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Day 12 - Vladivostok Part II
After a very restful nights sleep and a good "American" breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, coffee and orange juice, we set off once more into the maelstrom of the traffic that sums up Vladivostok. Our Intentions were very clear today:
So, once more on the Number 59 bus dear friends and a quick hoof down to the harbour front as this misses most of the traffic and onto the museum. The museum was most interesting; lots of pre-Soviet history as well as stuff from the Cold War and Soviet era. We spent a good hour in here and had the place mostly to ourselves, despite a cock up with the entrance fee. Money, it seems, knows no international language barriers either!
After the museum, we braved the traffic again to find the department store cafe. There is a good technique we developed for crossing the road: it involves waiting for a girl with good looking legs to come along, not difficult in this city, and as the traffic stops abruptly, you cross with her! Works every time!
Tea break over, we then proceeded to find some Vladivostok T-Shirts from the expensive designer shops in the malls. So expensive in fact and no tacky logo splashed on them, we gave up and went onto the Eastern Cultural museum instead.
This was most interesting despite the odd requirement of having to wear covers for our shoes just to walk on some tatty old carpet. The museum gave you a good insight into Russian Culture though and included the table where Lenin signed the notorious peace agreement with Germany in 1917.
After this, we were ready for a sit down and we retired once more to the beach to soak up some sun and write some more postcards before our impending scramble across Russia and home!
The postcards reminded me of an episode in the Vladivostok post office! 45 minutes to explain we wanted those cards and we wanted to send then to "Anglia". Not East Anglia, but all of it. And I look back and wonder where the time went in this city. Most of it was stuttering and pointing and passing the phrase book backwards and forwards trying to elicite the goods. Phew! The same occured in the bank were Cousin Pete wanted some more money, but the bank was more up for that as they had an English speaker, as were no doubt used to it as they must deal with tourists more.
Anyway, I digrese. The trip back from the beach took us around the headland and then a last look at the Golden Horn Bay and off to find the crowded 62 bus back to the hotel. Last trip on this rush hour crush. I'm sure there were too many people on the bus and some people had difficulty getting off in time.
More card writing whilst we prepared for dinner and then down to the restaurant which was interrupted by some rather loud Americans. They had the most appauling manners I must say. There were four of them and the lady of the group didn't even eat. Instead she was typing up a record of their trip onto a laptop computer whilst giving us a running commentary in a loud voice. We knew exactly what they had been doing blow by blow. The big bloke was expunging his distorted views on the world on us as well not that we were interested. No wonder Americans have such a bad reputation abroad.
We retreated to the bar for a Russian beer and reflected on the day and the trip before climbing the stairs once again and our final night on Russian soil! Tomorrow, my biggest ever trip across nearly a third of the globe in one day - One taxe, two planes, one bus and three trains in 36 hours!