After visiting Lake Baikal, Dan and I caught the overnight train to Krasnoyarsk.
This post isn’t really going to be about Krasnoyarsk though, because the only two photos I have of the city are of a snowman and a ferris wheel.
We Couchsurfed in Krasnoyarsk with a very sweet couple who turned out to be Irish dancers! And I mean serious Irish dancers – the room we slept in was full of their dance trophies, with a huge Irish flag hanging over our bed.
On their recommendation we took a bus out of the city to Stolby National Park to see the famous boulders, but the trip turned out to be a total failure. Or rather, my Russian skills turned out to be a total failure.
From where the bus dropped us off the only path we could find was marked by a huge sign that, to my understanding, read:
Something! Something something Stolby territory something something house animals something.
I figured the first word could either be “Welcome!” or “Caution!” but optimistically decided on the former. And perhaps “house animals” meant the animals native to the park – it was probably a helpful hint to keep an eye out for cute squirrels and pretty birds.
We had a really lovely walk through the sparkly forest (this is where we saw the snowman!) for a couple kilometers, until we approached a large house and were welcomed by its house animal.
After the dog had successfully chased us back through the forest to the bus stop I checked my Russian dictionary app and, for any of you who might visit Russia someday, “внимание” means “caution.” Whoops.
Aside from our Stolby excursion, we mostly just wandered around downtown Krasnoyarsk and got acquainted with the local bus routes (our Couchsurfing hosts lived in an apartment block on the outskirts of the city).
Downtown had a lot of pretty European-feeling buildings with lots of shops and cafés, though we were careful to avoid eating near the train station, as according to Wikivoyage those restaurants should be avoided because “they are traditionally occupied by local and visiting criminals — that is unless, of course, you yourself are a criminal looking to socialize.”
Honestly, out of the many cities we visited in Siberia (I’m writing this from Moscow now) Krasnoyarsk didn’t make a huge impression on me – I didn’t exactly love it, but there wasn’t anything to hate either. It was Russian, and it was Siberian. The highlight for me was definitely staying with the Irish dancing couple, because… when we were in Tomsk (the next city on our itinerary) they invited us to their feis!!!
For those of you who aren’t in the Irish dancing know, a feis is an Irish dance competition.
Wait, did you guys even know that I’m in the Irish dancing know? You see, I was in an Irish dance company in university. It’s true!
Oh look at that, it turns out I did have enough to write a whole post about Krasnoyarsk! Tomsk, I’ll write about you next time.