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Roadtrip Russia (4) TransSiberia to Chita in Winter


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The TransSiberian Highway in winter.
Much mileage, few pictures (sorry).
6.250 km in 5 days.

Drove mostly in the dark as sunrise in Siberia is usually at 10 a.m. and sunset at 5 p.m.

December temperatures varied between - 10 and - 40 C.

A spiritual car journey into the cold ...

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Trip restart from Kazan where our car had been waiting for two months - unharmed - at the airport

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Initially driving along the Kama river (a Volga tributary - longer than the "real" Volga itself - that was considered the proper Volga by the Tatars/Turks) passing 1000-year-old Sheytan Kalesi (Devil's Castle, source: Wikipedia) near Alabuga

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Through Izhevsk where Mikhail Kalashnikov (monument foto: Wikipedia) still lives and produces Russia's biggest ever export good, the AK-47.

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Well, now the biggest export is energy ... here a burning gas torch at one of the many LUK-Oil and Gazprom fields between Tatarstan, Bashkiria and Perm

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Relatively well maintained roads all the way, but sometimes on snow and ice

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Often driving parallel to the TransSiberian train

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Crossing the Ural from Europe into Asia at the border monument in Pervouralsk, 40 km before Ekaterinburg (Source: Wikitravel)

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The Hyatt Regency Hotel in Ekaterinburg is among the best and most expensive in Russia

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The monument for the fallen soldiers of the Afghan War in Ekaterinburg

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The mafia cemetery in Ekaterinburg (Source: Wikitravel)

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The run-down Soviet style hotel in Ishim competes with our car for the dirtiest place of the year award

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Driving through the German Rayon of Asowo near the Kazakh border. There are still over 1 mio of ethnic Germans in the region, whose families were deported there by Stalin from their Volga-settlements during WW II.

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At the Doubletree Hilton Novosibirsk

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"Uncle Kolya" - Monument to the Russian Traffic Policeman in Tomsk

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Krasnoyarsk is a relatively beautiful, (plutonium-) rich and cultivated city deep in Siberia at the banks of Yenisei River (Source: Wikipedia). In cold winter temperatures the running river produces so much vapour that it's not possible to take a foto.

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Arriving at the Krasnoyarsk Hotel ...

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... next door to their fantastic restaurant and entertainment complex.

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Krasnoyarsk is famous for an abundance of beautiful girls, here at the relatively classy Amsterdam Club

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Back in the car and cold: this tough guy (left side) walked in the middle of nowhere at - 30 C

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Pretty average temperatures :-)

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These Siberian horses are used to freezing. We also saw wild dogs, cattle, a fox and a wolf at the roadside.

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Like ice in the sunshine ...

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Coming from Novosibirsk, going to Chita.

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Long distance driving, sometimes throughout the night ...

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... means the occasional power nap in the car

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But we have a special wake-up call for sleepy drivers

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First glimpse of Lake Baikal after staying at the Courtyard Marriott in Irkutsk

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Dried fish is available all over Russia, but the best known is "Omul" from Lake Baikal

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Roads getting more icy...

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Car broke down right in the middle of nowhere between Ulan Ude and Chita (see above) ... after midnight ... and at - 32 C (!) ... then got it restarted after 2 hours of waiting for help on the deserted road.

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Barely made it - without sleep - to our morning flight. Car now parked at Chita airport. 10 hours (9 timezones) back to Europe. Sunrise take-off with S7 Airlines at 10 a.m.

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To be continued (Road of Bones) ...

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Posted by LuxuryRogue 03:16 Archived in Russia

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