Janey: Helly from yeketarinsburg. We have survived the first leg of the trans-siberian railway. We set off from Moscow and all got alittle flustered when we realised we were are on top bunks in the cluttered third-class carriage and that we would have no 'space' to sit for the journey as our 'space' was in the top bunks. however, after a few hours to settle in, we did so and spent the next 26 hours reading/eating instant noodles/talking to russians in broken russian/english/german and listening to lots of music. the journey actaully passed suprisingly quickly, punctuated with the night time where we are attempted to sleep. i came over a little queer in the middle of the night and had to sit in a cold space between carriages and had meesh sit rub my back whilst i thought the sky was falling down (irrational, chicken licken). the train was just incredibly hot. 28 degrees no less.
it was looked after by this big mumma of a woman who was the type of person you want to hug (huge chest and kind smile) and we drank tea from the samovar they have tanked up on each carriage.
Paddy and Tom were accosted by some russian army boys who assured us that yeketarinsburg is infact run by the mafia, that the police would rob us and that we should stay in our hostel after dark. This scared us all alittle but... no fear... its actually quite a harmless little place.
The hostel, the one and only of the city, is really rather charming. its tiny (12 beds, 2 rooms) and is just in a little apartment rented by Anton, who runs it and also lives here. Its just like having a small flat with living room and SOFAS to chill out on. and guitar! which everyone has had immense pleasure in playing.
We have explored the city... which lacks inspiration as is quite a built up area. its main bit of history is being the place that the romanov family were murdered and thrown down a well... and we have been to the site and the church dedicated to them.
we are all set for ournext leg of the trip, tomorrow, to novosibirsk - although we shall probably go straight on north up to tomsk where it is apparently much more interesting. we shall stock up on noodles again...!
things are good. we are looking forward to the sunshine immensely...