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Wojciech's Travel log

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You can lose everything, but nobody will take away what you saw and what you experienced...

Log entries 61 - 70 of 2119 Page: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Aug 28, 2018 12:00 AM Nizhny Novgorod or Gorky

Nizhny Novgorod or Gorky It is the big city (in the past called Gorky), with more then million inhabitants, located on wide Volga river. I said goodbye to the ship at 7.30 am. My new friend -Slava from Couchsurfing were waiting firm me just on the prier.
Slava is a perfect guide - we spent full day visiting city tourit attractions. First of all - the Kremlin or the castle overlooking Volga and the city.
Wechad great, sunny weather so I took a lot of pictures. The main pedestrian street 2-kms long is Bolshaya Pokrovskaya. Elegant theathre is located there and a lot of small cafes, shops... People are strolling around, smiling and enjoying the atmosphere. At the Gorky square you will find McDonald's with free, clean toilets (still rare in Russia) and free wi-fi - but to log in you have to have Russian mobile number. I asked the staff to help me and they offered me their phone :) - so nice!
We spend the evening in Slava 's home watching the pictures from all over the world. Thank you dear Slava for such a good time we had together!

Aug 27, 2018 12:00 AM Republic Mary - El :)

Republic Mary - El  :) Did you ever hear about Republic Mary - Ek? It is located on the both sides of Volga River. Our ship docked for the short time in Kozmodemlyansk - one ofthe biggest town in this Republic. Local people were waiting at the pier offerring their product: dried and smoked fish, vegetables, honey.... 200 m away in the impressive old merchant's hojuse they have picture gallery with quite impressive collection of Russian and Western Europe paintings. What a surprise! In the Republic Mary-El! Wonderful sunset on Volga and then full moon over the river... This is my last night on the ship. Tomorrow it will be the time to say goodbye to captain Ivan and other friendly people....

Aug 26, 2018 12:00 AM Cheboksary in the mist...

Cheboksary in the mist... At 6 am, when I wake up I saw through the window onlly the thick mist. According to the schedule we should be in Cheboksary - the capital of the Chuvash Republic. :)
Eventually after 2 hours the mist dissappeared, we went into the 15 m lock to be lifted 15 m up and reached Cheboksary at 10 am.
Wow! What a welcome in the Chuwash Republic! A group of young ladies and men in the national costumes was waiting on the jetty playing the local instruments and singing! The only and unforgettable such a event during this journey!
Chuwashia and Cheboksary are both small, so we had a walking excursion around the capital pleasantly located on the little hill overlooking wide Volga. There are orthodox churches, monastery, souvenir bazaar and high fountain. I was surprised to see tourist info office near the theatre. In Russia it is still rare!

Aug 25, 2018 12:00 AM Kazan -Tatar Republic

Kazan -Tatar Republic After a all day sailing upstream Volga (our junk boat has a maximum speed only 23 km/h) we arrived to Kazan -the capital of Tatar Republic just before the spactacular sunset. Then we had an evening tour around 1,2 million city. This republic is rich in oil and you can see it in the streets. Nice lighting around, a lot of new, ornate, buildings. Huge arena, water stadium, theatres.... Warm evening, so a lot of local people in the streets... Illuminated Kremlin with the big mosque. Great place!

Aug 24, 2018 12:00 AM Sailing Volga upstream...

Sailing Volga upstream... It is very relaxing journey with wide panoramic views, quiet hours and shore visits... Today in the mid-day we docked for an hour in Vinnovka village located on the high bank of Volga. Elegant male orthodox monastery was visible from the distance. Local people were elling fruits and vegetables on the way up to the monastery gate. We spent there half an hour. Russians traveling on our boat buy the candles and pray inside in front of the icons...
Then in the afternoon we were sailing to Samara. Here I got a good news: they offer me last-second price for empty cabin to Nizhny Novgorod - I was ready to go there by bus in few stages. Boat travel is much more relaxing and comfortable. Lucky me! In the evening one more great sunset on Volga... We are sailing to Kazan now... :)

Aug 23, 2018 12:00 AM Saratow - the jewel on Volga

Saratow - the jewel on Volga Today we visited Saratow - the old city lovely located between two bridges. For many years it was completely closed for the foreigners! This city has no industry, at least from the front side and I think that it is the nicest place I visited on this trip along Volga. It is worth to go up to the Sokolnaya Hill overlooking the city and the river for the great view. Military museum is located there too to see for free the war time train and few "katyusha" launchers. Then they have nice pedestrian zone along the Kirova street with many ornate buildings of rich merchants. The real jewel of your visit could be nicely restored Troitsky Sobor - just near river dock. Lovely, sunny day!

