Woke up on a gently rocking train having jumped 2 hours ahead, who knew you could get Train Lag? We are now further east than Iraq.
We swilled out the vodka smell from our glass tea cups and replenished with green tea and coffee and had bananas and various bits from the bag of food for breakfast.
In no time at all we were cleaned (as much as you can in a train toilet) and sitting on our beds watching the stunning scenery pass by with the autumnal colours on the trees and the occasional sight of a small village with Dachas scattered throughout. It is exactly how we imagined it to be, loads of forests not many people, run down sheds / houses once in a while.
We were getting close to the, somewhat arbitrary, border of Asia which was marked with an obolisk, on checking the book for exact place it would be then looking up we saw it wizz past the window, great, another sight done! No photo as we were not prepared, apologies!
We arrived on time in Yekaterinburg and unloaded ourselves from our cabin. Now to find the metro station which we know there is no single sign for the stations some are red M, some blue, this one was green and found by following people and using Guy’s gut instinct as opposed to GPS which refused to kick in!
The style of the stations is same as Moscow, large and art deco which is lovely. Metro journey completed, we were up in the open air at the mercy of a map whoses scale we didn’t altogether trust and GPS which was still refusing to wake up. Despite this Guy got us to our hostel swiftly with no wrong turns and, as we had been warned about the 5 flights of stairs we needed to get up, we put heads down and got on with it, trying not to look like unhealthy western tourists when we finally got to the top. Room is fab and wifi actually works so we got the what’s app messaging done and booked in Skype calls with the family.
So, we had a new city to explore but first, as usual, we had stomachs to fill and we were craving salads and vegetables, after a looking for a vegan (yes, vegan) restaurant we gave up and went to a fancy cafe which sold western type food with Russian slant. We both had a massive pot of local herb teas (no idea what they were) and salads, and veg, fish and veg. It was delicious although the place seemed to be set up for yummy mummy’s cooing over their new babies with their yummy mummy friends, so we fitted in like a glove!
Next, Guy wanted to see a semi precious stones museum, I wasn’t bothered but thought I might miss out if I sulked in a bar, so followed him to an old disused hotel which has clearly closed sometime ago along with the semi precious stone museum. RESULT, another sight done!
After viewing the City Pond and other statues around the city Guy needed cake and so we stopped for a civilised tea and cake on our way home.
Supermarket tea bought (smoked salmon salad if you must know) we went back to the hostel, up 5 flights of stairs, and did skyping, blogging and watched the rest of the Russian guests in our hostel.