Thursday 27th July
We started the day with packing and checked out of the rooms in the morning. My parents were taking a train in the afternoon for Tyumen to go to Tobolsk while I was staying one more night in Novosibirsk. I had booked an airbnb room at the flat of a Russian girl called Anna. They came with me and I dropped my backpack there. Anna spoke fluent English and was super-friendly. She happened to work in Akademgorodok which we really wanted to see and as she was driving there right after to work, she offered to take us there.
Akademgorodok is located 30 km from Novosibirsk and was established in the 1950s as a university and research centre for scientists under Khrushchev. It aimed at gathering the best scientific minds of Russia in order to help Russia achieve scientific superiority. It received heavy fundings from the government but by 1993, the utopian dream was over as there was not much money left.
The ride was smooth, we saw some gigantic buildings, some forest and learnt that when a driver has had their driving license for less than 2 years, they have to put an exclamation mark on the back of their car.
We got to Akademgorodok where we saw some huge buildings and then walked around and saw the pond and forest style and secluded wooden houses located around.
Then we had some lunch at a Bavarian restaurant located nearby. . Every single restaurant in Russia serves refreshing jugs of lemonade with fruits. I wish all countries did that! The food is also always amazingly well presented. I had some soup served into a bowl made of bread.
After lunch, we took a taxi and went to see the museum of Railway Technology located near Seyatel train station. It was really nice to walk all around so old trains, cars, tanks and trucks.
Then we walked to the nearby train station of Seyatel where we took the local train back to Novosibirsk. The platforms are really low and people cross them easily to go from one platform to the next.
We got to Novosibirsk and visited the Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral built in 1898 when the city was founded and made of red bricks.
Then we saw some big buildings when walking back to my parents hostel where they had left their backpacks.
I called them an Uber and off they went to the train station for their train to Tyumen to go to see the Tobolsk kremlin. I walked from their hostel to the airbnb flat and saw some guys doing some roller-blading tricks in the street.
I reached Anna’s flat and had shower and rested. Then she came back and invited me to share her dinner at home, we ate delicious bulgur and Siberian mushrooms and veggie garden cucumbers and berries. She also showed me the wild berries vodka she had made. Recipe: Soak wild berries into vodka for 2 weeks with some sugar. Buy some pharmacy filter tissue then filter and pour back into the vodka bottle. You have a great natural berry vodka ready to drink!
Then Anna packed her bag as she was off in the evening for 4 days to the Altai to go rafting and camping with a bus at 11pm which would take 12 hours to reach the Altai mountains. If I knew that earlier, I would have changed my plans, skipped Ekaterinburg, lost my train ticket, bought a bus ticket and tour ticket and would have gone with her! It was so tempting!!! It made me crave to come back to Russia for a different trip, a trip focused on nature and wilderness. Another time…Instead, while she was off, I just played with her awesome cat then went to bed!
Next day, a morning in Novosibirsk then off to Ekaterinburg!