We arrive in Kazan and visit the Kremlin

Previous page - The bus from Perm to Kazan

 

Daniyar collects us from the station

Daniyar arrived and we soon had our gear stashed in the back of his car. A short drive later and we were at his home. Daniyar is in his early twenties and like most Russians of his age, he lives at home with his Mum. They live in a flat in a huge accommodation building. He has a Step Dad too. Daniyar's family were expecting their cleaning lady to arrive so it was suggested we might like to have a rest in our room whilst she cleaned the rest of the flat. We were quite happy to do so because we'd had so little sleep on the bus.

 

Doorway into Daniyar's block of flats Doorway into Daniyar's block of flats
We slept on a sofa bed We slept on a sofa bed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kazan railway station

Later in the morning we discussed our travel plans with Daniyar and asked for his help to buy our next trains tickets which would be from Kazan to Murom in a couple of days time. He gladly took us to the railway station and helped us buy them. Buying tickets at train stations is an extremely difficult job if you don't speak much Russian. The ticket ladies at the Cassas are unforgiving and impatient with foreigners. When it becomes obvious to them that you don't understand them they just talk faster and louder and their lack of patience is very evident. Many of the larger Russian railway stations are supposed to have English speaking staff at their information offices but we never found anyone who spoke even a smattering of English. Anyway, with Daniyar with us we had no problems getting tickets.

 

Railway station in Kazan Railway station in Kazan
Another part of the station with Ian in the foreground Another part of the station with Ian in the foreground

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trying Tatar food

We were most thankful so we asked Daniyar to suggest a restaurant for lunch as we wanted to treat him to a meal. Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan, the Tatar republic of Russia so Daniyar suggested we go to a Tatar restaurant. There we had our first taste of horse meat done in a casserole style dish. It was very nice. Prior to that we had chicken noodle soup and then afterwards we also had a lamb dish and some pastry triangle things a bit like our Australian pasties. They were made from some of the best pastry I've ever tasted. Finally we had lots of tasty sweet creations for dessert. Gosh, it was all way too much to eat but we thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

Daniyar and his family are Muslims, as are most people who are Tatars. Over lunch he explained a lot of things about the Muslim religion of which we had very little knowledge prior to meeting him. We commented to him that we had not seen any women wearing the usual Muslim clothing and certainly no sign of head dresses or burqas. He told us it is not mandatory for women to wear all those layers of clothing. The females we saw whilst in Kazan really looked just like Australian women wearing the clothes Australians wear in hot weather.


We visit the Kazan Kremlin

Kazan Kremlin viewed from a distance back Kazan Kremlin viewed from a distance back
Close to the walls of the Kazan Kremlin Close to the walls of the Kazan Kremlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First stop after lunch was the Kazan Kremlin. We had never been to a Kremlin before. The one in Kazan is World Heritage listed. Its origins date back to the 10th century.

Kul Sharif Mosque Kul Sharif Mosque
Suyumbike tower leans at an angle Suyumbike tower leans at an angle

Since its very beginning, the Kremlin has undergone many changes but it has always played a central role in the city and the region.

The President of Tatarstan resides there and it is also home to various Tatar administrations not to mention an outstanding cathedral, leaning tower and a huge new mosque.

It's a vast place and in the mid 1500's it is said that 30,000 people lived within its walls. There is an interesting account of the Kazan Kremlin here for those who are interested: Republic of Tatarstan - Kremlin.

 

Annunciation Cathedral Annuncitaion Cathedral
Ian and Daniyar Ian and Daniyar at the walls of the Kremlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ian and Daniyar The view from their vantage point at the Kremlin

Kul Sharif Mosque is a new mosque which replaces the old one that dated back to the 16th century. It is one of the largest mosques in the world. It was funded by several nations and was inaugurated in July 2005. The structure occupies 19,000 square metres.

The Annunciation Cathedral is located on the spot where other Russian Orthodox churches have been over the centuries. Originally a wooden church was built in 1552. Later it was turned into a stone cathedral. This same cathedral has undergone several major re-construction changes mainly due to damage caused by the ravaging of many fires.

 

 

Next page - Places to see and things to do in Kazan

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Our trip in the order it happened:


Travel Planning Necessities
World time zones, world weather, currency converter, language translator services.

HostelWorld.Com
Search over 25,000 hostels.

Trip Advisor Forum - Russia
The place to find information about Russia when you can't find it elsewhere.

Way To Russia
Another very good forum

Getting A Russian Visa
The process is explained

Trains between Moscow & Saint Petersburg
Explanation of the types of trains on that route.

Firmenny Trains
An explanation of what they are.

Moscow's Railway Stations
A map of their locations and proximities.

Learn How To Speak Russian
Free lessons.

Map of St. Petersburg
Lonely Planet's map of the city.

Map of Moscow
Lonely Planet's map of the city.

Moscow Times Newspaper
English version.

The Russia Club
A forum for all those interested in anything "Russian".

Russian Rail Timetable
It takes a bit of mastering but Ian managed it (eventually).

The Art Of Travel
Very interesting travel information for all locations.

Smart Traveller
Australian Government's site dealing with current travel advice.

Travel Independent
A site written by travellers for travellers. Lots of information.

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