I don’t do Christmas

That’s right – I don’t do Christmas.

But before you start feeling sorry for me, let me tell you that it’s not in a ‘bah humbug’ kind of way.  And I haven’t always been like this so let me explain why I don’t do Christmas.

Childhood Christmas

Of course, when I was a child, growing up in our family, we celebrated Christmas every year in Australia.

karen and i with father christmas
My sister and I (I’m the little one) in our obligatory annual Christmas photo

That meant lunches and dinners with extended family on the 25th and 26th December, a Christmas tree heavily decorated with both bought and homemade decorations, Christmas carols, Christmas parties, Christmas presents – well, you know what I mean.  They were absolutely normal, traditional, Australian Christmases.  And being Australian I even remember one year we had Christmas on the beach when my daughter was little.

So, I’m from a culture where Christmas is celebrated by almost everyone in the community.

And when I had my daughter we continued these traditions and had some very wonderful Christmases together with family and friends.

And there were presents. Lots of presents.  I think I tried to over-compensate for something because my daughter was thoroughly spoilt at Christmas time.  Every single time.

The presents under the tree every year formed a small mountain.  And as she was an only child, almost all of those presents were for her.

I’m sure she was happy about that.

Then she grew up and left home, so my Christmases became a little more low-key.  We still sometimes had lunches or dinners on Christmas day, and exchanged presents, but living without a child in the house was completely different.  I just didn’t feel the need to have a Christmas tree or decorations in the house.

Heading abroad to a new culture

I left Australia just a couple of days after Christmas, in 2006.  I don’t really remember much about that Christmas.  I was staying with my sister at the time and maybe she had a tree and maybe we exchanged presents (she had young children at the time), but I don’t really remember.

And if you know my story, you’ll know that I left Australia to go to live in Moscow, Russia.  And I arrived in Russia in January.

christmas in moscow
Moscow New Year celebrations – 15th December 2007

So, because I arrived in Russian in January, I had to wait almost a whole year to experience the fabulous ‘white Christmas’ that those of us who grow up in hot countries can only dream about.

The year passed, and during that time I learnt that Russians don’t celebrate our ‘western’ Christmas.  They celebrate Orthodox Christmas on 7th January – and it’s very low-key.

Their biggest party is New Year’s Eve.  That’s when it all happens.

New Year in Russia

They have New Year trees as you’ve probably seen in my post from a couple of years ago.  They give presents at New Year.  They have parties, drinking, fireworks, and everyone’s ready to be happy and celebrate together.

It’s a bit like ‘our’ Christmas, but just a little bit later. 

I must say, though, that the commercialism I see in Australia, and that I participated in by buying my daughter mountains of presents every year, doesn’t really exist in Russia.

new year moscow
Moscow 28th December 2019

Sure, they give presents in Russia, but from what I saw while I was there, people don’t go crazy in the shops before New Year.  There were not hordes of people in the shopping centres, filling up their trolleys with enormous amounts of presents and food.  It was quite low-key compared to what I used to see in Australia.

I don’t remember if my first 25th December in Russia was a white Christmas or not.  It was a working day so I was at work teaching.  We probably had a Christmas themed lesson, as we did these every year with our students.

Over the years in Russia, the 25th December Christmas became further and further from my life, and even though other foreign teachers in my school celebrated, I never did.  No tree.  No carols. And no presents.

Getting married didn’t change things

And then after a couple of years in Moscow I got married to Olivier.  And even though he’s French and not Russian, he also wasn’t really too interested in Christmas.  We’ve never exchanged presents at Christmas, not even the first one we spent together.

Living in Russia together for 10 years also meant that the traditional western Christmas was never really on our radar – it passed us by while we were concentrating on our jobs in the build-up to our New Year holiday plans.

moscow new year tree
New Year lights in Moscow stay up for a long time – 20th February 2020

Christmas in Bulgaria

And now, we live in Bulgaria.  It’s not Christmas yet, but from what I’ve heard, they celebrate on 25th December, just like we do in Australia.  There’s already plenty of Christmas decorations up in the town, in the streets, in people’s windows, and in the shops.

I’m not sure what we’re going to be doing on 25th December this year.  We may get together with some friends, either Bulgarian or foreigners, and have a little party – the first Christmas party I will experience in many, many years.

So, I’m not a ‘bah humbug I don’t do Christmas’ type of person, I’m a ‘my life has led me away from this holiday’ person, but it looks like things just might change this year.

