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32 travelers at this place

  • Day101

    25h in Ulan-Ude

    June 19, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    City time again. After having spent another night with the wonderful Kudlik family (fellow Overlanders, also on their way back to Europe, but started in Sydney) about 50kms South of Ulan-ude at the Selenga river, we drive into Ulan-ude to get some chores done:
    1. Grocery shopping
    2. Hardware store for an additional water filter solution (the possible pesticides and heavy metals drive us a bit mad)
    3. Car service (that Tom largely did himself)
    4. Car wash (you cannot imagine how many insects there were on our windshield)
    5. Laundry
    6. Water
    7. Café with WiFi for TV series and new music

    It was a bit optimistic to think we'll get all of this done in a few hours... But we're super successful nevertheless. We find a water pump, a bjToyota car dealer to get the spare parts, a supermarket to do the shopping, a garage where Tom can do the service and they only did the oil change, the laundry service to get our clothes clean in the meantime and a car wash station. And after all this it's 6.30pm and I have no motivation whatsoever to keep on driving. Hence we make our way up the hill to the monastery (it has a big carpark) and set up camp there. Once again, we picked a spot popular with young couples making out in their cars (the view must be quite stimulating). Families and tourists come up as well and we end up meeting quite a few curious souls. Maybe we inspire some of them to travel, too? I'd love to think so.
    Full of happiness due to our successful day and lovely conversations, we go to bed, leaving the cafe bit to the next day.
    Great choice as this means we have delicious "syrniki"( baked cottage cheese balls), a croissant, coffee and some fresh grapefruit and rosemary tea for breakfast and even manage to squeeze in some sightseeing including Lenin's head and a dancing fountain paired with classical music.
    Ulan-ude will stay a pleasant memory.
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  • Day84


    August 27, 2018 in Russia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    It is our last city in Russia and it is not a really nice one. It is very dirty and we found nothing special here. Tomorrow we will visit a temple maybe this is more interesting than the city.

    Die letzte russische Stadt die wir besuchen ist tatsächlich auch die hässlichste. Ulan-Ude (neuer Name Ulan-Öde :D) ist eine sehr schmutzige Stadt und ohne viele Highlights. Dennoch gibt es natürlich ein zwei nette Ecken, aber mehr leider nicht. Morgen gehen wir nochmal zu einem Tempel, mal schauen wie es uns dort gefällt.Read more

  • Day85

    Datsan Rinpoche Bagsha Tempel

    August 28, 2018 in Russia ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    The Datsan Rinpoche Bagsha Temple is located on a hill about 3km away from the city center of Ulan-Ude. Especially the view to the city from the hill was very nice.

    Der Datsan Rinpoche Bagsha Tempel ist ca. 3km vom Bahnhof Ulan-Udes entfernt und liegt auf einem kleinen Hügel über der Stadt. Der Tempel an sich ist ganz nett auch wenn wir schon schönere gesehen haben aber für den Blick über die Stadt hat sich der Weg gelohnt.Read more

  • Day21

    Privet Ulan-Ude!

    April 21, 2018 in Russia ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    My last stop in Russia has probably been one of the best. Let's catch you up withy my stay in Ulan-Ude.

    Train 5 - Irkutsk to Ulan-Ude

    As this train journey was only seven hours and was during the day I decided to choose a seat instead of a bed. My carriage was only about a third full so was a very quiet journey. I read most of the way, although stopping to take in the amazing view of the lake which we travelled alongside for about an hour. I still can't quite get over its size. I arrived in Ulan-Ude at about 10pm and walked the short distance to my hostel. I was quite hungry when i got there and the girl working at the hostel told me there was a shop nearby that would be open. On the way there though i noticed a Subway out of the corner of my eye. I caved. I chose the easy option. Don't judge me...

