Monthly Archives

July 2019

The Road

Abakan – the Khakassian city full of parks, statues and a unique urban architecture

Recently we wrote a post how on our road couchsurfing enabled many memorable meetings with local people. In Abakan (the capital city of the Republic of Khakassia) it worked again amazingly when lovely Juliet responded to our request and offered to host us. 3 nights changed to 6 and one visit became two when we returned to the city after our hiking trip in Ergaki Mountains. First time in our travel we were in one spot for more a than few days and it allowed us to rest and just walk around from place to place. It was easy to fall in love with the lush streets of Abakan as it had lots of parks and buildings with unique details and quickly we started to know the city like our own pockets.

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Russia - Siberia The Road

Khakassian Wonders and the Road Between Them

Federal highways were not the roads we chose to hitch in Western Siberia. “Here I’ll stop to rest” said the driver of KAMAZ truck. We agreed to meet at 6AM sharp in the morning and went out into the mist of the night to look for the camping place. Next day we entered Khakassia – the Republic that remains close to our hearts. Igor – the boss of our truck driver, turned out to be as kind and helpful as his employee – we changed the rides, now sitting in his jeep. In Kop’yevo, his hometown, he explains how grass fires destroyed many homesteads and how many families moved into the new tract houses. Emotional and seemingly drunk he describes “All of it thanks to Putin. All new places to live for the families”. Later we toured through some villages, which are nameless in google maps. “Everything was here, people were busy and happy, now who will stay here” changing the tone for less positive one, he gestured at abandoned kolkhoz buildings and empty streets. Nostalgia for the Soviet Union was a common phenomenon occurring on our road, from the western borders of the Caucasus countries till Vladivostok. Although live might be not easy here, each village was surrounded by grassy hills dotted with dark needle-leaf forests, they looked like they come straight from fairy tale. We thought that reaching Sunduki will take quite some time since roads began to get worse and we didn’t see any other car. We were wrong, “No problem, I take you there”, it was hard to refuse Igor’s offer.

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Kazakhstan The Road

Oskemen – Tour of our Favorite Kazakh City

Our time in the Oskemen city (Russian name: Ust-Kamenogorsk) in the east region of Kazakhstan, will always stay unique for us. The apartment that we found for a very cheap price, gave us an opportunity to live in the heart of a vibrant neighbourhood area. We bought a local beer straight from the tap to a plastic bottle (oh well…), enjoyed a chill time in our “home” and walked ourselves tired, wandering around in this special, not-so-famous place.

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