Velcome Tartastan

The train ride to Kazan was an eventful one, two guys in our berth decided to share some Vodka with us, of course I joined in, when in Rome…

We managed to have shot after shot of Vodka while still being able to have half a conversation in Renglish (Russian, English and sign language). One of the men decided to stand up and say to us ‘you man, you voo-man’ thanks for that very obvious statement mate, god loves a trier.

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We’re in Tatarstan now, one of the republics of the Russian federation with a high population of Muslims. The Tatar people are darker skinned than your typical Russian, with the eastern music playing from the kiosks and numerous mosques dotted about, Kazan felt more like central Asia. It’s a shame that most of the city is under construction at the minute, they’re building a new metro system and preparing to host the university Olympics in 2013, I know, I’d never heard of the university Olympics either, maybe it’s where a bunch of students get together and play drinking games followed by a game of giant jenga…

The only part of Kazan which didn’t resemble a building sight was the kremlin, the original and oldest part of the city. The small old town is home to the biggest mosque in Russia and the leaning tower of Kazan.

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Kul Sharif Mosque

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Leaning tower of Kazan

Bought some lunch from a restaurant where staff spoke no English at all and the menu was in Cyrillic. We ended up just pointing to anything and basically having a surprise lunch, it ended up being chopped beef and mushrooms smothered in mayonnaise, couldn’t have asked for a more random concoction.

To take a break from wandering around looking at sights, we decided to go to the water park. It bared all the similarities of wet ‘n’ wild, except they sold alcohol, I forgot to mention there is no concept of health and safety in Russia….

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