The World War II Dictators Post-Bar Adventure Special travel blog

Kara and I arrived in Nizhny Novgorod yesterday in the evening. It was sad to leave Moscow, but fortunately, we've arrived in a city even colder and rainier than Moscow. Apparently, Russia didn't get word yet that it is summer. Thank god that Kara and I packed some winter gear. Last night, it was about 50 degrees or even slightly below. The bank said 13 degrees but we didn't feel like whipping out our calculators to convert the temperature.

Kara and I survived our first dinner with absolutely nothing written in English on the menu. We went to dinner on a very nice promenade here in Nizhny. It is kind of like the downtown mall in Charlottesville (except everything is written in Russian), and it is complete with Nike, Adidas, Max Mara, Citibank, and a Soviet Union Museum.

Somehow, we ordered a club sandwich, french fries and blini (crepes, for the uninitiated) with condensed milk. It only took about 10 minutes of reading through the dictionary to figure out the word condensed (thanks to Natallia, our Russian teacher, we knew the word for milk). (Unfortunately for Natallia, we only took three weeks of class and somehow can't yet speak fluent Russian.) I have not yet figured out why coffee seems to be about 4 USD a cup, but it means that I am going through some withdrawal. Kara has had to comfort me as I have broken down crying at least twice already.

The train ride was very comfortable. Yesterday's ride was about 5 hours long. It was our shortest train ride of our trip. Kara, the narcoleptic, was awake for about an hour of it. Okay, maybe two hours of it. I napped a little and read. Before leaving Moscow, we wandered the streets near the train station and popped in the oldest synagogue (complete with Jews and heavy security) in Moscow. We gave some Tzdaka (charity) for good Karma on our trip.

Kara and I are getting used to carrying around our bags. We made a good choice of luggage, and they are very comfortable. Nevertheless, we are almost certainly going to be ripped by the end of this trip as we have walked a ton already with somewhat heavy bags to carry. Fortunately, the colder it is, the more we are wearing and the less we have to carry.

Nizhy Novgorod is a very pretty city, sitting on both the Volga and Oka rivers. Today we are going to check out the Kremlin and some more onion domed churches. We have taken a ton of pictures, including several with Lenin who still seems to be big here, which we are going to attempt, once more, to post online as soon as we are done writing this post. If all is successful, I'll put up another posting with a link to our pictures.

Tonight is our first overnight train ride (18 hours to Eketerinberg). We probably won't be able to write again for a couple of days but we will try again from Eketerinberg - our first stop in Asia.

Thanks for all the nice messages; it is good to hear from everyone.

See you in Asia.

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