The photo below was taken in the entrance of the building we currently live in. The tree is just about the right size for me.

tree in flat building
A very small Christmas tree

What about you?  Do you have big celebrations at Christmas time with lots of presents, or is your Christmas more low-key?  Or maybe you celebrate an Orthodox Christmas in January?  Let me know your Christmas plans in the comments below.

~ Cheryl

Rescuing the Past

I’m not sure if I’ve actually rescued the past, or just delayed the inevitable demise of some photographic relics.  I think it’s the latter.

A few years ago while living in Moscow, I found myself wanting to buy all the old photos which I came across in flea markets and other places that sold second-hand things.  There were a lot of photos, even suitcases full of them sometimes.

children playing
Girls in a playground

It made me sad to think that people no longer wanted these old photos of their ancestors, family holidays, photos of their babies and children, and many other memories that should, in my opinion, stay with the family.  Instead they were for sale in second-hand markets.

How sad.

I’ve got a box of my own photos back in Australia, as well as some here with me in Bulgaria, and some I’ve left in Moscow with a friend because they couldn’t fit in my luggage when we had to leave Russia in a hurry back in March.  I hope one day that I can get all my photos back together in one place, and that my daughter will treasure them and not try to sell them in a flea market.

So, I bought some photos in Moscow, but I couldn’t buy them all because they were actually really expensive.  People were selling their old family photos, or someone else’s photos, for the same price, or actually a little bit higher, as it would cost to have them printed in a photo shop.  I just couldn’t pay that, and so with great reluctance I left a lot of them where they were.

serious girl
A very serious girl

But I did manage to buy some on a few different occasions, and I felt such joy looking through them when I got them home.  I wondered who these people were, and what their stories were, and where the photos were taken.

I wondered about their families, and I wondered why their photos were now in my possession.

family of 3
A family photo

Of course I can never know the answers to these questions.

The saddest part about this is that I had to leave them all behind when I left Moscow.  I just couldn’t take them with me, I had only one suitcase and I couldn’t even fit all my own photos in it. 

I feel like I abandoned them. 

But I did scan every single one of them, front and back (when there was something written). I hope that I will keep their memory alive by sharing some of them with you.  I’m really grateful for the technology we have to be able to scan photos and other precious mementos.  And I do look at these photos from time to time, just to keep them alive

So, here are some of my favourites. It was difficult to choose because most of them, if not all, are simply wonderful. 

I hope you like them.

woman on the beach
A day at the seaside
profile of a woman
Profile of a woman
men working outside
I don’t really know what this is – a garden?
grandma and grandson
Grandma and grandson
winter
Rugged up for winter fun
men
A get-together with the boys
girl in flowers
A girl playing in the flowers – 1984
beautiful woman
What style!
formal woman
A formal shot
happy child
Happy child – 1959
out walking women
Out walking – 1952
at lake ritza
At Lake Ritza 1957 – Озеро Рица
young boy
A gorgeous young boy – January 1954
grandma and baby
Lunch with grandma – 1959 (the baby was 1 year and 10 months old)
4 siblings
Four siblings

~ Cheryl

Introducing Cheburashka

I’ve been wanting to write about Cheburashka for a long time.  Now, although I’m no longer in Russia, I have time to tell you about this little guy who is loved so much by millions of children, their parents, and their grandparents, in Russia and the former Soviet Union countries.

Cheburashka and Gena in Old Arbat Street, Moscow

Who is Cheburashka?

Cheburashka is a children’s animated character.  He’s known as ‘an animal unknown to science’. He has big round ears and he is the size of a 5 year old child.

The story goes that he somehow gets into a crate of oranges, eats a lot of them, and then falls asleep in the crate.  The crate is then delivered to a grocery shop somewhere in Russia. 

In the cartoons/animations, it’s never said in which city he arrives, but it’s assumed to be Moscow.

The manager of the grocery shop finds this creature when he starts unpacking the orange crate, and takes him out of the crate, and puts him on a table.

Of course, having been squashed in the crate for so long, his hands are numb, and he’s unbalanced, and he immediately falls from the table, onto a chair, then onto the floor.  And that’s how he got his name, because the verb ‘to tumble’ in colloquial Russian is  ‘чебурахнулся’ (‘cheburakhnulsya’ in English).

