The thing is that, despite all previously documented troubles, Kazan is a really great place and I am really glad that the route was able to be influenced away from the usual stop in Perm to include it. Officially the third capital of Russia and recently done up to celebrate its 1000th birthday the tone of the place starts at the Kremlin which models co-operation to all by containing both a mosque and an orthodox cathedral. We had read that there was a strong separatist movement in Tatarstan and to expect to be asked about this. We weren’t asked so we sought out opinion on this and found that there may have been murmurings in the 90s but it seems that money has quelled those with the resource boom making the region very wealthy. Or maybe it is because FC Rubin Kazan is top of the league.
Archive for May, 2009
As if street urchins looking to lift our electronics weren’t enough next up was a seriously unhinged Syrian who of course was going to be joining us for the ride down to Kazan. Just what you want at five in the morning is a babbling, red leather motorcycle jacket wearing, dreadlocked, lunatic grin sporting, babbler who within five minutes of moving from trying to attract attention from the other side of the room to plopping down next to doc (how does he attract such attention) had whipped out a bunch of family photos and trying to tell us something about them which was incomprehensible due to not being able to speak English or sentences in general. My main query about this situation was how on earth did this guy end up in the middle of Russia with no clue or luggage? [read on]