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15 travelers at this place

  • 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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  • Day18


    November 4, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ☀️ 7 °C

    S erscht Mal sitt Kazan treffemer wieder mal uf Nöd-Russen (hauptsächlich chinesischi Reisegruppe).
    S erscht Mal sitt Kazan wird Englisch grett, in Hotel und Restaurant.
    Und wer heeti denkt, dass mer im November in Russland mal na es Bier verusse trinked!Read more

  • Day18

    Vladivostok - Stadtrundfahrt

    November 4, 2019 in Russia ⋅ 🌙 7 °C

    Wir haben eine Abend-Stadtrundfahrt gebucht und es scheint irgendwie, dass weder Guide noch Fahrer so recht wissen, was sie mit uns anfangen sollen.

    Irgendwann stellt sich dann heraus, dass die Tour zwar schon länger im Angebot ist, wir aber die ersten sind, die sie gebucht haben 😀😆Read more

  • Day23

    Last night in Vladivostok

    October 29, 2019 in Russia ⋅ 🌙 10 °C

    We have come to a traditional Russian restaurant for our last meal and Valentina has come too! We are at Gus-Karas, and the food is lovely. Will be sorry to leave, but am ready to get home and see the other side of the family.Read more

  • Day22

    Souvenir hunting

    October 28, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Stu and I went for a walk this afternoon. The weather was quite windy and dull, but no rain. However, it did rain later. We wandered and got some of our souvenirs from one of the traffic free roads, but no medved (bear!). We're getting to know central Vladivostok quite well now! We went to the station first to see the tall ship, the masts of which we can see from our balcony. Then the back of the station, with our apartment block in the distance. The roof of the church looked much better in real life with the strands of the suspension bridge behind it!Read more

  • Day31


    July 11, 2018 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    After 67 hours in the train (a journey not to be missed) we arrive in Vladivostok and are met by Svetlana our guide and a driver who immediately take us for a late lunch in ine if Vladivostok's finest seafood restaurants (on tbe company of course). They p ride themselves on quality seafood, our chef prepares seacucumber for us and though we know we shouldn't we do and its really nice. A softer texture than abalone with a light oyster flavour.
    I do intend to leave all other seacucumber when th hey belong cleaning up the ocean floor.
    Its our duty then to be driven around the city with an expert guide (but after 67 hours in the train its a bit tiring)
    Fortunately I secombe to a crook tummy and leave them to it and check into the motel.
    I am sure vodka is the cure. I will let you know.
    Read more

  • Day25


    June 7, 2018 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Jeder kennt Wladiwostok, aber niemand war bisher da - außer uns. Selbst die meisten Russen waren noch nicht in Wladiwostok. Da China, Südkorea und Japan in unmittelbarer Nähe liegen, sind viele Touristen aus diesen Ländern in der Stadt. Ich vermute, die meisten Touristen kommen aus Japan. Die Einwohner von Wladiwostok „sehen sich aber als Europäer“. Wladiwostok ist eine große Hafenstadt am Pazifik in Russland. Sie bietet Blick auf die Bucht Goldenes Horn und liegt in der Nähe der Grenzen zu China und Nordkorea. Außerdem befindet sich hier der Endbahnhof der Transsibirischen Eisenbahn, mit der Moskau auf einer 7-tägigen Reise erreichbar ist. Auf dem Hauptplatz im Stadtzentrum gibt es ein emporragendes Denkmal für die aus der Region stammenden Soldaten, die im frühen 20. Jahrhundert gegen die japanischen Streitkräfte kämpften.

    Da wir sehr früh im Hotel einchecken und auch frühstücken konnten, waren wir entsprechend früh unterwegs. Wir sind dann gefühlte 10 km gelaufen. Die Stadt liegt an einem Hügel. Chrutchow soll mal gesagt haben, dass die Stadt ihn an San Francisco erinnere, was sicher weit hergeholt ist. Aus der Vogelperspektive wirkt die Stadt interessant. Und auch die Strandpromenade ist nett. Die Stadt ist sicher gut für max. zwei Tage. Wir haben ganz toll mittags im Restaurant „Michelle“ Fisch gegessen. Aber gegen 17:00 waren wir platt und sind zum Hotel zurück.

    Ich habe mir inzwischen die zweite Erkältung auf dieser Reise zugezogen. Wird Zeit das wir in wärmere Gefilde kommen. Das Hotel in Wladiwostok war bisher das Schlechteste auf der bisherigen Reise. Hier im Hotel sind wir offensichtlich die einzigen Touristen aus Europa. Alles fest in der Hand von Schlitzaugen. Heute sind wir ab Mittag rausgegangen, nachdem wir unser Gepäck an der Rezeption hinterlegt haben. Viel Neues gibt es leider nicht zu entdecken.

    Bild 2: Matrosen aus Sankt Petersburg, die die sehr lange Seereise über den Indischen Ozean gefahren sind, um nach Vladivostok zu gelangen. Erinnert mich an meine Jugend als Matrose bei der Deutschen Marine auf Auslandsmission. Seither hat Reisen rund um den Globus mich nicht mehr losgelassen.
    Bild 4: Denkmal für Alexander Solschenizyn, der in Russland nicht unumstritten ist, weil er in die USA ausgereist ist und über die finsteren Tage des sowjetischen GULAG geschrieben hat.

    Wir können uns wegen der dreitägigen Fahrt nach Ulan-Ude erst wieder aus Ulan-Ude melden.