A little Cheburashka for you to watch

He was born in a children’s story in 1966, and was very popular in the Soviet Union.  He has a friend called ‘Gena’, a crocodile dressed in a suit.

born in a car on the street
Cheburashka and Gena in the street in Moscow

In the story, there is also an antagonist, an old woman called ‘Старуха Шапокляк’ (Old Lady Shapoklyak in English), who plays pranks on Chebuashka and Gena and their various friends.

Our Cheburashkas

The Pryanik

One day, in Tula, a city located a couple of hundred kilometres south of Moscow, and famous for its ‘пряник’ ( ‘pryanik’ or spice cakes/gingerbread in English), we found this Cheburashka spice cake and had to have it! 

born in a car cheburashka spice cake
Edible Cheburashka

In fact, we never ate it, but just before we left Russia, we gave it to a Soviet style café in Moscow that we used to go to a lot, as a present to them.

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The Tattoo

He’s such a cute little guy, and Olivier even had a tattoo done of him, as a souvenir of our time in Russia.  Although this Cheburashka has a Spiderman costume, as you would expect, knowing that Olivier is a Spiderman fan!

born in a car cheburashka tattoo
Cheburashka tattoo

The Toy

One day, about 5 or 6 years ago, we were in a souvenir market in Moscow.  It’s a huge place, well known as being the best place for buying all kinds of Russian souvenirs.  And at the very back of this huge market, is a flea market.

In the flea market, there are antiques, paintings, books, and many, many other second hand things for sale. 

And here, in this flea market, we found our very own ‘Cheburashka’.  He was with a very old woman, who we shall call ‘Babushka’ (‘grandmother’ in English). 

After a little discussion with Babushka, Cheburashka came home with us, for about 200 roubles.  It’s not a lot, just 2 or 3 dollars.

Our own Cheburashka

And he has stayed with us ever since.  We kept him in our Moscow apartment, near the door.  I guess he was some kind of guard.

And then, very recently, as you may know, we had the difficult decision of what to take with us when we left Moscow very suddenly.  And, although I left behind, gave away, and even put in the bin, a lot of things that were very important to me because I didn’t have room in my suitcase, my Cheburashka was not going to be left behind.  No way.

He came with us all the way from Moscow, in the plane, with us to Romania.

So, now he’s sitting with us in our little temporary apartment in Bucharest.  Who knows what his future will be, but I’m sure he will be spending it with us – wherever we end up in the world.

~  Cheryl

Moscow – 2007-2019 The Metro and how it’s Changed

When I arrived in Moscow for the first time, back in January 2007, it was a very different city than it is now.  So much has changed since then.

Today we’re going to take a look at the Moscow metro and how it’s changed since 2007. 

The Moscow metro system is one of the longest in the world – and the most beautiful.  You’ve probably seen photos of it, or even visited it yourself.  If you have, then you’ll agree that some of the stations are simply amazing.

Here are some of the more beautiful ones from the centre of Moscow.

komsomolskaya metro
That’s me, in the most beautiful metro station in Moscow – Komsomolskaya
pushkin metro
Pushkinskaya metro station
arbatskaya metro
Arbatskaya metro station

And here is what a lot of them look like as we move away from the prestigious centre of the city. They’re a little more functional.

voikovskaya metro
This is my current metro station, Voikovskaya

While it’s true that the stations themselves haven’t changed a lot, if at all, during my time here, there are other things that have.

The signs

Let’s look at the signs in the metro.  These signs tell us which side of the platforms to go, to get to the station we want.  Or they tell us where the exit is, and what streets we can find outside once we’ve exited.

Below you’ll see first the old one, then the new one. You can see now they’re also written in English (although smaller and in lighter writing under the Russian words).

old metro signs
Old
new metro signs
New

The new sign above also tells you the end station, and the stations that connect with the ones on this line. Much more information than the old ones gave us. And let’s look at the ‘keep left’ signs.

old keep left
Keep left in Russian
new keep left
And now also in English

And you can see again the new sign is in English. Here’s some more examples of old and new signs.

old no entry
No entry
new no entry
The new no entry sign

And which side of the platform shall I go?

metro sign
I don’t understand a thing – it’s all in Russian! Another old sign
A different station to the old one above, but now they’re also in English. They also now tell us if they’re south or north bound

And here’s one with both an old and a new sign at the same place!

metro sign
The entrance to the metro

When I first came to Moscow, there were no English signs, not in the stations, nor in the trains themselves.

As they replaced the old signs for new ones, the old ones were actually sold to members of the public. They were available for purchase, and I thought hard about buying one, but I decided not to – what would I do with it?!

