Voyages > Europe > Russia > Ural: The expedition. Part 3, the last one.
Ural: The expedition. Part 3, the last one.

Ural: The expedition. Part 3, the last one.

In the previous episode of our story, our expedition reached Yekaterinburg. We were already on the other side of the Urals – Asia. The goal was achieved. Ural captured. The only thing left is to return home safely. Of course on the way visiting interesting places.

During this trip, we intensively used the camera taking pictures and films in 360 degrees. The idea is simple. The camera records with two lenses. And then it folds the image into one sphere. A great thing and many new possibilities.

Do you have a question about this? – Let’s talk.

360 degree picture. You can look around.

Asia-Europe border

For us, even the symbolic border between Asia and Europe was something magical, something for which we travelled for so many thousands of kilometres.

The people of Yekaterinburg treat this as another monument, which they pass by several times a day.

Interestingly, there are several border locations, and we have managed to identify three.

The goal of our expedition - border between Europe and Asia

Like a Chef

This time we have better prepared ourselves for the trip. We quietly counted on low temperatures outside the window. Consequently, we have stocked up on a special Arctic cooker gas to -27C, which allows for live cooking, as if straight from Robert Makłowicz’s episodes. We had to try a bit, but we found the right cold place. The soup was delicious. 🙂

360 degree picture. You can look around.

When your Lada is sick

The car was well-prepared. The experience from previous trips made us have a comfortable, not big, but side-tested service box. The idea is that the Lada is a car that should be able to be repaired anywhere in Russia if necessary. In general, there is a lot of AvtoVAZ service and salons. On the evening of 30 December, we came to the conclusion that the alternator is demanding attention. The charge started to wave from 10-13V regardless of the engine speed and RPMs. And as this was an important element, we decided to consult a specialist the following morning.

That night we slept in a hotel, which was an interesting interpretation of this type of service. Although we planned to spend the night in a small village – Votkinsk, it was not difficult to find an operating workshop. Only in the second place, indicated by the first workshop, was the mechanic willing to provide a service other than cleaning the hall. A thousand meters further on, Lada was inspected and the diagnosis was confirmed. We got 3 different models to choose from.

Additionally, the service was connected with the shop with parts for Lada, where the New Year’s Eve party was already taking place. In the shop, there was everything that every Lada owner can only dream about.

Stanta-Mechanic-Claus replaced what was needed. We took a picture together and went on. Next success during our expedition 🙂

The moral of this adventure is that when in Russia, Lada decides to grumble, it is enough to look around carefully and there will certainly be a service that will help us. If not here, then a few kilometres away. Sometimes we had the impression that there are more shops and services in Lada than groceries in an average Polish town 🙂

New Year’s Eve in Kazan

Efficient service action has not affected our plan. We reached Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan.

Note on the side: the conversation in the hostel once again made us aware of how far away we were from home, and how far we travelled east. For the girl we talked to, we were guests from Europe. Without going into details, from where exactly. From Europe, that very distant place to the west. This kind of thought from a different perspective forces us to think about it.

While looking at the photos from Kazan at home, we expected a fairy tale New Year’s Eve.

Of course, Kazakhstan’s cuisine is not just about pelmieni, but here too we couldn’t stop ourselves from eating our favourite dish.

360 degree picture. You can look around.

The most popular religion in Tatarstan is Islam (48.8%). And the Muslim New Year does not happen on 31st December.

Perhaps that is why there was no particularly big celebration. According to Polish practice, we went to the quay just next to the Kremlin.

Together with other Kazan residents and a large crowd of tourists, we awaited midnight local time. Lightning of (small) fireworks. Together with other foreigners we discreetly drank champagne, and that was it.

360 degree picture. You can look around.

Here is a curiosity: the next series of fireworks was 2 hours later when the New Year came according to Moscow time.

Kazan itself is a beautiful and well-kept city. At every corner, you can see that the republic of Tatarstan is very developed economically. A big impulse for development was also a series of football matches played in 2017 in preparation for, and in 2018, the Football World Cup

What is interesting is that there is a metro in Kazan, the youngest in the entire Russian Federation. Planning for the construction of the underground started in 1983. Unfortunately, the collapse of the USSR made it impossible to implement the investment. It was only in 1997 that works started. The aim was to launch the metro in 2005, on the occasion of the millennium of the city of Kazan.

A mosaic at one of the underground stations.

The centre was illuminated with Christmas lights.

On the opposite bank of the Kazanka river there was a winter town. With slides and ice sculptures of dragons. Because a dragon is a symbol of the town.

