Saratov – the name had been dropped several times in connection with our soon arrival in Kazakhstan. On this note it was quite surreal to actually enter this last big town in Russia prior to the Kazakh border.
As already mentioned the weather was pretty moody that day. So for the first meters in the city we have been welcomed with rain – but the weather changed about ten times during our 15 km ride through the town. The first view was unbelieveable: We were riding down the hill with view at the Volga and the town Engels on the opposite bank of the Volga. And also through Saratov we had to ride over several hills, at last the one our hotel was on. For there is a ski region which is why in winter the hell might break loose there.
Of course we had chosen the perfect road to go up there. Luckily, a friendly Russian who was working there came running to help Alexandra get her bike up the hill. A modest “paschalsta” (you’re welcome) and he was gone again. 😀
Quite remote was our hotel but therefore somehow quiet. But just somehow because during the night a lot of dogs were trying their best to sound like wolves… Furthermore on one night there had been loud Russian music due to a wedding in the hotel restaurant. Also interesting.
Saratov itself hasn’t much to offer, it’s not a pretty city. But we liked watching the Volga – a huge river! Also we had to buy some things like suitable reserve inner tubes, more suncream, new shorts for cycling… And Stefan had finally decided to go to a hairdresser. Thus, we just went in such a shop, pantomimed cutting his hair and suddenly Stefan was already sitting it the according chair. It was pretty funny to watch him getting his hair cut but the result for about EUR 5 is worth looking at. 😉
Then on the second morning after our arrival there were bad news: they were thrown out of the hotel, so to speak.
A hotel employee stated that their immigration service could not register us and that the hotel would have to pay a fine if we stayed any longer. We asked for the reason of that and if she couldn’t speak with the immigration service again – but she denied, although we mentioned that we hadn’t had any problems with that in other hotels.
Anyways, we had to go packing and search for another hotel which wasn’t really a problem. But somehow we were a bit grumpy.
However, our new hotel was better located, the employees could speak English a bit and were a thousand times friendlier. Although the walk on the hill would have been better for us after we had unintendedly ordered several kilograms of potatoes at the Burger King (yes, fancy again)… 😉
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