Welcome to Sibiria

🇷🇺 Russia - Sibiria (2018)

Siberia … this word means cold and distant. But what do we know about it? Nothing, and yet this country represents a huge part of our earth.

My friend Uli and I personally wanted to see what there is to see here and ventured all the way out.

We had a kayak in our luggage with which we wanted to paddle through the wilderness to the Lena. But if you are dealing with nature you cannot plan everything in advance and can only hope to be prepared for everything. It turns out differently than you think, as we found out.

Only with a stop in Moskow to the other side of the continent

After a ten-hour flight over pure land mass, we have the city of Yakutsk. It is changed that Yakutia, the Republic of Sakha, unknown to us, is the right than India and has fewer inhabitants than Cologne. The city is as big as Freiburg and the coldest metropolis in the world, but it welcomes us with t-shirt weather.

The airport is tiny and after leaving the building we can’t find a taxi that could take us downtown. We have an appointment with our host for lunch break and it is running out.

Small junky box-shaped buses give us one last hope, but of course there is no form of display that could help you see where each bus is going. I try the first best driver and ask “зентр?”. After an irritated “да” we jump in. There are only ten seats and we stand. When we get the impression that we are central enough, we jump out again. Payment works when you leave the bus by giving the driver a couple of rubles. With our big money, of course, he is totally overwhelmed.

We no longer meet our host Lyoba on time, stereotypically Soviet under the monument of Lenin. First of all, she helps us to find something to eat and to find Russian cards for our phone. 20GB for just € 5 a month, that’s what we dream of in Germany.

She lives in a block building, which is not quite as pretty, but which is typical for Yakutsk and most Russian cities, where surprisingly the water supply fails more often. She has a young son named Marcel. We are your first guests on Couchsurfing. She becomes a dear friend to us now and when we return, who welcomes us like part of the family.

Lyoba takes us through the sights of the city. There are some wooden forts, similar to those in the New World, that date from a pioneering period before socialism struck. A frozen cave is particularly beautiful.

This is kept at an icy temperature and ice sculptures sculpted by artists and brightly colored are exhibited. The cave is not very popular, we have it all to ourselves.

The true Lord of Ice takes his place.
A big ice angel with little wings.

Of course we also take the chance to eat “Siberian”. But my enthusiasm for the local cuisine is limited. There’s raw frozen horse liver, frozen fish that’s also raw, and fried reindeer ribs, after all.

The cranberry juice (морс) popular here and the tea brewed from grass are very tasty.

We notice that we are far north. The temperatures are not warm, but it hardly gets dark at night. We also notice that this is a different Russia from what we have seen so far.

We notice that we are far north. The temperatures are not warm, but it hardly gets dark at night. We also notice that this is a different Russia from what we have seen so far.

At the airport, people with guns are let through security, while we are pulled aside for bait fishing for our lead bullets. For the flight to Batagay-Alyta we have to pay by weight, not by luggage.

Even our hand luggage is weighed and the scales mercilessly go wrong to our disadvantage, which is why we end up having to pay a high bill for excess luggage.

Watch the video from our trip!



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