    Day 1 - Ivolginsky Datsan

    I decided to take the local bus out of the city to the village of Ivolgiansky to visit the datsan (Buddhist monestary) which is the oldest Buddhist monestary in Russia. The journey was very straightforward and I arrived after 40 minutes. As it is a Buddhist temple there are a few rules which should be followed when inside the complex. When you enter the complex (which is a series of temples and buildings within a walled area) you have to walk around the tiled path in a clockwise direction, in a proud manner (being in thought or prayer), and you must spin the Mantra scrolls that you pass them, which is supposed to symbolise the mantras being read and the enegry being released. Only after have you completed this circuit can you enter the temples themself. After the first circuit I walked around again and then went into each other temples as I walked by. As you enter you must take off your hat as a sign of respect, and when inside you must also walk around the room in a clockwise direction. Each temple I went in was empty apart from a single monk who i assume is there to look after the buildings between prayers. The buildings themselves are very colourful, and insde are decorated with a number of coloured silk scarfs and flags. There is an area in the middle of each one with small seats and cussions where the monks pray. And as they are meant for prayer it is forbidden to take pictures inside. It was very peacful walking around the monestary, and as it is off season for tourists, and it was actually snowing that day the place was nearly empty. Just a few monks walking around and locals who are visiting to pray. As i was trying to enter the main central monestary a monk came over to see if I needed help. He explained that the temple was closed as the monk was probably eating. He then said that he had some free time and would i like him to show me around. He explained that each temple was build for a different lama. And the one that i was trying to enter was actually for the 12th Pandito Hambo Lama who was 166 years old and was inside meditating and has been like that for 95 years. More on that later. He gave me a small tour of the complex where he showed me a few temples, the university where the apprentice monks train, and was even kind enough to show me his house on the site. As we were walking around he explained that he studied in India in an english school and that is why he can speak the language but he has forgotten alot, so when he sees tourists here and has some free time he likes to talk to them to practice. As we were about to part ways, as the main temple was about to open again, he asked if I had facebook. So now folks I am facebook friends with a very cool Buddhist Monk. I didn't expect that when i woke up this morning! I then whent to visit the 166 year old Lama. And as no photos were alowed inside the temple I am afraid you will have to visit Ulan-Ude to see him for yourself. Words will not suffice.

    Day 2 - Ulan-Ude

    I decided to get the local bus to Datsan Rinpoche Bagsha, the temple within the city, which also provided a panoramic view of the city. When i got on the bus it was standing room only and I positioned myself in the aisle next to an older man. I glanced at him and he took that as an ivitation to start talking to me. I told him i didn't speak any Russian (in Russian), but he carried on talking to me. He had a book with him, which i later learned was of foreign literature, and he was trying to show me pages from England, in Russian. I kept smiling and nodding along and then he closed the book and handed to me and said "present". I said "are you sure?" and he kept nodding. I thanked him and took the book and then sat down in a newly empty seat. He then turned around to me and nodded and said "hmm... Beatles!...John Lennon... Paul McCartney...". I then interjected "Da... Ringo Star." He smiled excitedly and then turned away. I then heard people laughing and turned around and saw two local girls who said "he's crazy". After a few minutes he got up for his stop and said "Goodbye my friend" as he left. Well that was definitely the most interaction I've had with a local who wasn't working in a hostel. Once at the temple I followed the same rules as the previous day and walked around the complex in a clockwise direction, but this time i took a few pictures as I walked as it seemed to be a more relaxed place. As I was walking around I saw the two girls from the bus ahead of me talking. As I approached them one turned around and said "Hello, where are yoou from?", I said "England", they said "Oh, England! How exciting! Maybe we can help you?", I said "oh yes please!" Cue me spending the next hour with them walking around the temple, talking about travelling and what they do (both 22 years old, studying helicopter engineering). One of the girls, Kristine, spoke English quite well and the other one, Masha, could understand quite a bit but only felt confident to speak a few words. After walking around for about an hour, talking and taking pictures, we came to the end of the temple walk. The girls then asked what my plans were for the rest of the day. I said I had none. They then said they had another friend who had a car and we could go to the Ethnological museum just outside the city. Of course I jumped at the chance. We got the bus back to the city centre and then walked down the main pedestrian street to where their friend picked us up. Sasha spoke no English at all so spoke with Masha in the front while me and Kristine sat in the back seat. During the drive I could work out that Masha was telling Sasha about the man on the bus. It was then that Kristine told me that the man was actually telling me the he didn't like England or English people and that the Queen was a bad person. And he seemed so friendly! Oh well... My new friends were very sweet and insisted on buying my ticket for the museum, with Sasha saying "present". The ethnological museum is a big open are museum where there are loads of actual houses from different areas of Russia from the last hundred or so years. The houses have actually been moved from other parts of Russia and rebuilt in the museum. It was really interesting walking around and seeing how people used to live in the past, and comparing the sizes of houses to what we are used to now. We walked aroung the museum for about an hour, during which my new friends asked if I wanted to go to Lake Baikal, two hours drive there and back. I thanked them but explained that I had already been and I think too far for me today. After the museum we drove back to the city and they dropped me at my hostel, not before exchanging Instagram details though!