Aug 22, 2018 12:00 AM Kurgan Mamaya

Kurgan Mamaya In the morning our junk ship docked again in Volgograd. For me it was a chance to wake up early and to connect to the internet. Yes, there is wi-fi in the bar of our ship, but it works only when we are in the big city...
Why second time in Volgograd? First stop was long enough to walk around the center of the city (2,5 hours) Now we had organized, included in the ticket price bus excursion to the Kurgan Mamaya - the distant hill where during the Battle of Stalingrad were the heaviest fightings. Now on the top of the hill they erected huge, 85 - m high monument of Mother Russia with the sword in the hand. On the slope of the hill (102 m high) there are also other monuments. And you will see also the huge Hall oc Fame with eternal flame and the guards. There is ceremonial guards change on the hour. All of these is very impressive and important to thr Russians.... Weather during the day is hot, with the blue sky. In the afternoon we will depart to Saratow.

Aug 21, 2018 12:00 AM Nikolskoye on Volga

Nikolskoye on Volga The ship is sailing upstream. In the middle of the day we had a stopover in the village of Nikolskoye. Local people established near the jetty little bazaar, selling fresh, dry and smoked fish from the Volga, fruits and vegetebles... The prices are 50 percent lower than in Astrakhan...
I took a walk through the village (2 kms long) to the nice orthodox church of The Birth of Our Lady. They still restore it after communist period, but it is still nice to see... The view of the river is nice from the cliff here - i climbed for the better view when I returned back to the jetty. People use wide beach to swim, but you have to take care because the strong current.
Nice sunset in the evening... We were singing together on the deck. I have a good time on this river ship :)

Aug 20, 2018 12:00 AM Astrakhan - southern outpost of Russia

Astrakhan - southern outpost of Russia This place was on the ancient Silk Road... Once it was capital of Golden Orda, but from 1558 Astrakhan is important trade post for Russia. It has walled Kremlin with beautiful orthodox churches. The main one has two levels! I had half a day to walk around, to find three nice mosques - quite big muslim minority lives here. Astrakhan on Volga River close to the Caspian Sea was always important fishing center - it is still famous for the production of caviar. You can buy it here but the little can cost more than 5000 roubles - like 80 USD. It is also famous for local, tasty watermelons - you can buy them paying 50 roubles per kilo.
It was worth to stroll the side streets to see the samples of old Russian wooden architecture. Some houses are very ornate, but many of them is in the ruin. No money for restauration? But they have money to built new skyscrapers in Astrakhan... :)
Anyway - Astrakhan has special atmosphere and is well worth a visit. In the night we are turning north and sailing Volga upstream visiting new places...

Aug 19, 2018 12:00 AM In the streets of Volgograd (former Stalingrad)

In the streets of Volgograd (former Stalingrad) In the morning we went through solid two-staged lock. Each stage is 14 m high, so we were saliling on the level 28 mts lower... It is not Panama canal, but still impressive!
Then we saw from the distance a huge statue of Mother Russia, announcing that we are already close to Stalingrad - present Volgograd. It was nice approach, passing many ships and... ruined factory's. Finally we docked at the imposing Rechnoy Vokzal (River Terminal) and I had 2,5 hours of time to take a walk around the town. Completely rebuilt after the war Violgograd is a nice city, with many students from the university strolling shady streets and park alleys. Bug statue of uncle Lenin still stands on the main square. They left only only one building untouched from the war time. Ironically it is the mill built by German settlers... New rotunda of Stalingrad's Panorama was built right nearby. I will have more time to explore on the way back...

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