Lazy Days

Friday, March 11, 2011

Two nyquil-assisted good nights' sleep and two low-key days later, my head cold is much improved, just in time for a bit more sightseeing in Yekaterinburg tomorrow before the next leg of our train journey. We are technically not quite in Siberia yet, but we are east of the Ural mountains and thus, officially, we are in Asia.

Our second train compartment was not quite as luxurious as the first, but still quite comfortable. Sadly, no complementary beer or breakfast this time.

We slept easily, thanks in large part to the heavy window-shade that made our compartment dark as night no matter the time of day. Also there wasn't a bothersome rattling noise keeping us up.

We had a much-needed relaxing day on the train, spent mostly with reading, knitting, watching Russian WWII movies on our one TV channel (which we're pretty sure was actually bootleg DVD's playing from the conductor's compartment), sneaking in some extra zzz's...

... admiring the snowy landscapes passing by our window...

...and catching a bite to eat in the restaurant car.

Our train arrived to Yekaterinburg at 1am local time, so we went over to the hotel directly across the street from the station where we had reserved the cheapest possible room. We knew from previous reviews that the rooms were supposed to be terrible, but since public transport shuts down at midnight, and we were a little sketched out by the idea of taking a taxi that late, we figured we could crash at the bad hotel for one night, and head a little outside the city center to a nicer hotel for our second night. Let's just say, the previous reviews did not disappoint. The room was in impressively bad condition, particularly the bathroom.

A piece of the ceiling fell into the bathroom sink while I was showering. That said, the room was clean and served its purpose of providing us with an easily accessible bed after a late night train arrival.

Today we were slow to get moving after our late night (plus we've moved an additional two time zones forward) and it took us a while to figure out how to make our way to our second hotel via the tram system. It's a bit in the suburbs, near a lake, and the quiet was nice after all the hustle and bustle of the big cities we've been in, so we decided to just hang at the hotel for the afternoon.

In just an hour or two we went from the worst hotel room of the trip to the best.

It was a relatively warm, sunny day, so we decided to have a little walk-about in the grounds before heading over to the hotel restaurant for some dinner.

The hotel building:

Looking back at the hotel from the end of the one shoveled path:

Tomorrow we try to catch a show at the local Puppet Theater, and in the evening, we start the next leg of our train journey - 33 hours to Krasnoyarsk!


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