March 17, 2013

Ulan Ude

Here’s some more on my Russian trip last year…

After our quick walking tour of Ulan Ude, we had about half the day remaining and decided to head to the Ethnographical Museum. We had the guide book to help us and headed off to catch some public transport there. The first mini bus didn’t want to take us there, and shooed us off his bus after we were nearly on. That’s fine, because we wanted a better one anyway… The next driver was nice enough to take us there and happened to have some locals who were going there as well already on the bus. The mini bus to the museum has to detour slightly to drop you off at the gate, otherwise it’s just a shortish walk from the main road. The mini bus was really cheap, so we got value for money there.

Stone work of Nomads

Stone work of Nomads

At the museum, you have to pay extra to take photos. Given my photos aren’t that good, perhaps I should have asked for a refund! Anyway, the Ethnographical museum has heaps of different styles of housing from the different people groups in the area. There is also a zoo there and a church, which of course was flat out with weddings. There was some strange arrangements of stones, which was meant to characterise the nomad culture of the central part of Buryatia. There were some teepee type dwellings, a Mongolian Ger, some old believer houses and others which I never knew what they were anyway. I didn’t tire of seeing sleds in the “sheds” though. It’s just something we don’t have here – I’ve been to plenty of museums, but never one in a snow country. So yes, looking at sleds in sheds and backyards was a bit of a novelty while I was there. The zoo – well, don’t go to the museum for the zoo. Although they have some different animals – yaks, camels, bears, tigers and deer to name a few, they live in very different conditions to what we have here in Australia.

Sleds in the "shed"!

Sleds in the “shed”!

Colourful Old Believer Gates

Colourful Old Believer Gates

After the museum, we grabbed some lunch at the next door restaurant. It was rather strange ordering, because nobody there spoke any english and I don’t think there was an english menu. So we just pointed, guessed and hoped we came up with something good. There was also a street vendor type guy there selling some meat on sticks (ok, hopefully it was meat), so we had some of them as well. Wish I had’ve got some photos of the meal that day, it was definitely different.

We caught a mini bus back to town and because it is a detour from the normal route, you will have to wait for a mini bus dropping others off at the museum so you can get on. We actually got on one going the opposite way back around the town, which was a good idea because then we got to see a bit more of the town. Except not long into this journey, the driver saw a mini bus coming the other way, bailed him up, kicked us off and sent us back with him. We didn’t get to see the other side of town after all!

Spent some time walking down Lenin St taking in some of the old buildings, the atmosphere and browsing the souvenirs and shops. Had some ice cream at a nice restaurant for arvo tea and an interesting meal at a local place not far from there.

Opera and Ballet Theatre, Lenin Street, Ulan Ude

Opera and Ballet Theatre, Lenin Street, Ulan Ude

That night they had a celebration out in Lenin Square. It was the end of the 2012 Tea Road China Mongolia Russia International Auto Rally (I took a photo of the sign!). They had extremely loud music til quite late. I was happy with the music, because it almost drowned out the snoring from the others in my dorm.

The end of the road in Lenin Square for cars in the 2012 China/Mongolia/Russia International Auto Rally

The end of the road in Lenin Square for cars in the 2012 China/Mongolia/Russia International Auto Rally

Tomorrow… the end of Russia and beginning of Mongolia. In blog world, I’m not sure when that next post will actually happen though!


1 Comment »

  1. […] that I completed last year, mostly on the Trans Siberian/Mongolian Railway, my last post was in Ulan Ude, and today we leave Russia, heading for Ulaanbaatar in […]

    Pingback by Ulan Ude to Ulaanbaatar, Mongloia | Thumper... — March 29, 2013 @ 1:48 pm | Reply

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