A little more of Russia and our journey to Ulaanbaatar
04.09.2012 - 11.09.2012 19 °C
Hi! We are finally getting better about writing here – we are out of the relatives grasp and back to our backpacking/hosteling/not understanding anything around us – selves.
Just a few comments on the rest of our time Russia. I think, we finally had a proper visit with my family for all the 15 years since I have left the country. We visited everyone a few times and even helped my parents around their houses, which made me feel a bit better about my selfish self. Also, we definitely saw St. Petersburg properly and even visited Hermitage twice! Along with Hermitage we visited all of the buildings of State Russian Museum, Ekaterinensky Palace and even Kunst-Camera. I have to shamefully admit that I have never been in some of the above mentioned places myself and they were as much a discovery for me as for Ryan.
While in St Petersburg we scrambled around to get tickets for the train out of Russia, which proved to be a bit of a challenge since the Russian computer system is not synced in with Mongolian, so everything took a bit longer and we had to actually go buy them from a train clerk instead of booking online (there is a RZD office on Griboedov Canal for international ticket sales for travellers out there). At first we had an idea to have a stop over in the city of Irkutsk, but there were no trains available on the days we wanted, so we had to regretfully skip it...
After returning to Moscow, we mushroom-hunted with my dad and step mom (a lot of mushrooms and a lot of fun!) and then partied well long into the night with my mom and uncle Serezha, his wife Vika and my cousins – Alesha, Vasya and Gosha. Vasya and Gosha are super awesome and were selected to become Candidates in Masters of Sport in Baseball, a super prestigious thing in Russia, considering they are only 15 and 14 years old! Alesha is super awesome as well as he just became a student of International Tourism in university! So, needless to say, we had a tremendous visit with them and had a lot of great food and drinks.
Then after saying goodbye, we met my dear friends and they sent us off on our four day journey to Ulaanbaator. For our journey we bought food, snacks, and our friends generously supplied us with beer. After boarding the train we found out we were by ourselves in our car compartment, and this condition lasted all throughout the trip. So instead of being uncomfortable by sharing a car with people for four days we ended up going and looking for some travelling backpackers and spending some great time swapping travel stories. We have not done much in the last four days, just slept well, read our kindles and looked outside at the beautiful scenery. Russia seems to be doing great as far as towns go, it was very refreshing to see that people started caring about their cities and towns and have planted flowers and keep everything clean. So we have just have arrived here in Ulaanbaatar this morning and already did some sightseeing here, but we will put it in our next entry
I want to thank everyone again who made our time in Russia comfortable and enjoyable and took care of our every need. You are loved and are always on our minds and in our hearts, and we hope to see you all again soon!!