Sunday 23rd July 2017 – Krasnoyarsk
Here are some photos from the train getting closer to Krasnoyarsk in the morning.
After 18 hours of train and 1,050 kilometers, we arrived in Krasnoyarsk around 12pm. Here is a map to give an idea of the journey.
Not a single train station has lifts in Russia which means you either have to carry your own luggage up the stairs or you can pay 100 roubles (AUD 2) for a ‘nassilchik’ (baggage porter) to carry them for you. I often played the nassilchik for my parents in exchange of an ice-cream, when they were letting me to (which wasn’t always the case!!). 🙂
After going up some stairs and going down some others, we arrived outside of the main entrance of the Krasnoyarsk train station. Here is the station when facing it:
Here we were, in Krasnoyarsk, a city considered Siberia’s oldest town. The city was founded by some Cossacks who built a fort called the Krasny Yar fort in 1628. The fort was built to protect the Siberians who swore loyalty to the Russian tsar in exchange of some fur to protect them from the Yenisei Kyrgyz who lived south of the Yenisei river. At the time, the region was populated with few Russians and the indigenous Kito people. By 1900, the population had reached 27,000 inhabitants. Most of the town folks then were ex-convicts to the point that they were suspicious of merchants who had not served a sentence. It is said that one merchant went to St Petersburg to commit a small crime so that he could be imprisoned in Irkutsk. Then he returned to Krasnoyarsk and had a better business as he now belonged more to the population. During WWII, Krasnoyarsk was a munition centre with most arms factories built around it. Russia’s biggest aluminium factory was built here around 1970. Krasnoyarsk was closed to foreigners until 1989. Krasnoyarsk now counts around 1 million inhabitants.
On the square near the train station, we saw the symbol of Krasnoyarsk, a lion holding a sickle in the left fore paw and a spade in the right fore paw. That specific statue is in bronze on a 16-meter tall pillar and was erected at the station in 2005.
We saw the local buses outside the station and took one of them towards the hostel. Here are some photos on the way to the hostel.
We dropped the bags and went out for lunch. Our hostel was located in the top right little square on this map, near the cyrillic letter ‘i’ of Surikova.
From there we walked towards numbers 35 and 36 (lunch places) but entered in another restaurant which ended up being really nice.
There was lots of construction going on in the street nearby.
After lunch, we went to see the Annunciation Cathedral (number 34 on the map).
After visiting the church, we walked around the streets to the Surikov Art Museum (number 31 on the map). Vasily Surikov is the best-known painter of grand Russian historical subjects and portraits and was born in Krasnoyarsk. On our way, we saw modern buildings, wooden houses, the wagtail bird again, Kvas street sellers (I had a glass of Kvas again, so tasty), more Communist buildings.
After this museum, we walked to the Krasnoyarsk Museum Centre (number 39) in which we bumped into a free science exhibition we looked at for a bit. The guys volunteering there were really happy to have some foreign tourists to talk to in English. My favourite was a box with mirrors and lights which gave the impression of travelling into multi-space dimensions and some vortex-like world.
After that we got onto the SS Nikolai ship. This is the steamship on which Lenin sailed to exile in Shushenkoye on 30 April 1897 and on which Tsar Nicholas II sailed in 1891. It was a pretty small boat and it was quite hard to imagine that 150 passengers could be carried on it.
After seeing this steamship, we walked alongside the river, then we bought some food in a small supermarket we found on our way back and got back to the hostel where we had dinner and chilled.
Next days, more time in Krasnoyarsk!