    So what I have learnt is that in Ulan-Ude, if you look like a tourist you will attract such kind and helpful people, as they are so surprised that you have travelled to their small city far away from Moscow. I don't think i have to tell you that it has been my favourite city in Russia to date.

    So there you have the last of my stories from Russia.

    Before I leave you again here are a few things i have learnt about Russia:
    1. All trains run on Moscow time (which is mighty confusing when the country spans 11 time zones!)
    2. The trains run bang on time.
    3. There is no drainage system in the roads (which means lots of surface water during spring).
    4. Unfortunately (for some western travellers at least) you cannot flush toilet paper, there are seperate bins for that...
    5. Russians have two passports, a domestic and an international passport. Very handy I think.
    6. Unlike other places I have been, you will find many locals living in hostels as they work in other cities for short periods.
    7. There is a statue of Lenin in every city in Russia (and in Ulan-Ude it is just his head, but it is huge!)
    8. Russians like weird statues.
    9. It is not impossible to be Vegan here, but it definitely gets harder the further east you go.
    10. Russia is a MASSIVE country, and one that is definitely worth exploring!

    So that concludes my Russian journey. Next stop Mongolia!

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  • Day13

    Leaving Lake Baikal behind

    August 20, 2017 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    The time has come to dive into Russian trains one more time. This time: 3. class, 9,5 hours platzkart travel. An intense mixture of all possible human smells welcomes us as we board the open sleeping wagon. This is authenticity at its best. Thank god we ate before.Read more

  • Day15

    Back to Ulan-Ude

    April 20, 2018 in Russia ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    We had to drive back to Ulan-Ude today in preparation for catching the plane early tomorrow morning to Moscow. So once again we packed our bags and headed off after breakfast. Michael had a work meeting he had to attend via Skype for an hour but this gave us time to get ready.

    We decided to stop for one last jaunt over the lake and pulled up where we had stopped for the first sunset the other night. There were a few fishermen out so we became a little braver and walked out further onto the lake. We were curious about the fishing so went to examine one of the holes that had been made. It was actually a lot smaller than we expected, only about 20cm diameter. We could see the ice was quite deep through the hole so that made us feel more secure! The fishermen had a long sort of corkscrew tool they used to make their holes in the ice. We walked past one older guy and he seemed to have more old school tools. His fishing rod only looked like a short stick with a bit of line attached!

    We made our way back to the car, I managed to get a wet foot due to a puddle iced over on top of the ice which was annoying!

    Kyria was keen to go for a hike through the forest and maybe up one of the mountains but we couldn’t find a track that was suitable, either the road was too muddy or there was no where to park the car so we gave up on the plan. It would have been fun!

    We stopped off at Haim where there was a nice river and bridge to get some photos and poke around. The boys has fun skating on the ice on the river - we were waiting for them to skate right off into the river! 😂

    It was an uneventful trip the rest of the way. I had packed a few activity bags for plane trips and car trips so Heidi was suitably amused.

    Back in Ulan-Ude the traffic was a little heavier than on the way out and it was bumper to bumper at times. Heidi’s little voice piped up ‘come on!’ while we were crawling along! 😂 At one point our lane seemed to end abruptly and there was a little chaos as everyone was pushing to the other side of the tram line, in between oncoming trams - no lights, just free for all!

    We are back at the apartment we initially stayed at. The boys have gone to clean the car and return it and I have put Heidi to bed. I only bought four books to read with her. She doesn’t like two of them so we’re only allowed to read the other two. I am so sick of ‘Where is the green sheep’ and ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ 😩
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  • Day11

    Strolling Around Ulan-Ude

    April 16, 2018 in Russia ⋅ 🌙 2 °C

    We didn’t wake up until about 10am this morning which was rather shocking but I guess that’s jet lag for you. We had breakfast at the English pub again which was yummy and then went for a walk to see the main sights of Ulan-Ude. There was a main path to follow around the centre of town starting at a massive statute of Lenin’s head. They have statutes of Lenin everywhere! This one looked rather ominous at night time when it was lit up by lights.

    We had a slight detour to an ice cream shop - Baskin and Robbins or something. Apparently an American brand but I’d never heard of it. Then we continued our stroll. Heidi was entertained by rocks, sticks and steps along the way - who needs toys! It was a sunny day although the wind had quite a bite to it.