Where do I get off?

Stations are announced in the train, the current station and the next one, but unless you know Russian and the names of the stations, these announcements are useless.  And if you can’t read Russian the older maps are useless, too.

metro map
Moscow metro map circa 2010 – no English translations here

One of the first pieces of advice that I was given when I arrived in Moscow was to count the stations.  You get on at the station where you live, your place of work is 5 stations away – and you count the stations as you travel to where you’re going.  Don’t lose count or you’ll find yourself lost in some unknown place.  Without the counting system, if you didn’t know Russian, you didn’t know when it’s time to get off.

The shift towards adding English everywhere started happening around 2017.  The reason was probably because the World Cup was held in Russia in 2018, and up until then Moscow wasn’t very tourist friendly. 

There weren’t a lot of English signs anywhere, including street signs, in this beautiful city.

So, due to this huge international sports event, Moscow received a ‘facelift’.  The street signs and the metro signs were replaced and updated to include English.

I will admit to you that it was at that point, for me, that Moscow started to lose some of the exotic charm that it had previously possessed.

old sign
You just had to take an educated guess as to what this means
new sign
But now there’s no ambiguity

It’s now much easier for foreigners to read and understand things in the metro.  They also started the next station announcements in English, so tourists had more of a chance of getting off at the right station, and not having to count the number of stops like I had to!

And it’s not only the signs that have been ‘modernised’.  There’s been some great improvements in the trains themselves.

The carriages

These ones were the standard metro train carriages back in 2007, and continued to be more or less the only type for some time. We still have a lot of them even now.

old metro carriage
Standard Soviet metro carriages

Here you can see the inside of these old carriages. They’re in pretty good condition considering how many people use them everyday.

inside old metro carriage
inside old metro carriage
Basic but functional

Then Moscow got some new trains, but not many, and it was still common on most of the metro lines to see the old blue carriages.

And here’s some of the ‘new’ modern ones. These started appearing in about 2012 (I think).

new carriage
new carriage
These look a bit more modern, don’t they?

Then, it got serious, the World Cup was on it’s way and we were looking at hosting a LOT of tourists in Moscow. So, we got these ones.

very new carriage
The new trains
new carriage
inside new carriage
The carriages aren’t closed at the ends, you can now walk from one end of the train to the other – about 8 carriages

And the interior is very lovely and modern.

inside new carriage

And there are USB charging stations. We don’t have them in the old ones!

usb in new carriage

Let’s compare some of the interior features of the old and new train carriages.

Here’s the communication system if you need to talk to the driver. There’s one in every carriage. This one is a very old one. Push the button to talk to the driver.

communication device

This one seems to have broken, so they’ve added an old ‘new’ one just below it. I don’t know why they didn’t remove the old one.

communication device

And in our lovely new trains, we have this masterpiece – and in English for tourists, however I’m not sure that the drivers speak English so good luck with that if you need him for something!

communication device  new

One thing all carriages need is an emergency door opener. Here’s the old one.

door opener
The left part of the handle is tied with very fine wire to a metal ‘button’ on the wall – the wire will break when you turn the handle to open the door

And the new one.

door opener
Turn the red knob to manually open the door

Another safety aspect in the trains is the fire extinguisher. We lived for years with this version.

fire extinguisher old
I’m not even sure it would work if we needed it to

And now, what do you think of this? Magnificent, no?

fire extinguisher new
I’d hate to be in a hurry, not sure it’s going to be so easy to get your hands on this one

Getting in and out

And it’s not just the train carriages that have changed. Take a look at these doors, for instance. They’re locked at night, but by day thousands and thousands of people go through them. Here are the old ones.

old doors
They were in bad shape but they did the job

But they’re all gone now and have been replaced with these one.

new doors
Much nicer, don’t you think?

And then we have the barriers that you had to go through to get in. You scanned your card (in the old days you put a token or a coin in a slot) and you could go through.

If you tried to get through without paying, those ‘arms’ you can see at about knee height chopped off your legs. Young and athletic guys used to put a hand on the top of each side and jump over them. If the sensor was activated then the arms would come out, and they came out hard and fast!

