Miesje: well, since yekateringburg we have traversed many a snow-covered mile, visited the creme de la creme of Siberian cities and watched flamenco dancers dressed as nuns. Our next stop in the adventure was Novosibirsk, which we quickly bypassed in favour of Tomsk - a smaller town with some interesting wooden buildings and churches and not an awful lot else. back to novosibirsk for one night and then onto Krasnoyarsk. Getting off the train at 8 in the morning, we experienced our coldest temperatures so far, a balmy minus 17 (or 20, whichever source you care to believe). Probably my favourite city so far, we were welcomed to Krasnoyarsk by the loudspeakers blaring out some 1920's style big band music and a hotel that was no longer a hotel. so we shlepped to the next nearest place where we all had our own rooms. we went up a hill to a chapel, then to the city's local museum (with an impressive selection of stuffed animals, including a rather ferocious badger), a marvellous canteen style restaurant with a meal for about 2 quid and played some poker.
Another train journey later and we're now in Irkutsk, where we managed to get our mongolian transit visas with no hassles at all (amazing, love the mongolians already) and are now sitting about twiddling our thumbs, waiting for the train in Ulan Ude. Alas the water in the hostel appears to have stopped working temporarily so we're mooching about keeping our legs crossed and smelling. ah well