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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Matt's Vacation - Petropavlovsk, Russia

Dear Family and Friends,

After two more days at sea, we made our final port before crossing the Bering sea to Vancouver, Canada.  Our last stop was in Petropavlovsk, Russia, a city located on the Kamchatskt peninsular.  It is located just above Japan on the far eastern side of Russia.

We did not have to worry about having a visa in our U.S. passports to visit this city because it is the second largest city in the world that is not reachable by road.  You can fly there, or come as we did, by boat.  It is surrounded by high mountains.

We took a tour from the ship.  We were taken by bus to their local attractions. Below is a statue of St. Nicholas.

We went to their local museum which told about the wildlife and early life in this part of the world.

Below, you can see actual mastodon tusks that have been found. The tusks are a minimum of 10,000 years old.  The sever cold ground kept them from decaying.

We went up a mountain to get a view of the city below.  Here is Matt pointing out where we came from, Tokyo.

Here is one of the two volcanos visible from the city.  I thought we were in Siberia, but our tour guide said NO.  I think I may have offended her.  It is quite cold there.  It was middle of May and there was still snow in a lot of places.

We saw their new Russian Orthodox church.  It has just been completed and they are deservedly very proud of it.

The weather, being severe, makes fresh fruits and vegetables quite scarce.  This is a town of 200,000 residents and this is the market.  The prices were very high.

We were able to go into their small shopping mall.  Matt found this warm Russian hat.  He put it on and wore it until we were back on the ship.  He was so happy to find it because he walks to work and in the winter it is quite cold in eastern Washington.

Here is a statue of Peter and Paul.  The town Petropavlovsk is named after them.
You can see another volcano in the background.

Yes, Matt, that head of yours is going to stay toasty warm next winter.

I have been to Russia numerous times.  I have watched as it has evolved from the early post Soviet era to the beautiful buildings of today in St. Petersburg and Moscow.  I felt Petropavlovsk has been left behind and I had a since of the earlier times, lot of Soviet style, drab looking, block housing.  This is probably because of it's isolation.

We spent the next five days sailing to Vancouver, Canada.  Well, maybe it was five days, we crossed the international date line and ended up having two Mondays in a row.

I will share about my health issues in the next post.


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