So, I hopped (more like stumbled with heavy feet and loaded rucksack) onto the train in Moscow, bound for Kazan. A ‘short’ overnight train journey that saw me greet the new day to a new town. I had a good feel about this one. Smaller, more my style. Not so lost in the crowds and away from the tourists. Kazan, you see, is not on the main Trans-Siberian railway. There is, you see, one helluva lot more railroads than just ‘that’ famous one in Russia. It should not come as a surprise. Russia is massive. With big industry. And it needs the infrastructure to match.
Anyway, so here I arrived in Kazan and slogged up the hill from the station to the Kremlin and found a lovely little hotel close by, snuck in beside the impersonal Marriott but charging a fraction of the price.
The Kremlin is beautiful. Shining white in the midday bright light with the bright blue orbs of the mosque shimmering in the sky as a beacon overlooking the river.
The rest of the town (at least that worth seeing) is well within walking distance (although I did get massive blisters in the process, being somewhat more used to pedalling than strolling). I felt safe her wandering the streets aimlessly. They are filled with the old buildings that are falling down and the new that now fill the spaces and then there are those relics worth repairing (and they are many), so many parts of the town had the feel of a building site to it.
Still it was a pleasant place to spend a day before getting on another train, this time bound for Yekaterinburg. Another overnight spend sleeping on the move to awake in a new city…
For now, here are some photos of Kazan’s streets: