Sightseeing in Vladivostok, part 2

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Lunch at a Japanese Restaurant

Not only did we need lunch but we also needed the loo (again). We set off looking for a Vedic restaurant I had read about several months ago. It was supposed to be very nice. We searched the street but never found it so we settled on a Japanese restaurant instead.

There was a loo that we were able to use before we even entered the restaurant and that was greatly appreciated.

We had a fabulous meal which included a fish dish, a squid dish, an eggplant dish and steamed rice. The meal cost 850b which was very close to what we paid for last night's meal. All this was accomplished without a word of Japanese or Russian. In many Russian restaurants there are photographs of the food for those who can't speak the language. We found this exceedingly handy.


Roads and paths were in a state of disrepair Poor roads and pavements in Vladivostok
We found a lovely promenade to stroll along We strolled along the promenade listening to music










Spending the afternoon in the sun

We walked back to our hotel after lunch because Maria, our Couch Surfing host, was coming by to take us to the beach for an outing. On the walk back up the hill we stopped by the little 24 hour shop to buy the next batch of drinking water bottles. What a never ending task this was to be for us on our holiday all over Russia.

We waited quite a while for Maria but she never showed up. A while later we found an email saying she wasn't able to make it. We decide to set off on foot again this time heading in the opposite direction. Everywhere we go in this lovely city we see massive pot holes in roads and pavements. Cars continually swerve to avoid giant pot holes. We would hate to think how much damage is done to vehicles in this city because of the poor quality roads. Maybe Vladivostok is so far away from Moscow that no-one there cares. The pot hole seen above was almost a metre deep! Imagine stumbling into it on a dark night.


Promenade In Vladivostok

We walked in a northerly direction all along the waterfront of Amursky Bay. Now we have a better idea of how folk in Vladivostok spend their sunny weekends. There were heaps of stalls with gifts, ice cream, and drinks plus music playing through speakers. Everyone was strolling and enjoying the scenery and sunshine. The wind was cool and brisk though. We headed east looking for the fort museum. It took ages to find it but of course it was too late by the time we got there. We dragged our feet back to the hotel and had dinner at the hotel restaurant again. I had Caviar Crepes and Ian had Chicken Kiev.

View from hotel restaurant window View from the hotel restaurant window
Caviar crepes for dinner Caviar crepes for dinner










Notice how the trees are painted white for the first few feet of the trunk. We were told it was to stop ants attacking the trees. We find it is so light of an evening. You can still see at nearly 11 p.m.

Before we went to bed that night we re-organized the bedding and we did indeed sleep better. We still had the wretched dogs barking throughout the night though. We left the windows wide open all night so that our hand-washing would dry. Ninety percent was dry enough by morning. The remaining 10 percent we dried off with the hair drier lent to us by housekeeping. We had tried to set up the fan to dry the clothes but it refused to work.

It was very foggy again in the morning. We ate breakfast in the restaurant again, gazing through the windows at the fog and the beautiful birch trees just coming in to leaf. It was 10 am and our last day in Vladivostok so we headed back down the street to cash in some travellers cheques and to buy food and water for the first leg of our journey on the Trans Siberian train.

Travellers cheques in Russia

Sberbank was our first stopping place. We had been told on the Trip Advisor Forum that Sberbank was the best if wanting to cash travellers cheques. We didn't particularly want to cash in any cheques but we were keen for the experience so we could report about it here.

Well, it took one hour to cash one cheque! Firstly we had lined up at the wrong teller. We then had to line up behind another customer who was waiting patiently at a solid wooden door – door number 13. At last the door opened, a customer came out and the man in line before us shot in. He seemed to be in there for such a long time. Eventually it was our turn and in our limited Russian we said what we wanted. 60 minutes late we walked out with our money. Just as well we didn't both want to cash cheques or goodness knows how long it would have taken. We never bothered cashing any further travellers cheques after that. It was too time consuming.


We then scuttled back to the hotel via the 24 hour shop quickly buying train goodies on the way. I might add that our trip back was all uphill and we were carting several litres of water so we were totally knackered by the time we got back.

The road we traversed so many times Our route up the hill to Hotel Vladivostok
Vladivostok street scene near Sberbank Street scene near Sberbank building










Checking out of Hotel Vladivostok

We quickly grabbed our bags from our room and high tailed it back down to Reception to hand our keys in. It was 12:10 p.m. and we had already passed the hotel check out time which was midday. We had been told we could store our luggage with them from noon onwards so that was great.

I was tired from yesterday so I stayed in the hotel lobby working on my laptop whilst Ian headed off to find the fort we had been looking for yesterday. It took him ages to reach it and he was extremely hot and pooped when he walked back into the hotel lobby two hours later. He was very satisfied though as the fort was apparently quite interesting.

View from the fort with the fog still hovering in the background View from the fort with the fog hovering
The fort The fort was very interesting









We left our luggage in storage at the hotel and set off down the hill for a very ate lunch. We wondered how many times we had walked up and down that particular hill since arriving 48 hours ago.

We ate in a busy cafeteria and had quite a nice hearty meal which was very tasty. It was then a matter of killing time until we wandered back up the hill to the hotel for the last time. In that time we purposely wandered along streets that we hadn't ventured down before. We nearly got lost.

Back at the hotel lobby we set up the lap top and Skyped our kids. We went into the hotel's restaurant for our third dinner in a row. Again it was top quality food, decorated so beautifully. At 9 p.m. staff at the hotel reception ordered a taxi and we rode to the station. It cost us 200 roubles. We quickly found the waiting train and then the debacle over the missing ticket ensued.......


Next page - Leaving Vladivostok on the Rossiya


Our trip in the order it happened:

Travel Planning Necessities
World time zones, world weather, currency converter, language translator services.

Search over 25,000 hostels.

Trip Advisor Forum - Russia
The place to find information about Russia when you can't find it elsewhere.

Way To Russia
Another very good forum

Getting A Russian Visa
The process is explained

Trains between Moscow & Saint Petersburg
Explanation of the types of trains on that route.

Firmenny Trains
An explanation of what they are.

Moscow's Railway Stations
A map of their locations and proximities.

Learn How To Speak Russian
Free lessons.

Map of St. Petersburg
Lonely Planet's map of the city.

Map of Moscow
Lonely Planet's map of the city.

Moscow Times Newspaper
English version.

The Russia Club
A forum for all those interested in anything "Russian".

Russian Rail Timetable
It takes a bit of mastering but Ian managed it (eventually).

The Art Of Travel
Very interesting travel information for all locations.

Smart Traveller
Australian Government's site dealing with current travel advice.

Travel Independent
A site written by travellers for travellers. Lots of information.

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Alice Springs

History of ...
Alice Springs

Sunshine Coast Accomm.
200+ resorts, hotels, motels and holiday apartments.