Volgograd

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Well hello!   Debs has done a great job of our first blog about the journey so far to here, and there's no point in my repeating all that.   Just to say that I am loving every minute of this incredible adventure.   There is so much to see and take in - the change in culture, people, and geography, the sense of vast distance - it is constantly fascinating.   The journey makes its own magic; who would have thought that we would meet a Jesuit priest walking all the way from Portugal to Sevastapol to see a bible there taken by a saint in the ninth century!   He was 67 years old and when we met him he had just walked 37 days non-stop from the Czech Rep border.   We think his blessing saved us when we broke down shortly afterwards.

Volgograd as a city is well worth another journey sometime.   Yesterday we went to see the gigantic memorial statue that stands on top of the tallest hill in the city.   The Russians have created an incredible place there to remember the dead from the 2nd World War.   Not only is the statue one of the most incredible in the world, but the hall below it containing the Eternal Flame is an emotionally moving and simply beautiful structure.   I have the feeling that the sheer scale of the horror here (2 million dead in the siege) is something that the city can never escape from.   The city itself is attractive - wide streets and boulevards, green trees, and a mixture of old and new.   The hotel we are staying in (the Volgograd Hotel) is one of the few old buildings to survive intact the bombing and shelling of the war.   It is quirky and basic but fine for us.

 

Today we beging the hard part of the trip - the deserts of Central Asia.   Now begins the drive to Astrakhan, Khiva, Samarkand, Bukhara, Tashkent and Osh before we cross the mountains to Kashgar.   I can't wait!!

We will try to blog again when we can, but we really have not had much time to spare.   See you.......


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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by steve published on July 22, 2008 5:03 AM.

Several nights to remember (and some that some might want to forget!) was the previous entry in this blog.

Astrakhan is the next entry in this blog.

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