Survival in New Orleans


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Christmas decorations

Posted by alexandraeverist on August 2, 2014 at 4:05 AM Comments comments (7)

Almost everywhere I go in Russia, there are Christmas decorations still up. Ithe decorations are up whether they are inside or out. i have two explanations. One is that Christmas was denied so long that they have to make up for it. That may be why so many new orthodox churches may be found everywhere. The religious god took the place of the communist god.The other is by the time it gets warm enough to take them down, there are only 6 more months before they have to be up again.

Russian postcards

Posted by alexandraeverist on July 18, 2014 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I had to travel half way across Russia before I could find a postcard. To be honest, there were postcards in magadan but theta were pictures of st. Petersburg and Moscow. I eventually found some pictures in Ulan use of lake Baikal.


Posted by alexandraeverist on July 18, 2014 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Barnaul is where my father parted company with his friend ,Rich. My father wanted to find his family who were confined to a labor camp in Kazakhstan. I had also wanted to find the labor camp but it is a little too far, over 300 km from Barnaul. So it will have to wait till another time. Rich ended up staying in the railroad station for a number of weeks until the polish army was formed in Persia.

Fuzzy Pictures

Posted by alexandraeverist on July 18, 2014 at 8:50 PM Comments comments (0)


Phaedra has mentioned that my pictures are fuzzy. I don’t think there is much I can do about it. WITH ONLY ONE HAND, I HAVE DIFFICULTY steadying the camera. I apologize to all of you who might want perfect pictures.

But one of the tour members did take some very good pictures. Here is his website: http://www.stephencodrington.com/TravelDiaries/Russian_Far_East_2014.html

Stephen also has a video of the Yakult cultural center http://youtu.be/hxFGxPfGvfI


Hostel in Ulan Ude

Posted by alexandraeverist on July 18, 2014 at 8:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Hostel in Ulan Ude

The hostel I ended up at was very close to the downtown center. The town is very Mongolian. The people are actually called Buryat. I got to watch a Buryat dance and music show at the town center. The sounds were reminiscent of the shouting sounds the village women make during our Kujawiaki shows. The music was enticing as the people began dancing in the streets. The swwuare also has a fountain that moves in turn to the music that is played. Altogether a very interesting town.

Afterwards I went to a Buryat restaurant called the Nomads. I did not order their specialty of heart, tongue, liver and tripe. I already done that once this trip. Later on I would try the Buryat dumplings which probably have that along with pork and lamb.


Arriving in Ulanude

Posted by alexandraeverist on July 18, 2014 at 8:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Ulan Ude

My first experience in Ulan Ude was not pleasant. As I got off the train with my backpack in hand, a man grabbed it from me and started showing me the way off the platform. I tried to get my bag back but he insisted. As we reached the other side of the platform, he demanded money. I said “Niet”, I never asked you to carry my bag, and I walked off. During the tour, Webster often asked to help me with my bags. I was adamant that despite my injury I would not be a deriment to the group. After continually telling Webster “No”, we finally agreed that I would let him know if and when I needed help.

MY 2ND EXPERIENCE IN Ulan Ude was equally unpleasant. I refusedmto take the taxi driver the first man tried to set me up with. I went out to look at a map to orient myself. Another taxi driver offered to drive me and I showed him on the map where I was going. He ended up taking a long way around and eventually left me at a place I had no idea of. But the time I realized I was in the wrong pkace, he was gone. SOMEONE SHOWED ME HOW TO WALK TO THE HOSTEL WHICH WAS ABOUT AS FARMAS IF I HQD WALKED IN THE FIRST PLACE. I realize I stick out as a tourist even before I open my mouth.


Trans-Siberian Hostel

Posted by alexandraeverist on July 18, 2014 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)

During my stay at the Trans-Siberian Hostel, other roommates arrived from Austria, Portugal, and England. The staff, of course was from Russia. The night before I left, I went to bed early. A new guest arrived (I believe from Germany). She immediately began making loud demands. The Auwtrians laughed. I realized why Inge sometimes refers to herself as Bavarian.

churches in irkutsk

Posted by alexandraeverist on July 18, 2014 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Twice I tried to go to the Polish church in Irkutsk but it was closed. On the other hand, all the Orthodox churches were always open. Plus they all seemed to have weddings going on.

Trans-Siberian Rr

Posted by alexandraeverist on July 18, 2014 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)


So I got to the TRANS-Siberian an hour early. I had an electronic ticket that I had to exchange for a paper ticket. I stood in line for about 45 minutes before all the lines closed down for a break. At this point, I begin to panic. My train is due in momentarily. Oh, and by the way, no one speaks English. One of the guards saw my confusion and showed me how to retrieve an electronic ticket. At first, it didn’t work and I began to panic even more. But eventually, it spa out the ticket. Show me I am glad she did because this is the way I have been getting my tickets ever since then. I got to the platform only minutes before the train was due to leave.

When I got to my compartment, it had 4 bunks. I shared the compartment with Freda and her husband. Freda knew a little English. I showed them the pictures I had taken at the gulags. Together we shared the food we both had brought. Cheese, cookies, and fruit. The trip to Ulan Ude is about 8 ½ hours so we were each given sheets and towels. At first I was a bit apprehensive. No on3 seemed to know much English. I wish I had spent more time talking to Anzhela before I left.



Posted by alexandraeverist on July 18, 2014 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (0)


I took an early morning flight out of Yakutsk to Irkutsk. I found a really nice cab driver at the airport who drove me to the hostel. He even helped me up the four flights of stairs with my bags. My first excursion was to the Trans-Siberian railroad station to find the place where my father jumped the train. There appeared to be a newer warehouse where I believe some of the homes may have stood. But a couple of old homes still stood beyond the warehouse. I did take some pictures but I am having so much trouble posting, that some may need to wait until I get to Germany in a couple of weeks.

I then crossed the river to see the downtown area of Irkutsk. I even found an old Polish church. I went to visit it twice while I was in Irkutsk but it was not open either time. Close by was a Russian restaurant where I stopped for lunch. The young girl who served me, Daphne (14) had a very good knowledge of English. I am getting better at understanding the menu but I still do a lot of pointing. I told her she should get in touch with the Irkutsk Rotary. I had planned on going there the previous night but I was still so exhausted from the tour.