a fisherman - and proceeded to clear the table of all the foodstuff (much to the annoyance of King Kong), and set up a large antiquated laptop. He proceeded to show us a video of him and his mates on various fishing expeditions on the Volga and other great Russian rivers - shooting the rapids, camping, displaying their catches etc. Although it was interesting initially, I have to say my interest waned after 30 minutes or so - I mean how excited can you get at seeing yet another poor Omul dangling from a line! In his favour however the next home video about boring a 5 foot deep hole in the ice of Lake Baikal to fish was pretty amazing. I congratulated him on the videos and he proudly announced he was the Director. He laughed when I referred to him thereafter as Sergei Spielberg!

    The scenery on this part of the journey is beautiful. Rather than just miles of forest, there are rolling hills and gleaming rivers - very like Scotland in many ways. The sun shone again all day and you never tired looking out the window. The railway line is very well used, not only by passenger trains but by freight ones too, with 100 wagons or more carrying a variety of materials such as timber, granite chips and gas. Sod's law, as soon as you see an interesting photo opportunity a lengthy train passes. Although the countryside is beautiful, it is marred at times by ugly towns with their decaying industrial buildings. However we can go for hours without seeing one and the vast majority of the landscape is completely unspoiled.

    Another passenger joined us during the night - a keep fit fanatic on the wrong side of 40 but with the body of a guy half his age, a Vladimir Putin type. He spent much of the time exercising in the corridor and didn't speak a word. After a reasonable night’s sleep, we all got up and washed around 7.30 - except for King Kong who did not stir until 2pm - taking up the whole of one side of the seating area. I decided to give the restaurant car a miss today and had just finished my breakfast of banana, black bread with pate and cheese portions and coffee, when Sergei Spielberg sat beside me smiling with his laptop open, and showed me a huge collection of still photos of the mountains, wildlife, flora and fauna of the Volga region. Don't get me wrong, they were stunning photos, but there's only so many times you can ooh and aah at a snow-capped peak or a piece of lichen.

    In between video shows, I caught up with my reading, and managed to finish the Robert Harris novel Archangel - set in Moscow and other parts of Russia, with a Stalinesque theme - very entertaining. I moved on to read a new book about Nicholas ll- the Last Tsar and the Russian Revolution of 1917. I found it fascinating to read about some of the places I had been on this trip. There seem to be a lot of new books out commemorating the centenary of these momentous events.

    By Sunday morning, King King had cleared every scrap of food he could find and got off the train, disappearing into the trees. This gave Sergei more space to show off his cinematic achievements. He was very generous and continuously offered to share his food. After two days now on the train I felt the need for a shower and, with the help of Google Translate, the Provodnitsa arranged this, after allowing 10 minutes for the water to heat (you'll need tae wait till ah put the immersor oan!). Thankfully I had brought a towel, soap and shampoo, as it was just a bare cubicle with a seat, but it did the trick and I felt suitably refreshed.

    On Sunday afternoon we crossed the 2.6km bridge over the River Amur - the longest bridge on the Trans Siberian Railway. This area is the home of the Amur or Siberian tiger, the largest member of the cat family. My guide book told me that in 1987 a tiger had strayed on to the tracks and held up the train. I asked Sergei if there was a chance we might see one of these great beasts and he replied ‘yes, of course - in the Zoo!’.

    Sadly Sergei Spielberg had to get off at Khabavorsk at Sunday tea time. I was sorry to see him go as he was good fun and we had many laughs. It's amazing how you can communicate with someone with odd words, gestures and mime. As he struggled to find the words about leaving, he shrugged his shoulders and said ‘Me - Brexit!’ and off he went.

    More passengers get on here to take up the berths vacated by King Kong and Sergei. The train is not a tourist attraction but a real working train used heavily by locals. Slack Svetlana is busy handing out fresh linen to the newcomers as we face our last night on board. As my granny used to say: ‘that's how the rents are cheap!’

