Ulan Ude, Russia
Ulan Ude, one of the largest cities in eastern Siberia, is the capital of Buryatia, a semi-autonomous republic of Russia. Being a republic, Buryatia has its own constitution and some twenty percent of the population speak the Buryat language in addition to Russian.
The central square of Ulan Ude is dominated by the world’s largest statue of Lenin’s head. Nearby, in front of the Ulan Ude Opera House, a fountain moves in concert with classical music played from surrounding speakers.
Now at our Russian starting point we are nearly three thousand miles from our final destination in Russia, St Petersburg. However, that is measured in a straight line, the distance by train is far greater.
From now on all of our trains run on Moscow time, despite the local time being five hours ahead. This will make it easier for us to miss a train, but, means it is never too early for a vodka.