    We had a tour booked out to the Old Believer’s village this afternoon and we were being picked up outside our apartment at 3pm so we headed back home to get ready.
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  • Day27

    Ust-barguzin to Ulan-Ude

    July 7, 2018 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Our town, Ust-barguzin on a Saturday morning.
    Last night was a homestay so in the morning Nina our host a retired Cooking Teacher whipped up a traditional Russian breakfast of kasha with sultanas, fried bread buns with cheese and cold meats.
    Then off. Matt has to check out some possible hotels for clients, then onto Olga's for lunch.
    Olga is the French speaking daughter of a former soviet politician so enjoys her summer house with family.
    Olga often entertains foreign tourists and is bit of a story teller.
    Next and final stop, Ulan-Ude and visit Russia's most sacred Buddhist site the spiritual capital if Buddism in Russia. After decades of persecution Stalin approved its initial construction in recognition of the contribution made by these people in The Great Patriotic War.
    Tonight we are under the stars. 5 Star ie, and the view west as Lake Baikal's biggest tributary the Angara River flows to its delta.
    England is leading Sweden 1-0 in World Cup Quarter Final. Wait. It's now England 2 Sweden 0.
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  • Day55

    Ulan Ude, Markt

    June 30, 2018 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Bevor wir morgen Russland verlassen war heute nochmal ein Ruhetag.

    Wir sind Mittags in die Stadt zur Markthalle gelaufen und haben noch etwas eingekauft.

    Dann sind wir in ein Restaurant auf der 10 Etage etwas trinken gewesen, von dort hatte man eine schöne Aussicht auf die Stadt.

    Später sind wir mit der Straßenbahn zum Stellplatz zurück gefahren. Ein echtes Erlebnis...

    Wetter ist heute Bedeckt bei 24 Grad.

    Wenn wir uns in den nächsten Tagen nicht immer melden, dann liegt das an der Netzabdeckung in der Mongolei. Wir sind gespannt.
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  • Day59


    September 2, 2015 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Unsere letzten Tage in Russland sind nun fast vorbei. Zum Schluss machten wir noch ein echtes Schnäppchen mit nem Zimmer nur für uns mit eigenem Bad, wow.

    Wir nutzten die letzten Tage zum Entspannen, uns in Ruhe die Stadt anzuschauen, lecker Essen zu gehen und die Russland Reise nochmal Revue passieren zu lassen.

    Russland ist das mit Abstand flächengrößte Land der Erde, es umfasst in etwa 1/7 der Weltlandfläche (17'075'400 Quadratkilometer). Deshalb gibt es hier auch die längste Eisenbahnstrecke der Welt (ohne Zwischenstopp fährt man 152Stunden und 27Minuten von Moskau bis Wladiwostok), wir konnten ein ungefähres Gefühl für die unglaublichen Weiten bekommen. 10% des russischen Staatseinkommens stammen vom Umsatz des Wodkas, dessen Name ursprünglich "Wässerchen" bedeutet (woda "Wasser").

    Die 30 Tage gingen echt schnell rum, gefühlt saßen wir die meiste Zeit im Zug :-) Soo, was haben wir in Russland gelernt? Erstmal ein paar Wörter russisch, zum Beispiel: Ich spreche kein Russisch [ya ni gawarjú pa-rúßki], danke [spasiba] und ein paar mehr. Viele Gesichter in Russland wirken auf den ersten Blick sehr ernst und verschlossen, aber hinter dieser Fassade stecken nach unseren Erfahrungen sehr freundliche, aufgeschlossene, hilfsbereite und herzliche Menschen, die immer dazu bereit sind etwas von sich zu geben. Gastfreundschaft wird hier gelebt und groß geschrieben. Wir hatten hier viele gute Begegnungen, die uns in Erinnerung bleiben werden.

    Nun geht es bald schon weiter mit der transmongolischen Eisenbahn Richtung Mongolei, einem Land voller mystischer Landschaften, unberührter Natur und einer Kultur zwischen Tradition und Moderne.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Ulan-Ude, Улан Уде, Улаан-Үдэ, Ulan-Udè, Ουλάν Ουντέ, Ulán-Udé, Ulan Ude, אולן-אודה, UUD, ウラン・ウデ, 울란우데, Ulan Udė, Улаан-Удэ, Oelan-Oede, Ułan-Ude, Улан-Удэ, 烏蘭烏德

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