    From here, the line runs south all the way to Vladivostok and there are good views over the plains to China. On Monday morning, 72 hours after I left Irkutsk on Friday morning, the train finally pulls into its eastern terminus. It's been 5630 miles since we left Moscow, and I am thrilled to have experienced the world's longest rail journey, and one I will never forget - the Trans Siberian!
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  • Day12

    View from apartment

    October 18, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    We are on the 5th floor of the apartment, so fab views of the woods and the sea. No lift though, so have to carry everything up. Washing line hanging off the balcony, 2 balconies, 1 either side of the apartment.Read more

  • Day9

    Vladivostok

    October 15, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ☀️ 9 °C

    Been around Vlad today starting off with the view point, overlooking the suspension bridge and the harbour. The picture of the 2 men is a statue of the 2 men who invented the Russian alphabet in 845. We then went on a funicular and walked towards the sea. As today is 15th October, we saw the combined services have a service of remembrance for the October Uprising. We also saw the submarine, but didn't enter. We walked along the main road until we found the Georgian restaurant that George and Victoria went to yesterday. We had a lovely meal. We then walked along the front, past the football ground and saw where the pleasure arcades are. Most of these are shut now. We sat in an outside cafe, having a beer in the sunshine, just watching the world go by. It was lovely.Read more

  • Day13

    Chalet in the woods

    October 19, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Lovely chalet, so quiet. Lots of trees, of various colours. Very few people here as it's out of season now. Beach is about 2 minutes walk from the chalet and you can hear the waves on the shore from the outside dining area. Heading into the sauna soon!Read more

  • Day46

    Hiking on Russky Island

    June 10, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    a wonderfully wild and beautiful island with partially very steep coast line. Dense lush and green forests, beautiful wildflowers, I haven't seen since my childhood (you English speakers please excuse), Frauenschuh, Akelei, white poppies, wild Iris. We were picking leaves from Sauerampfer, stinging nettle, some special fern leaves and other plants for some soup and tea that Katja prepared for us whilst we explored the southern tip of the island.
    We even came across a fox.
    Paradise for Rexelby: so many foreign smells, has he never been in a forrest like this. This was dog heaven. He had happiness written all over his face. Wasn't too happy about this dog not appreciating his display of dominance so those two got in a bit of a kafuffle. Rex drew the short straw. Serves him right.
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  • Day64

    Russian Hospitality

    June 28, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    Had I thought I could stay on a Russian camp ground unseen, I was dreaming.
    I was hardly there for 10 mins I was already involved in an argument about Rexelby on the beach (on leash he was) with children.
    This lady has immediately been identified by onlookers as hysteric and myself as tourist.
    From here on all my plans for an early afternoon were gone: I wanted to do some snoozing and cooking, both of which I achieved, however the cleaning, home improvement and reorganization plans went up in smoke.
    The Russian hospitality is well known: saying no is not really an option. So I had to more or less eat and drink myself through the camp, slowly getting closer and closer to my van, taking presents with me: a bag of freshly harvested homegrown potatoes, a huge cabbage and other vegetables. Fresher they don’t come.
    Finally I reached home looking forward to my bed, when my Armenian neighbours, who had previously supplied me with a grilled pork chop and a drumstick, (very welcome, as I was sooo hungry) invited me over for more food and drink and some dance. When they told me they are celebrating the first child of the youngest member of the circle, I had to say yes, the dancing was of course another incentive.
    In-between all of this, Rexelby and myself had to investigate the wolfish howling of many dogs coming down the hill. Rex could not resist and found his wolf voice, and yodelled together with the other huskies. These were howling on and off throughout the night, but Rexby thankfully resisted his urge to tune in with the “real” Huskies. As we found out this was a Husky farm, about 30 or more dogs, all different hustky varieties, Alaskan, Sibierian, Mallamute, mixed with wolf, from puppies to old ones. This was their summercamp, they were waiting for the winter to come so they could do some sled work in Kamtchatka. This is at least what I understood.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Primorskiy Kray, Krai De Primorsky, Kraï de Primorie, Primorskij kraj, Приморский край, Primorje

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