Today was interesting! It was the first day of my train journey; a gruelling 27 hours of clinking and clanking that about mid-way through began to send my head in a spin! I was sleeping in second class meaning that I was sharing my cabin with 3 other people.
Because of the remote nature of where I was going, the cabin conductor and all of the 30 something passengers spoke absolutely no English making out to be an interestingly solitary journey! It was one of the most emotionally testing experiences of my life but I made it through to the other end all right!
It was interesting seeing the development of the snow as I headed deeper and deeper into central Siberia with the end destination being a whopping -12C when I arrived at 7pm to complete darkness. Freezing temperatures that I have never experienced before but is something that the locals don’t even blink an eye at.
The best part of the day was being able to see and touch snow for the first time!
3 November 2017
So today a couple of friends I met at my hostel and I ventured forth to the mysterious land of Far-East Russian Aquariums. I had literally no idea what to expect.
What we found was an incredibly interesting and fun look into the history of sea and river life in and around Russia with heaps of detailed, well designed displays; honestly nothing like what I expected.
The aquarium is located on Russky Island, an Island that used to be a heavily militarised base for Russian Navy but opened to foreigners in the mid-early 2000s and has since become a major tourist hub for Vladivostok!
The lovely taxi driver who drove us over spoke English really well and told us that the aquarium was co-built by Russian and New Zealander Marine Biologists.
The coolest thing is the exhibit, by far was the jelly fish which included an incredibly extensive range of species from around the globe!
I finished the day by getting ready for the beginning of my journey for a 27 hour train ride to Komsomolsk!!!
2 November 2017
I arrived the wonderful city of Vladivostok only to have my wallet stolen. So I woke up this morning a bit shaken, nevertheless I decided to wonder the city for myself and see some of the famed sites.
The first thing I did was head out to the Golden Horn Bay to visit a restaurant named Pyongyang run by the North Korean government. I arrived to be put in a small eating booth so I was separated from everyone else in the room and no one spoke any English. I had Sea Cucumber Salad; oddly one of the more normal menu items. They also served Sea Urchin and Possum.
After that I went wondered around the city, which was a really interesting walk. Vladivostok is built in a mountainous region of Russia and has a very interesting CBD; lots of traditional Russian architecture melded with contemporary buildings and monuments of old soviet culture.
Weirdest moment - stumbling across an abandoned theme park locals used as a shortcut to cut across town
Tomorrow is the start of my train journey!!