got the train from Moscow and started our Trans-Mongolian journey proper. on board, we wrote this poem:
The Army Man
The Army man eats nothing but spam
Which he eats with copius ammounts of jam
This is the Major's favourite treat
A sandwich made with a kilo of meat
To make it, he slaughterred his firstborn son
And drank his blood through a straw in one
It tasted like s*** but he was thirsty no more
It made him mad and he chopped off his mum's hand with a saw
His mum, who was cooking pasta at the time
Did not write this poem and she could not make rhymes
He broke down, sobbing, as he sat by the fire
And impaled himself onto a church spire
No-one cried when they heard of his death
They were too busy watching South Park and laughing at Chef
Most people even found the news funny
That runny honey is good vlue for money
after expressing our literacy skills (very good im sure you will agree) we departed the train and made our way to Sezg's house: our home for the next week or so. Sezg lives on the outskirts of Yekaterinburg with his wife and two kids.
we awaoke early and drove with Sezg to his office where we waited for his friend (Alec) a 20 year old man who speaks pretty good english. When Alec arrived we slipped and slid on the icy pavements to the bus stop and took a bus into the town center. First of all he took us to a sort of russian buffet where we had many different traditional Russian dishes. We then went to 'the church of spilt blood' which is where the last tzar died, it was a bit of a dissapointment to tell you the truth, i dont know what i expected but when we arrived we were faced with a very new looking (probably because it was only built 10 years ago) church, inside it was still being decorated with gold-leaf and the whole place just seemed like it had been made in a bit of a hurry. You can't acctualy get to the place that Nicolas 2nd and his family were brutaly murdered, you have to be satified with standing on the spot but one floor above. Alec then took us to a high building on the top of which some standing areas have been constructed out of wood so that you can look over the whole city, from that massive university (which has nearly 75.000 students) to the frozen river that runs though the city, on which people walk quite happily.
in the evening we returned to Sezg's and drank some tea (which they have with condensed milk, an idea we are deffinately taking back to England). Sezg showed us some pictures of his hiking holidays: there is some seriousely beautiful nature out there.
We didnt do very much in the day except go for a short walk.
In the evening we departed in Sezg's for a nights walk in the ural mountains. on the 4 hour drive to the moutains we found ourselves at the scene of an accident: A car comming in the opposite direction had lost controle, mounted the 4 foot high wall of snow that separates the two lanes and spun to the far side of our lane. We all got out and helped slide (the roads are well slippery) the car to the side. When we arrived at the car park it was about 2 in the morning, but we were all ready for a hike. After about 5 miles we arrived at 'base-camp' and made tea and bread with meat.
it was light by the time we had finnished our tea and bread, So we decided to walk to the top without sleeping. The assent was hard and steep, and the deep snow didnt make it any easyer, but we got the the top (1037m) at last and took some pictures of the, to be honist, quite murky views. with snow swerling around us we made our decent: which consisted of 50percent walking and the rest sliding and rolling. Back at base camp we had more tea and bread and what i can only describe as a Sezg special: 'do you want some icecream?' and taking out a tin of condesed milk he proceded to mix it with some snow, he handed it to us with a smile and after trying it we were smiling too, it was really quite delicious. After getting our energy back we marched back to the car and started the long drive home (stopping only for some coffee and to change a tire). By the time we got back to the house our minds were set on crashing in our sleeping bags for the next day or so, but that was not to happen, we were told by Sezg that we should all go to the local Banya (sauna) so that we could relax and re-vitalise our muscles. The sauna was was quite an expirience, after stripping off, we entered the blindingly hot room. sweat was almost instant and it was hard to stay in for more than a couple of minutes, when we couldnt possibly take any more heat we staggered into an enclosed area out the back and dived into the icy snow, a really very refreshing expirience. and the process is repeated till you are nicely golden broun all over. Followed by lots and lots of sleep.
didnt do much, sat around, oli and oscar went for another short walk.