Our last days in China.
Special thanks to Roli for some awesome fotos!
On our way to TAMGA, we crossed the border Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan and had some minor challenges
There was quite an agenda for today:
- First, we picked up our serviced motorbikes,
- then visited SOS Kinderdorf ALMATY (an orphenage organization)
- and finally we went for a ride in the beautiful mountains nearby...
Again, some very interesting days passed. We left the futuristic capital ASTANA, stopped in KARAGANDA and BALKHASH and after a long strech of 680 km with heat and bad roads, the group reached the last bigger stop in Kazakhstan (ALMATY, the former capital) yesterday..
...see, how it was...
Next stop: BALKHASH
...it is located at the lake with the same Name (btw the biggest lake now, that Aral lake shrinks more and more.
Heading to ALMATY
Now, we relax two days, visit the local SOS Kinderdorf (an orphenage organization) and then prepare for the border crossing to Kyrgystan in some days!
It has been some days now, that we left Moscow further east.
Travelling was/is partly with truck traffic, in heat, sun and rain - still all on tarmac.
Yesterday, we arrived in Kazan and spent our rest day here.
The landscape changed slightly to some more hills; the people (especially here in Kazan) are more Tatars and variety of religion got more (christinans, orthodox, muslim and more).
We are in the worlds biggest country since some days. It is REALLY WORTH, spending time in the capital and Europes biggest city, Moscow (15+ Mio citizens).
It is also considered as the "3rd Rom", when Ivan I. married the last princess of "the 2nd Rome - the eastern roman empire".
Moscow is SO big, it doesn't have a MAIN, but several train stations. The river Moscva flows through the city for 80 kilometers!
Moscow became the worlds third-most-expensive city to live in.
The old town and heart of Moscow is the Kremlin, which was mentionned the first time in 1147.
Next to it is the red square - the former market place and now used for parades, concerts and more. Also, Lenin and Stalin (and others) are burried here. There, one can also find on of the worlds biggest shopping malls "GUM". In some, you can shop 24/7, 7 days a week.
Today, we rode 420 km to a very nice hotel at a catchment lake.
On the way, we visited the ancient wooden houses in an open air museum: "Vitoslavlitsy".
St Petersburg (also known as Petrograd and Leningrad) is the 2nd biggest city of Russia and was founded in 1703 by Zar Peter i.
In 18th to 20th century, it also was the capital - instead of Moscow.
Built in swamplands, many people had to work immensely hard and sacrifice not just wood and stones - but also their lifes.
Like in venice, St Petersburg is built on tree truncs. Because of so many people dying during building it, the legend says, it is not built on wood, but on skelletons.
European architects, invited by Peter, gave the city an italian style. It is also called "Venice of the east".
St Petersburg has many sights to visit like Eremitage (a huuuuge museum with all kinds of items - not just art), or the (re-built) amber room (25 km south of St. P.)...
...just to name two...