Thursday, 21 July 2016

Siberian towns and friends

We spend the week end ( 16th and 17th July) in Novosibirsk. 
Andrey left us the use of his beautiful flat and went to his parents'.

They live in the scientific in city, about 20 km south of Novosibirsk. The city is built in beautiful woods, within walking distance of the labs, universities and even what they call the "sea". 
A large dam on the river Ob has created a massive lake, so big, it looks like a sea, with beach and all. 
This is where the locals go during the summer to get a tan. 

We went to lunch with Andrey and his parents, at their flat and they walked to the Sea. 

Our wonderful hosts:

The next day we went with Andrey and his dad, Constantine, to the town centre of Novosibirsk. The town is the third biggest in Russia, and is quite recent as well, so no old buildings. 
We visited the local museum , it was very interesting, but I was not sure I could take pictures, so none taken. 

It is indeed a modern vibrant busy city. 
This is of course Lenine, but here he is represented next to three figures, each represent the proletariat, the peasants, and the red army. 

In the evening we went back to have dinner with them. Such an amazing hospitality! Although my brother is very good friend with them and work closely with them, for what I understand ( I am no physicist!) for them we were still complete strangers, and yet welcome us as if we were family! 

Day 37 - Monday 18th of July  - Tomsk - 300kms

We left not too early, under a very grey sky. It took us a while to cross town and get on the main road. Then the rain started, as always! 

I had booked a flat through in Tomsk. It would be a good opportunity to clean everything, including panniers, bike gear and all our clothes! The flat had a washing machine, I clearly checked and made sure of it! 

After getting into the flat, we emailed our friend Anton. We met him on our way to Mongolia, two years ago, and rode with him, and Vladimir, last year, in the Altay. 

Anton had received the parts for the TTR. We rode the bikes to his grand mother garage. It also has lots of tools to work on the bikes. 

Then it was time for few beers! 

Tuesday was spent, Alistair and Anton working on the TTR, me on buying supplies and doing the laundry and various other chores. 

Wednesday and Thursday, we had a good walk into town. 

Tomsk is an old city, very provincial in feeling, but very young at heart, with many students around, it has many cafes, bars, pubs, night clubs, restaurants...

 It has 6 universities, most of them among the three best in Russia, in their fields. Mainly scientific and technical, come again. Russian seem rather brilliant at these fields ( science, technology...).

Tomsk is a very beautiful and charming city. It has a flavour or St Petersburg, with its pastel low rise buildings, combined with a Siberian twist with many big wooden houses. Most streets are lined with trees and there are many parks. It is a very green city! 

One of the universities:

Botanical gardens:

The boys working hard on the TTR:

Departure tomorrow, to get to Gorno-Altaysk. It will take three days. Things should become more interesting as we plan on leaving the highway and taking some back roads! 

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