The World War II Dictators Post-Bar Adventure Special travel blog

Dear Readers,

We have now made it to Siberia. We are in Omsk, which Kara and I are using to basically break up our trip to Irkutsk into a few days. There isn't too much to say about Omsk because there isn't too much to do in Omsk (though it is fun to say). Tonight, we travel on to Novosibirsk which is the capital of Western Siberia and the largest city in Siberia. It is also where the total eclispse of the sun was one week ago. So, there's that.

Our trip from Eketerinburg to Omsk was relatively short. It took about 14 hours, but we spent the night on the train. Our first two cabin mates were very friendly and told us to join them hanging out in the bottom bunks; Kara and I were both on the top bunks this trip. We struggled to communicate with them in Russian, and they struggled to communicate with us in English, but they were very friendly nonetheless. They told me (Ben) that I look like Andre Agassi. I'm assuming it is because of my muscular, athletic physique.

They asked to see our pictures from Moscow so the priest in our cabin (seriously, he was a priest, long beard and all), who was pretty much from a city in the arctic circle, hooked our camera up to his computer to look at the nearly 300 photos that we have taken. Nothing is more embarassing than looking at the many, many photos of anything Soviet that we have taken (they probably thought we were obsessed with communism and Lenin) or the zillion pictures of St. Basil's Cathedral that we took (Kara loves turrets).

Anyway, after our pictures, the priest showed us his pictures from his own vacations and his officiating a wedding. Sometime during the slide shows, one of the provodnitsas came in and told us that dinner was included with our ticket. After a long confusing conversation during which Kara and I tried to explain that we weren't hungry because we had already eaten, we gave up and said we'd love to have dinner. So we went and had our third dinner. Fortunately, the third time's a charm and the dinner was very nice. Our first course was beet borsch, which was very nice.

As you can probably tell, we don't have too much to add today. We took a river cruise up and down the river alongside of Omsk, and we also had a beer on the beach by the river. Today was the first day we had sunshine all day long. Our train leaves tonight around 9:45 local time (which is 11 hours ahead of the east coast). In two days, we will be 12 hours ahead which, I guess, means we are halfway around the world.

We are off to dinner now before we get on the train this evening. We are getting better at figuring out what is what on the menus so we don't have to have blini with condensed milk at every meal any more. It is nice to hear from everyone who has sent us messages along the way.

See you all from Novosibirsk. До Свидания (Do Svedanya).

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