Well, after 7374 Km, or 4582 miles, I am still 1816 Km (1128 miles) from Moscow. This will be a much shorter, but perhaps more densely populated portion of the trip. Certainly Siberia and most of Asia is behind me. This is Europe, and soon the Urals, and the more industrial parts of Russia.
Km 1777 Europe-Asia Border Obelisk This marks the continental division here in the Urals. This large white stone obelisk is about 15 meters to the east of the Vershina railway platform.
factory now makes motorcycles.
Km 1534 Kungur This was a stockade town and transit point on the Siberian Trakt, now famous for the Kungur Ice Cave. The Cave is 10 to 12,000 years old. It is 5.7 Km long, with 48 grottos, underground lakes, and hundreds of stalactites and stalagmites. Of interest to me is their famous guitar factory, though the city is much less important industrially.
Km 1460-1777 This is the highest point in the Urals, but most hills are 1640 feet tall. Author Colin Thurbron called them “a faint upheaval on pine-darkened slopes”. Do not expect the Rocky Mountains or the Sierra Nevada Mountains here.
Km 1436 Perm 2 Founded in 1723, now over one million residents, located on the Kama River. Originally known for copper smelting works, and still a major trading and industrial center. The Kama River flows over 2000 Km from the Urals to the mighty Volga River.
Km 1165 Glazov This was originally an Udmut Village, but better known as a desolate and impoverished place of exile. but changed by the TSR. The region grew with flax, oats, and oakum (fiber for caulking seams of ships)trading. A few Udmut log huts exist, known as korkas.
Km 957 Vyatka/Kirov This was developed as a fur trading center, named Kirov for the assassinated Communist leader and friend of Stalin. Now the city is mostly industrial and an administrative center.
Km 870 Kotelnich Another old commercial center, and home to John the Baptist Monastery and the Presentation of the Virgin Nunnery. The fields and villages give way to more forest lands.
Km 442 Nizhny Novgorod A city of 1.3 million and Russia’s fourth largest city, was previously closed to foreigners until 1991. After just crossing the Volga River, and crossing the long bridge, Nizhny and the Volga are to Russia, what Cairo and the Mile are to Egypt. This is considered a good day or overnight trip from Moscow for tourists.
Km 255 Kovrov The name comes from the Russian word for carpet, since the Mongol Tatar had a tax collector who accepted carpets as one of the tributes. Their best known son is engineer Vasili Alekseyevich Degtyarev, father of the Soviet machine gun! The Degtyarev factory now makes motorcycles. Don’t you just love the Mongol Tatars that have run this country at some point in history?
Km 191 Vladimir It became the capital of the principality back in 1157, and home to the great Assumption Cathedral.
Km 0 Moscow Most TSR trains arrive at Yaroslavsky Station, built in 1902, and resembling a Russian fort. This is really the terminus of the TSR, though I will take another train to St. Petersburg in a few days. I plan to visit with the brother of a dear friend and his family. Joel is an American, married to a Russian lady. They have two children. It will be nice to see a familiar face. Turns out they are in the US on holiday for a month. Bad timing.
The actual train on this leg is not a TSR, but another one called the Ural (not urinal). Actually, that is no longer true after what happened to me yesterday. More about that in the next email. You will be totally shocked!!!!