Leaving Perm by bus

Previous page - Perm-36

 

Back into Perm

Dennis stopped the car in the centre area of Perm and we went into a tourist office where we found some interesting brochures in English. Anna took a few photos of us by a bear statue and we took photos of some fir trees that are a curious bluey-grey colour. They are quite spectacular and the photo here doesn't do the colour of the trees justice. We went to a lookout where we could see the River Kama. There were lots of newly wedded couples having their photos taken. Friday is a very popular day for weddings in Russia.

From there it was back to Anna's for a lovely dinner which included her mum's borsch which we loved to bits.

I must add more about the lack of driver safety awareness in Russia: Dennis, our driver wasn't as bad as the one we had in Ulan Ude but he had an interesting way of using his seat belt. Firstly, the seat belt stayed in a latched position at all times. He never did it up, nor undid it, at any time. The part of the seat belt that would normally go across your chest was stretched out and placed over his head and behind the seat when Dennis got out of the car each time. Then, when he hopped back in the car, he simply sat on the part of the belt that should have gone around his tummy and then put his arm over the back of the seat to retrieve the section that would go across his chest. Interesting eh?

 

The River Kama The River Kama
Ian and Jean at the bear statue Ian and Jean at the bear statue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spectacular fir trees Spectacular fir trees

Leaving Perm on the bus

Just before 8 p.m. Anna took us to the bus station by taxi. There was a lot of "push and shove" at the door of the bus. Our big rucksacks were so big so they had to go in the baggage area underneath the bus. In Russia you have to pay extra if your baggage gets stored underneath. It cost us 500 roubles. The luggage area was filthy dirty and full of red road dust. Why on earth should a person get charged to put their luggage into such a dirty area!

Anna was quite concerned about us travelling on the bus with our limited Russian language skills. She hopped on board with us and kindly asked nearby passengers to look after us. She also spoke to the driver and informed him. It was sad to say goodbye to Anna. She is such a kind Couch Surfing host. She is a totally lovely, thoughtful person and she made our trip to Perm very memorable.

 

 

The night bus to Kazan

The bus was quite packed. We tried to put our seat belts on. Mine was somehow trapped down the back of the seat. The lady across the aisle tried to help me. There was a shelf running down each side of the bus above our heads but there was no room for our small rucksacks so we to stored them between our legs. We also had the bag with Ian's furry Russian hat in it.

There wasn't much room for anything plus it was quite warm on the bus because the air vents were only barely working. Half an hour after the bus left Perm, we were stuck in a traffic jam. Luckily the delay didn't last too long.

 

Several times during the night the bus would stop so people could use the toilet or just stretch their legs. Each time it stopped, the bus driver came up to us and told us just how many minutes we had spare before hopping back on the bus again. He wrote the number of minutes on a piece of paper. We were very thankful for his kindness.

Rainbow seen at midnight Rainbow seen at midnight

Rainbow seen at almost midnight

It was nearly midnight and still daylight when we saw this beautiful rainbow from the bus window.

We were so uncomfortable it was almost impossible to sleep even though the seats reclined somewhat.

We hopped off for two toilet stops. The first one was bad enough – a lady and her young daughter nearly killed themselves laughing when they saw the look on my face when I entered the toilet block. After paying our few roubles to use this wondrous service we were each handed a couple of sheets of toilet paper. Once through the toilet door you had to step up to use the toilet which was below ground level. It all stank to high heavens.

The road was exceedingly bumpy – probably the worst road I have ever been on and this is a main highway too!

 

Toilets on the road to Kazan

The next toilet stop was far worse than the first. The toilet block was back a bit from the road. As I approached it I saw a girl of about 18 come out with her jumper pulled around to cover her nose. I dreaded stepping inside but there was no choice. I either went into this stinking building or I wet myself on the bus. So, in I went!

There were seven "cubicles". Each had a wall between that would have been a bit less than four feet high, so you could plainly see your neighbour. In fact, you could see all your neighbours! There were no doors. The low brick walls and the floors had been cement rendered and in the middle of each floor there was an oval shaped hole. At the sides of the oval holes were indentations where ladies feet had worn the cement thin. Some of the clientele obviously had trouble directing their urine down the hole – which wasn't small! There was wee everywhere and especially in the indentations where your feet should go. You can imagine the smell! I squatted down and relieved myself and luckily had some tissues with me. There was not a shred of toilet paper in sight. You had to use the power of your leg muscles to come back up to standing position as you certainly couldn't touch the walls to support yourself. It was all so very revolting. As I came out of my cubicle I could see elderly Russian ladies coming in and they were as horrified as I was when they saw the conditions. I could imagine one of those elderly ladies losing her balance and ending up with at least one foot and leg down the hole. No wonder the 18 year old came out holding her jumper over her nose. Ian said the men's loos weren't very nice either.

 

We arrive in Kazan

At 9 a.m. we arrived in the city of Kazan. We were exhausted. We then waited out the front of the bus station for our Couch Surfing host, Daniyar, to meet us.

 

Next page - Kazan and the Kremlin

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Our trip in the order it happened:


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

HostelWorld.Com
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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