Anapa is Heaven... what is it doing in Russia???
15.05.2007 -17 °C
It took and 17 hour train ride (Volgograd - Krasnodar) followed by a 3.5 hour bus ride but it was worth it! The train ride was through the steppe. The same vaste plains that swollowed-up Hitler's Army's. I can't imagine the German Army walking across them during the summer heat for a few months before starting the real fighting!
My bunk mate in the train was a Captain in the Airborne Division. We had a good conversation with the aid of his bad English, my bad Russian, and the dictionary from time to time. The only subject that he clearly did not want to discuss was the recent scandals with the hazing rituals in the Army. We found other stuff to talk about.
The Captain got off a few hours before I did and I used my time alone to practice whining for lower prices on my hotel room...l didn't want a repeat of Volgograd.
I had my first Police check while on the bus from Krasnodar to Anapa... it seems that everything in my papers was in order but three other passangers were removed from the bus for a more serious interogation. This caused a 20 minute delay.
The drive to Anapa was great! It reminded me of the approaches to the Eastern Townships near Granby... At least until there were oil rigs in people's backyards and Camels by the side of the road! The bus ride was pleasant except for the heat. The driver seemed very conciencious and didn't hurtle along at high speed. Yeah!!!
Anapa is a very pleasant little town. The Black Sea is great. I will be in Anapa for 5 days (until May 18) => I needed the rest. The place is clean... the people are not always drunk... no 14 year old kids drinking a 2L beer at 10:30 in the morning. The people here are happy = what a nice change. In fact, people in Volgograd seemed more on the happy side as well. I wonder if the happiness scale goes up the farther away from Moscow.St-Pete's or if it is the further south = nicer weather, that is responsible???
My first choice was all booked up and that was probably the truth as they did not try to upsell but refered me to another similar hotel instead. I didn't follow their advice and went inland for a few blocks instead.... The bottom line is:
- brand new hotel
- very quiet location
- tile floors, heated in the private bathroom + towel heater
All this for 750 Roubles per night. 5 nights in paradise for less than one night in Volgrad! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!
I will probably go the Saratov next but for now I will get on with the much needed relaxation!
Re, The Language
I have come to the realization that the biggest factor for success in communications is the other person willingness to try and understand!
Re. Visa Registration
The hotel didn't have its own registraton stamp and they were unable to convince another Hotel to register me for them. I had to go to the local post office and the immigration office. The whole process took 4.5 hours. One of the business partners of the Hotel was called in to fill out the paper work... It would have been impossible without her! Word of Advice... only stay in places that can register your visa!
Happiness and Joy