    Editiert am 30.11.2018
    Text von Wolfgang
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  • Day24

    Irkutsk nach Wladivostok

    June 6, 2018 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Gegen 08:00 (Zeitzone: Asia/Chita) ist meine gut durchgeschlafene Nacht vorbei. Ich gehe in den deutlich geräumigeren Speisewagen. Heute werden wir hier frühstücken (Pfannkuchen mit Marmelade), aber unseren mitgebrachten Instand Café aufbrühen lassen. Der ist wenigstens halbwegs genießbar. Wir fahren wieder deutlich in Nordöstliche Richtung, weil die Mandschurei (China) weit nach Norden reicht. Es regnet und die Temperaturen sind sibirisch. Die gelegentlichen Ansiedlungen werden immer seltener.

    Seit gefühlt 2 Stunden haben wir keinerlei Häuser mehr gesehen. Überwiegend Fichtenwälder soweit das Auge reicht. Jetzt hat es meiner Heidi gereicht. Wir haben den versifften und stinkenden Teppichläufer aus dem Abteil rausnehmen lassen und Heidi hat den Boden gewischt. Dann noch eine ordentliche Ladung Deospray (für meine Füße). Und schon riecht es wieder (etwas) besser im Abteil. Ich habe 3 nette Russen im Speisewagen getroffen. Nur einer sprach gebrochen Englisch und offensichtlich gut Französisch. Vermutlich ein ehemaliger Fremdenlegionär, weil auch seine Kumpels einen militärischen Hintergrund hatten. Er hat mir erklärt, dass die Polizei im Zug alle Russen aus dem Zug schmeißt, die in den Abteilen Alkohol trinken. Das scheint speziell in den Großraumwaggons ein Thema zu sein. Überhaupt reisen viele Soldaten in Zivil mit dem Zug. Auch in unserem Waggon mit den Vierbettabteilen sind einige. Die sehen aber Privilegierter aus und sind vermutlich Offiziere. Das soldatische Fußvolk muss wohl im Großraumwaggon ausharren. Für mich wirkt der Großraumwaggon eher wie ein Gefangenentransport. Ich würde gerne dort filmen, aber bisher hat mich immer eine aufmerksame Schaffnerin daran gehindert. Wir sind jetzt im „Oblast Amur“ und es geht weiter in Südöstlicher Richtung. Jetzt kann das Wetter eigentlich nur besser werden.

    07:20h: (vermutliche Ortszeit)
    Ich habe wieder gut geschlafen. Mittlerweile riecht unser Abteil zwar nicht nach Veilchen, aber deutlich besser als zuvor. Das Landschaftsbild ändert sich. Jetzt bestimmen Laubbäume statt Kiefern das Bild. Tendenziell fahren wir seit ca. 16 Stunden in südöstliche Richtung. Wir kommen bald durch ein „Jüdisch autonomes Gebiet“. Hier bekennen sich aber nur noch 8 Prozent zum Judentum. In der Region Krasnojarsk bis Chanarovsk gibt es inselhaft 0,5 - 5 m unter Erdoberfläche in bis zu 60 - 100 Metern Tiefe Dauerfrostboden. Weiter nördlich in der Tundra erreicht der Dauerfrostboden eine Tiefe von 400 Metern, so dass die Wasserversorgung größerer Orte nur gesichert werden kann, indem der Frostboden durchbohrt wird und die darunter liegenden Wasservorräte angezapft werden.

    10:30h: (Wladivostok Zeit: +7h Moskau, +8h Deutschland)
    Leider wurde der Speisewagen aus unergründlichen Gründen erst jetzt geöffnet. Die Dienstleistung im Speisewagen ist überschaubar. Die Weiber hier haben ihre eigene Agenda. Als Gast fühlt man sich aber geduldet.

    Viel passiert nicht. Wir haben unsere letzte Instantmahlzeit gegessen. Im Abteil ist mittlerweile eine junge Russin, die uns bis Wladiwostok begleiten wird. Ich kann mir schlimmeres vorstellen. Draußen ist weiter die unendliche Weite ohne jegliches Lebenszeichen. Ich genieße mein erstes Bier und schaue aus dem Fenster. Die Landschaft hat nur wenig Abwechslung zu bieten. Wir sind bei Chabarowsk über dem mächtigen Amur Fluss gefahren. Die Brücke ist 2.600 Meter lang. In Chabarorowsk konnten wir uns 1 Stunde auf dem Bahnhofsvorplatz die Füße vertreten. Jetzt geht es bis morgen früh in südlicher Richtung bis nach Novosibirsk am Pazifik. Das uns dort angenehmere Temperaturen erwarten, konnte man schon in Chabarorowsk erahnen. Was dann erst einmal zählt, ist die erste Schauer nach 4 Tagen. Um 06:55h sind wir dann im Hotel angekommen.

    Editiert am 30.11.2018
    Text von Wolfgang
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Vladivostok, Wladiwostok, فلاديفوستوك, Владивосток, Горад Уладзівасток, Βλαδιβοστόκ, ولادی‌وستوک, ולדיווסטוק, व्लादिवोस्तोक, Vlagyivosztok, Վլադիվոստոկ, VVO, ウラジオストク, ვლადივოსტოკი, ವ್ಲಾಡಿವಾಸ್ಟಾಕ್, 블라디보스토크, Vladivostokium, Vladivostokas, Vladivostoka, 海參崴, व्लादिवोस्तॉक, ولادی‌وؤستؤک, Władywostok, ولاڈیووسٹوک, விலாடிவொஸ்டொக், วลาดีวอสตอค, ولادیوستوک, וולאדיוואסטאק, 海参崴

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