The main tourist point of Kazan is the Kremlin. The Citadel was built by Tsar Ivan the Terrible on the ruins of the castle of the Kazan Khanate. Since 2000 the Kazan Kremlin has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Inside the Kremlin there is a 16th century church – the Cathedral of the Annunciation, but we were much more impressed by the mosque of Kul Sharif, the youngest building on the hill.

The original mosque was demolished by Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century, its reconstruction began in 1996 and was opened in 2005.

A muezzin no longer has to run onto a minaret, the technology does it for him.

Tatar Village in the town centre is also an interesting place. It is worth a look at for a while.

360 degree picture. You can look around.

Just outside Kazan there is a completely unusual place, a temple of all religions. It is not a temple in strictly religious terms, but a building that is a fusion of many temples, so that everyone can find something there for themselves. There is an Egyptian hall, an Orthodox church, a mosque and many others. The aim of this object is to develop ecumenism and create space for artistic development. The temple is maintained and expanded with tickets and donations.

360 degree picture. You can look around.

We only spent two days in the Kazan. This city deserves a lot more attention, so if we are still around, we will definitely go back there.

We remember from Kazan:
◾ a beautiful architecture
◾ Tatar Village
◾ an elegant underground
◾ dragons!
◾ The Temple of All Religions

Greetings from Poland

We have already travelled west. Another place on the route was the town of Cheboksary, where we wanted to see a tractor museum. Unfortunately, the museum was closed.
But in the car park in front of it, we found such a nice Polish Nysa.

Nizhny Novgorod

We came to Novgorod mainly to visit the GAZ museum.

It is here that the Volga and Czajka have been producing other interesting vehicles since 1932. But about this museum will be a separate note.

360 degree picture. You can look around.

We saw a beautiful old town with eight hundred years of history.
Interestingly, the buildings of the Kremlin would be built to defend the Duchy of Moscow against the Kingdom of Poland.

And a quick glance at the Aviator Monument

360 degree picture. You can look around.

We were touched by a great mosaic of heroes of the Great Patriotic War.

Walking around the city we found the “Museum of old technology and tools”. A very interesting place with a rich exhibition of tools (starting with hammers, saws, chisels, planers and measuring devices). In addition, you will find their various artefacts from the USSR and earlier times. We were very impressed with the diving suit and Soviet playing equipment. Or Beepers.

Calculator Feliks

360 degree picture. You can look around.

360 degree picture. You can look around.

Museums and monuments are our passion, but in Russia, we love puffs the most. In Nizhny Novgorod, we have come to a puffs paradise. It was a confectionery specializing in puffs, where they were stuffed with a chosen cream right in front of us.


As far as food is concerned, we did not manage to eat the pelmieni in Nizhny Novgorod, but we could taste the famous Russian lard and sturgeon caviar.


Nizhny Novgorod definitely deserves attention when visiting Russia. There are many more interesting museums and attractions here than we managed to see.
It is worth spending a few days there.

To the west!

We passed through Vladimir (the former capital of Russia) and Suzdal (another city from the Golden Ring of Russia) simply by looking at the monuments. We have probably already reached the maximum saturation with churches and old gates to keep us excited about them.

We arrived in Pokrow for the night.

We were impressed by the place where we spent the night – a real workers’ hostel. The night cost some abstractly small money, the place was difficult to find (outside the city, behind the garages, just before the scrapyard). At first a bit terrible, then very nice. We were no less an attraction for the inhabitants than they were for us.

From outside – the strangest place during our expedition.

Right next to the hostel we found such a lovely mural.

The art is everywhere

In the centre, we found a monument to the Chocolate Fairy, founded by Kraft company, which produces chocolate in Pokrov.

Mrs Chocolate

And then, straight, Moscow for a moment (actually, it was the moment when it got dark five hours later).

360 degree picture. You can look around.

… Pskov and the Russian-Latvian border. This time the border was quite smooth. The Russian border guards are much nicer than the Latvians. The Latvians told us to throw away the milk because there is a ban on Russian dairy products entering the EU.

Border RU-LV

On the Latvian-Lithuanian border, we usually stuffed ourselves with zeppelins. This is a sign that we are approaching home.

Wyprawa dobiega końca
Directions to Warsaw – our expedition ends.

Whenever driving from Lithuania, we stop by a grocery store in Sejny.
An insignificant village shop where you can buy homemade sękacz, home-made sausage and smoked fish.

If you want to know the details of this wonderful place, let me know in the comment.

And this is where our Ural expedition ends

But it is not over. We will write one more note, with a summary of the whole trip.

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