Monday, June 19, 2017

Yekaterinburg Day 2

Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia
Our second day in Yekaterinburg wasn't very productive and almost consisted entirely of walking. When we woke up our roommates were still sleeping, which made it really difficult to get ready. I was considering having us leave our things in the hostel until 12 when we needed to check out, but I was just so annoyed with the whole room situation that I just wanted to leave. We started our morning by getting breakfast at Шоколадница, our morning started so early that we were there before they even opened. We ended up sitting and talking for FOUR hours! The time went by so fast I literally don't know where it went.
For how quickly the morning went by our afternoon went twice as slow. Maybe it was because we didn't have anything planned, but I remember we had been walking for an hour and it seemed like it had been three. That is in contrast to the 4 hours we sat talking which felt like an hour. We spent the afternoon just randomly picking streets and walking down them. I love doing this in Ufa because I've come across some of the coolest things. However, doing this with heavy backpacks and wearing clothes for 50F weather when it turns out to be almost 70 is less than ideal. We sat in a park for a little bit because I felt as if my back was going to break. I started to get hungry, and it looked like it was going to rain so we got some lunch.
I don't know what it was, but lunch gave me some new found energy. I really knew I would regret not taking pictures of the circus building, so I suggested that we go back to it. I was also told there are people selling regional stones near the metro station, and I was interested in checking them out to see if there was anything I could buy as a souvenir, but they were packing up as soon as we arrived. Nevertheless, it was still worth it to take photos of the circus building. I won't watch a circus because I don't want to support captive and trained animals, but Soviet circus buildings are some of the coolest structures I've seen. My friends, Megan and Nick, have posts that include these buildings in post-Soviet countries that you should check out.
Right behind the circus is the abandoned TV tower. According to this website it's the tallest abandoned structure in the world. While I technically didn't "explore" it, I'm still filing this post under "abandoned" because I'd never be able to explore it even if I tried. The tower is now closed off to prevent both suicides and base jumping, both of which took place here. Construction on the tower began in 1981, but ended when the Soviet Union collapsed. There is apparently a "lean" in the tower as the result of an engineering mistake; however, this lean does not put it at risk for falling. You can't really tell that it's tipped slightly to the side, though. At least I didn't notice it until I read about it online. I marginally regret not getting a closer look at the tower, but I'm terrified of getting in trouble with the Russian police or government. While I can always play the "foreigner" card, I find it best not to mess with the authorities for valid reasons.
We finished the evening by taking pictures of some street art, walking around City Pond, buying a few souvenirs, and riding the city's metro for the first time to the train station. While we didn't do much other than walking, I'd definitely visit the city again because there are a few places outside of it that would require more time to see. The city itself is very beautiful, and I would recommend anyone considering a trip here to take it.
What do you think about Yekaterinburg?

8 comments

  1. Looks like a great exploring day

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  2. The stained glass windows in that old home are amazing!

    Do you know why so many trams are painted red + yellow? Some Ukraine trams have the exact same color pattern, like maybe they all come from the same factory as the Russian ones. Or is it a color scheme lingering from the Soviet days? What do you think?

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    1. I'm not sure, maybe it makes them more visible? They painted the bus stops the same color.

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  3. What is that huge cheese grater?? I'm into it!

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    1. Right?! I saw it and was like this is equally ugly and amazing.

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  4. This really, really makes me want to go to Yekaterinburg. It's also extremely terrifying and sad to think of anyone committing suicide by jumping off that tower.

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    1. You should go! It's beautiful. I agree. The thought of coming across it too is equally terrifying.

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