Trans-Siberian Railway 2017 travel blog

Asia/Europe border

Romanov grave

Church of the Blood

Squirrel

Circus


Today was a long day

Up at 6am to wash clothes in the bathroom handbasin (as you do when you are travelling)

The best breakfast in the world - this hotel has breakfast heaven. Fruit. Yoghurt. Blini. Condensed milk. Fresh (real) orange juice. What more could you want?! There was a lot more on offer, and it was all good.

We were picked up at 9am for our tour.

We stopped the Asia/Europe border. We were the only ones here. We took lots of photos. Our guide produced a bottle of champagne to celebrate, and awarded us with certificates saying how brave we were to cross this border.

On to the site where the Romanov family were initially and unsuccessfully buried. There are now 7 churches built on this site. There were a lot of tourists groups.

Then we went on to where the Romanovs were actually buried. No-one else seemed to know about this place. We were the only ones there. It was down a dirt track in a secluded spot in a forrest. This is where the body of Anastasia was most recently found, and only identified in 2007, laying rest to the idea that maybe she had escaped the massacre.

Back to town and a visit to the Church of the Blood, built on the site where the Romanov massacre actually happened.

We caught the metro back to our hotel, as the traffic was horrendous, and our driver, Alexander, didn’t have time to take us back before he had to pick up someone else at the station.

After a brief regrouping at the hotel, we set out to explore the district around our hotel.

Tickets for the circus, a flea market, checked out local restaurants and explored a huge mall.

Then walked through the large park opposite our hotel, where we found this friendly squirrel.

A very brief stop at the hotel to change, and out to the circus, which began at 6pm.

The circus was so good. We were sitting in the very very back row, up in the rafters - the cheapest seats money could buy. $20 each. (Mind you, the dress circle was only $30 each).

I was a little hesitant about what it would be like, as I suspected they would have animals in it. It did, in fact, have animals in it. But nothing like the Moscow Circus I saw in Sydney when I was a child. None of the “tamer puts his head in the mouth of the lion”, “lion roaring loudly”, “lady standing up and twirling on the back of a horse”. Today was had domestic cats, like we have at home in Australia, showing how clever they are by walking along planks of wood. Dogs playing soccer. A horse prancing around the arena. There were 4 magnificent Siberian tigers, who did the same routine the domestic cats did, plus one sat on a tiger-size swing and swung in the air for a few minutes.

Most of the circus, however, was dancing, acrobats, tight rope walking, magic tricks and more dancing. A fabulous night.

On the way home we went to what feels like the world’s largest supermarket, and bought some salads which we took home and ate in our hotel room.

We arrived home at 10.15pm.

A long and fabulous day.



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