Episode 12

World Trip I (pt. 4) – Kazan, Yekaterinburg and the Transib

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About this Episode

In this episode of "Sleepless in Singapore," we hop on the Trans-Siberian Railway, excited and a bit anxious. We’re moving from Moscow’s busy streets to Russia’s wide-open spaces. Our first big stop, Kazan, brings us together with Dina, a fellow traveler whose warmth and tips really stand out. Kazan itself is a revelation, a mix of historical beauty and the unexpected, like finding the perfect pair of sneakers after a minor mishap and discovering an ointment that magically cures smelly feet, making for some quirky travel tales.

Yekaterinburg, however, shifts the mood. The city greets us with a grey, almost color-drained ambiance that starkly contrasts the vibrancy of Kazan. This part of the journey feels like stepping into a different world, where the vividness of life seems muted. Despite this, our spirits remain high, fueled by interactions with locals and the novelty of standing at the border of two continents. The Transib itself gives us a mix of thoughtful and fun moments, like a bizarre yet memorable visit to a train restaurant that could be a scene from a film. Moving forward, all these bits and pieces from our journey weave into a collection of memories that really show off the varied landscapes and cultural richness of Russia.

Episode Links

  • Trans-Siberian Railway Official Site — The official website for the Russian Railways, providing detailed information on the Trans-Siberian Railway, ticket booking, and route planning.
  • Visit Kazan - Official Tourism Website — Official tourism portal for Kazan and the Republic of Tatarstan, featuring travel guides, accommodation options, and attractions such as the Kazan Kremlin and Kul Sharif Mosque.
  • Kazan Kremlin — Official website for the Kazan Kremlin, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offering visitor information, history, and architectural details of this historic fortress.
  • Couchsurfing — A platform for travelers to find hosts offering a place to stay, fostering cultural exchange and friendships. It is often used for meeting locals and participating in group activities.
  • Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land — Wikipedia site for the Church on Blood in Yekaterinburg, built on the site where the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, and his family were executed.
  • Europe-Asia Border Monument — Video of the Europe-Asia border monument near Yekaterinburg, a popular spot for tourists to stand with one foot in each continent.
  • Lake Baikal Guide — Comprehensive guide to Lake Baikal, offering information on the deepest and oldest freshwater lake in the world, including activities, accommodations, and travel tips for Irkutsk.