Kazan – “It’s not you, it’s me”, “No,…”

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Tartar Theatre in background

It wasn’t totally Kazan’s fault.  I mean,  it takes two to tango right? I had been on antibiotics and then decongestants for weeks and really just felt like sleeping all the time. The over night bus here can’t have helped either.

Perhaps I should have seen the signs…

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Ironic since there's a church or mosque around most corners here - or did it mean tourists?

Plus, the rain. You can’t blame a town for that I guess. Autumn is giving way to rain – that’s just the way it is. Turning it to snow later that day was sweet, but didn’t make it easier to take photos on my precious phone. And when my brolly blew inside out and became a moon and some twisted spokes, do you think anyone laughed with me?

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Tartar Heroes - Awe-inspiring tales of bravery

On paper, it had all looked so promising: Capital of the Tatarstan Republic; an ethnic, linguistic, and Islamic-Christian mix of population and architecture – famous for Muslim and Christians living together in peace; an ancient white stone kremlin (fortified town – a UNESCO World Heritage Site) overlooking a river; a history of great battles – overrun by the Mongols, then a Khanate (under descendants of Genghis Khan) and later taken by the Russians several times and finally at the ‘Siege of Kazan’ in 1552… future insurrections being put down. Everything I love. I had been building up to this for weeks. One of my must sees.

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First view of the Kremlin...

It might have been the competition. I mean Moscow was just up the road and starting to occupy my thoughts. But did I really need to be shunted down four separate station buildings in the rain before I could buy a ticket there? Like, what is your gorgeous train station there for after all??!!

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Middle part of the truly majestic Train Station - now mainly a cafe and accompanied by super modern adjuncts

We were not off to a good start. I sulked off to a restaurant for a huge blow the budget lunch, restocked on vegs galore, slept and tried again. This time with more layers and gloves!

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Likely my most expensive meal on this trip so far - NZ $12. Wince! Mmmm, yum!

An aimless walk with no expectations brought fresh perspective. . . “Ohhh, ok, I get where you’re coming from now.”

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The Kremlin from the more impressive side...above the canal on the hill by the way! I need a decent camera!


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The main tourist entrance to the Kremlin

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The new mosque in the Kremlin (replacing the old one that was sacked by the Russians)


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Prayers in the Mosque - it felt wrong (although possibly educational) for tourists to be in the upper breaches. How do you say 'Shut Up!' in Russian?


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The church in the Kremlin.. and on the left a fairytale tower built for the local princess by Ivan the Terrible the story goes... she jumped from the top rather than marry him!

Then, moving beyond Kremlin Central…

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Preserved or done up 19th century streets...


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This is part of the tower down the street above - my camera refused to focus on it all!

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An incredible church appears from nowhere. ..

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...and another. ..

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...then ancient mosques. ..

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Kazan and I were starting to have fun. Damn, why did I buy that train ticket?!!

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Harmony

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3 Responses to Kazan – “It’s not you, it’s me”, “No,…”

  1. kjw616 says:

    Beautiful pictures! I learned from my research that the rain is known as the autumn rasputitsa. During World War II when my family was moving eastward after Germany invaded the Soviet Union, those heavy rains turned the roads into rivers of mud, making them virtually impassible. Apparently, the Germans were unprepared for this, and they found that these conditions caused there tanks to get stuck.

  2. Pingback: Ulan Ude – East meets West | Bumblebee Trails

  3. Pingback: Elista – Chess and Buddhism in South West Russia | Bumblebee Trails

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