And, for those who were around Moscow when they had these kinds of barriers, wasn’t it fun to walk really close behind the person in front of you and get in without paying? With the old woman in the box blowing her whistle every time she saw two people going through at once, alerting the station police who almost never came to see what the problem was.

barriers
Note: these aren’t actually from the Moscow Metro, they’re from the metro in Nizhny Novgorod, plus we’re looking at them from the inside

The new ones are all shiny and you can’t jump over them anymore, they’re too high.

new barriers
The new barriers

Some other new things in the metro

Along with the new carriages and signs in English came some other things that the Moscow metro hadn’t seen before.

Free wifi is now available in the metro, on all lines. City wifi is available all over Moscow, including in parks, streets and all public transport.

wifi

There are now information desks in some metro stations, where you can get … information of course! It sounds obvious, but until a couple of years ago there were no such information points in the metro.

info desk
A lovely big red information desk

There’s also been some changes in how we buy tickets. We used to have to line up and talk to a woman through heavy glass, sometimes using a microphone when it was impossible to hear what she said.

ticket offices
Original metro ticket booths

Now, in some stations, they have a sign that tells us that they speak English. It would have been very useful for me back in 2007!

And you can see in the photo above that they take bank cards for payment – this is quite popular although it has only been in operation since 2015.

Ticket machines have also made an appearance in the Moscow metro. I haven’t used them, but they seem to be popular.

ticket machines

Musicians now have their own places to busk. In the past, they found the best place for themselves and played to the commuters for as long as they were not asked to move. Now, it seems that it’s a little more ‘professional’, and official, and there are special places just for musicians, marked in red. We can see solo singers or violin players, to 5 piece rock bands, and everything in between.

buskers in the metro
Musicians busking in the special ‘red’ place in the metro

One last thing…

Let me leave you with a little bit of nostalgia. There used to be a lot of stray dogs in Moscow. Back in 2007 they were everywhere, and even though some people had problems with them, I never saw them being aggressive to anybody.

And, just like people, these stray dogs had their business to attend to, which wasn’t always in their neighbourhood. So, they used to catch the metro. It really did seem that they got off where they intended, they were calm and didn’t bother anyone in the metro.

There’s even a wikipedia article about them!

Now, we don’t see them anymore. Even stray dogs in the streets have mostly disappeared. Moscow has changed in many ways, and I’m not even sure if most people think about how different it is now compared to 10 or even 5 years ago.

So, anyway, here’s a few photos from 2015 of a stray dog taking the metro … somewhere.

Have there been any big changes where you live over the past 10 years? Do you notice small changes that are happening around you, or not? Tell us what’s changed in your town or city in the comments.

5 Minute Guide to Ekaterinburg, Russia

Ekaterinburg, The Russian Federation

From the airport

Koltsovo International Airport (SVX) is about 16km SE of the city.  The most efficient way into the centre of Ekaterinburg is by bus.  There’s a bigger bus, the #1, and a smaller mini-bus which is #01.  #01 is more expensive, 100 roubles, plus 20 roubles for a suitcase, but it gets you to the centre about 20 minutes faster (in 45 minutes) than the #1 (65 minutes).  #1 tickets are only 28 roubles (it seems baggage is included, but I haven’t taken it so can’t be sure).  We took the #01, it’s right outside the terminal, you can’t miss it.

bus at airport ekaterinburg
The #01 bus gets you right into the centre of the city from the airport

There is a train from the airport, but it goes only twice a day.  Or take the bus for 5 minutes, get off at Koltsovo Railway Station and take the suburban train from there.

Hotels

There’s plenty of choice of hotel/accommodation options in Ekaterinburg.  It’s a big city and an important cultural and industrial centre of the region.  Hotel rooms start at around $25 USD a night, although you might find something cheaper if you look for hostels.  We stayed in an Air BnB (a flat which was not far from the centre and accessible by tram), which was perfectly located, and really convenient if you’re staying for more than a few days.  If you decide to stay in an Air BnB or some other kind of guest house, your host may not speak English, so be prepared to use Google or another type of translating app to communicate.

Getting around

Like most Russian cities I’ve been to, there’s very good, efficient, public transport available to get to most parts of the town.  There are trams, buses, trolley-buses, a metro and of course taxis.  Walking around town is also possible as Yekaterinburg is quite flat.

Ekaterinburg metro station
Ekaterinburg metro station
train station
Central Train Station

Food

There are a variety of eating options in Ekaterinburg, as in any big Russian city.  They range from the street vendor selling the traditional ‘chebureki’ – here’s a recipe if you want to make some yourself, to the inevitable CCCP café, European style restaurants and more.

