In the evening of the 17th of August we boarded the train for our very first long distance ride on the transsiberian railway: 28 hours from Moscow to Yekaterinburg! To say we were pleasantly surprised is an understatement…the train was modern, clean and just way better than expected. (Although a fellow Russian passenger warned us that this was the most luxurious train he had ever been on.. ;))
After a good night sleep (hooray!) and a day full of reading/sleeping/playing games we arrived in Yekaterinburg around 8 pm. Unfortunately our hotel was overbooked, so we had to settle for a hostel with a very, very dirty shower…grr. But anyway: the next morning the sun was shining, it was 30 degrees celsius and we were looking foward to spending our day discovering Yekaterinburg! :)
We came to Yekaterinburg to learn a bit more about the Romanovs and Russia’s fascinating history, so we booked a little tour for our second day. We had the most amazing guide, a historian called Konstantin, who told us everything we wanted to know and more! We first made a stop at the Europ-Asia border (where newlyweds come for goodluck, hence next to the official monument there is a wall of Champagne as well ;)), then went to the two burial sites of the last tsar and his family and servants (the Romanovs) and finished by visiting the newly opened Yeltsin museum (highly recommended!). A very very interesting day!
After a much needed freshening up in our hotel in Krasoyarsk (a grey concrete building which looks like an African Safari lodge on the inside ;)) we headed to Stolby National Park for a 5 hour hike. Felt great to be outdoors after 32 hours on the train!
P.s. Sorry for the long post.. :D