Beanies and Bikinis -Summer on the Trans-Mongolian Railway travel blog

Dining car menu...mmmm tongue

Dining car

Krasnoyarsk station

I think the erotic club poster in the main square is an...


Cinderella and a brown zebra?!



Despite the hype of Krasnoyarsk being one of the most agreeable places to break up a Trans Siberian journey, I had my misgivings from the moment we arrived. Was it that we couldn't find the right trolley bus to ride the 45 minutes to the only hostel in town? Or that the rain, mingled with the pigeon poo that is the hallmark of every Russian city, had created a sludge that caked my shoes and was slowly making it's way up the leg of my pants? Either way I was not seeing this place as either vibrant or youthful!

After an icy cold shower at the Kiwi Hostel (have I mentioned the frequent lack of hot water in Russia??) my spirits were raised and I was ready to hit the big smoke. First things first, a meal! By a great stroke of luck Boris and I stumbled upon a buffet style restaurant, greatly reducing the usual meal time angst of 'what the hell have I ordered?' and ate my fill of things that looked edible. Some were even tasty!

An afternoon whip around the city revealed Siberia's best museum where apparently you can sit in nature rooms and listen to local birdsong and animal cries. Riveting I'm sure...but not really my thing. So forging on we went to the main square which conveniently advertised all around in large posters the 'best erotic club of the year', I like your style Krasnoyarsk! A wander down the Angara river wasn't really the romantic stroll we would have liked due to the crumbling walls, pot holed roads and overgrown pathways and we both secretly began to ponder the days ahead....

Unfortunately our train tickets needed to be booked in advance, due to time constraints on the trip, and in 2 hours one afternoon back in March we had hurriedly picked towns off a map to work out where to stop. Not my finest planning. So later that evening I read through my Lonely Planet, which did nothing to rejuvenate my enthusiasm for the upcoming towns with sentiments such as 'you'd be better off stopping somewhere else instead' or 'this heavily industrialized city rises from Russia's rust belt offering little to the traveller.'

The time had come to seriously reconsider the next week of on/off stops to cities all across Russia making out way slowly but surely towards Moscow. After a lengthy discussion Boris and I agreed that although we were unlikely to find much to admire in the next few cities to come it was going to be too difficult to change all the trains, hostels etc and so we'd just grin and bear it...

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