Some to try:

Fabrika Kukhnya (in Russian ФАБРИКА-КУХНЯ) – Traditional Russian cuisine

BarBoris (in Russian БАРБОРИС) – A restaurant which uses the recipes of Boris Yeltsin’s wife

Restaurant Panorama A.S.P. (in Russian Панорама АСП) – The highest restaurant in the Urals.  Located on the 50th floor of the Vysotskiy Tower

And one we personally tried and loved – My Friend Olivier (in Russian Мой Друг ОЛИВЬЕ) – a place we found randomly while walking in the town one day.  Russian and European cuisine, very good!    

My Friend Olivier

Shopping

There’s shopping for everyone in Ekaterinburg, for all tastes and budgets.  You can start at MEGA – a huge shopping centre where you can find just about everything you could possibly need. 

Or if you want something even bigger, try Grinvich, the biggest and most popular shopping centre in Ekaterinburg.

Of course, there are also other shopping malls, and many, many smaller shops for souvenirs, clothes, household goods, supermarkets and more. Everywhere.

Sightseeing

As in most Russian cities, the architecture is amazing.  Many different eras of architecture and design makes for an interesting walk through different areas of the city. 

city hall ekaterinburg
City Hall, Ekaterinburg

Church Upon the Blood – a beautiful Russian church which stands on the site where the last tsar of Russia, Emperor Nicholas II, and his family were executed.   

Church upon the blood
Church Upon the Blood

Ekaterinburg History Museum  – focussing on Ekaterinburg in the 18th and 19th centuries. 

Boris Yeltsin Presidential Centre – features a museum, a conference centre, an art gallery and a bookshop. The museum depicts the former Russian prime minister’s life through seven interactive zones.

Michael Jackson Statue – Yes, there’s a Michael Jackson statue in the Vainer Street pedestrian mall. 

michael jackson
Michael Jackson statue

The Beatles Monument – Another interesting attraction in Ekaterinburg – a monument to the Beatles.  Of course we had to take a look, it’s not far from the Keyboard monument (see below). 

beatles monument
beatles monument
Beatles monument up close

And you can’t miss a trip out the the monument which marks the border of Asia and Europe.  Actually, there are two monuments in two different places.  The newer one is quicker and cheaper to get to, only 17km from the city centre and 600 roubles by taxi (2019).  It’s the one we visited.  The original one is 40km from the city, so a little more expensive in a taxi to get there (1000 roubles – 2019), but being the original monument, it has a bit more history to it than the new one. 

Asia on the left, Europe on the right
One foot in Asia, one foot in Europe – it has to be done!

This is the tourist centre office we used for the trip to the Asia/Europe border.  They called us a taxi, fixed the price, and waited with us until the taxi came, and greeted us when we returned.  They can help you with all your tourist needs.

Quirky

Ekaterinburg is generally a pretty quirky city for a place that’s in the middle of the largest country in the world.  Here are a couple of quirky places, and they’re within walking distance from each other.

The Keyboard Monument – It was covered in snow when we were there (more photos in the link), but it’s a giant, to scale, QWERTY keyboard on the bank of the Iset River.  Apparently you type in your wish by stepping on the letters, then press ‘enter’ to make it come true.  We were there in May, 2019, and it was covered in snow. 

The keyboard on the river bank, covered in snow
F6 – I don’t know what this key does

And finally, this.  The entrance to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ sewer.  What more can I say? It’s in Ekaterinburg.

teenage mutant ninja turtles home

Recommended for

I would recommend Ekaterinburg as a place that all the family can enjoy.  There’s public transport for those who can’t do a lot of walking, and there’s so many things to see there that will be of interest to all age groups.  If you’re visiting Russia, don’t miss a trip to Ekaterinburg.

Top tip

Get yourself an official tourist map.  Ekaterinburg has a wonderful system for tourists – a red line, both on maps and physically painted onto the asphalt, for you to follow.  Following this red line, 5.5kms, will ensure that you don’t miss the most well-known and historically important sites in the centre of the city.  Here’s an example of a map showing the red line and the points of interests you’ll find along the way.  

For more information and links, here’s Ekaterinburg’s official site.  

Have you been to Ekaterinburg?  Got any top tips or interesting information for us about this wonderful city?  Let us know in the comments below!

~ Cheryl

If you like travelling, or just reading about exotic places, you’ll enjoy my other 5 Minute Guides – Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Moscow part 1, Moscow part 2, Hue, Hanoi, Paris, Vilnius and Kazan.