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Hitchhiking in Russia – Kazan (part one)

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Why people are travelling? I asked this question to myself and others frequently. Answers are always controversial.

“I want to decide what I want in my life”, “I want to find out something new”, “I’ve just been escaping from reality”, “That’s my way of living on this planet”, “I’m tired from all this domesticity
and boring housework”, “I want to find myself”, “I simply don’t know what else I need to do”

The only answer I haven’t ever heard is: “My favorite things are architecture and museums, when I’m in trip”. This side of a journey usually aren’t in concern of anybody.

So, the majority of people travel to find themselves and their place on the Earth.

However, does the journey really could help to find the matter for oneself? That’s the point I had to figure out.

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Pieces of Zen puzzle are collected in one big mosaic consisted of routine joyless work, the lack of travel and monotonous routes of walking. I haven’t seen the country I live in eventually. However Russia isn’t only the two cities – Saint-Petersburg, Moscow and the neighbourhood. What’s happening there where the Central Federal District is over? Few people know. There’s a rumour that life there exists. 🙂

“But you are the girl!”. Looking for a traveldude

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So, I’ve decided to do that one beautiful evening (basically I can’t say the evening was beautiful –  mostly the opposite)

I want to travel over the Russia

By hitchhiking.

“Stop, you’re the girl!”. Is it safe to travel alone? There is some risk obviously and according to girl-travellers reports the risk is real.

As I don’t have enough hitchhiking experience, I’ve decided to find a traveldude. It’s safe and joyfully to travel with someone. Companions could be found in social network’s hitchhikers’ group “Vk.com” and on the Couchsurfing. After a short search I met Sasha who’ve been travelling by hitchhiking for a long time and also wanted to see Altai and got into the wild somewhere in the steppe.

Heavy backpack and Mongolian plans

Now then the route and the date was decided, backpack collected(16kg of pure pleasure) and we went on. Our initial plan was to go through Altai to Mongolia where we wanted to get into the wild after entered it and went to Russia from it’s Capital Ulan-Bator. However because of lots different circumstances our plan  changed significantly during the travel.

From Saint-Petersburg to Moscow. The Valdai slides.

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IMG_1195IMG_1196IMG_1202Night Moscow

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The beauty on the way to fucking nowhere.  4 a.m. the track to Nizhnii Novgorod

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The third capital of Russia – Kazan.

The first stop on our way was Kazan city. We found nice heated benches and waited there till hostel check in.

IMG_1250 Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan Republic. The city is ancient (seriously more than 1000 years old). Moreover it’s the unofficial brand name is Third Capital of Russia.

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IMG_1255 IMG_1256Multiconfessional, multinational and colorful that’s all about Kazan. All these things make the city looks neat, tidy and beautiful and municipal services should clean it continuously because of it. The city coped with this task perfectly. Walking around there is a great pleasure.

IMG_1297 IMG_1281 IMG_1274 IMG_1307However I’ve met some ruins (the city centre by the way)

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The glory of soviet architecture.

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Huge parking it the heart of the city.

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Amazing palaces dedicated to cultivators (for me it looks like Lord of the Rings elfs’ residence)

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Obviously I’ve found what to photo for my “Optimism” rubric (where I’m collecting pictures of ruins and ironic remarks). E.g. that’s the sample of soviet abstract art named “Everything is ashes”

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The Honeymoon park. Looks like abandoned soviet “Disneyland”.
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A little bit broken seafront.
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On this picture you can see typical russian wedding.

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Naturally, every Russian city and village has Lenin’s and others soviet personality monument
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We’ve been in Kazan for one day and one night. We’ve been walking around and eat bakery. Despite some issues with ruins Kazan is rather pretty city and is mandatory for visiting.

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We took a bus next morning which took us to the exit of the city (which matches with graveyard like everywhere in Russia) and we moved to the way to Novosibirsk. I’ll describe it the next part of my story

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