A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about customs

Ekaterinburg

On the doorstep of Europe

semi-overcast
View As the Crow Flies Russia 2019 on stevecrownz's travel map.

This beautiful city is one of our favourites so far.

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Ekaterinburg is known for the golden-domed Church on the Blood, built in the early 21st century on the site of the 1918 Romanov executions, Ipatiev House.

The Russian Imperial Romanov family (Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsarina Alexandra and their five children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei) and all those who chose to accompany them into imprisonment—notably Eugene Botkin, Anna Demidova, Alexei Trupp and Ivan Kharitonov, were shot and bayoneted to death in Ekaterinburg (Yekaterinburg) on the night of 16–17 July 1918.

The epoch of the monarchic Russia ended and the epoch of the Soviet Russia began.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Execution_of_the_Romanov_family for more information.

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This red room is situated where the basement of Ipatiev House was previously located. It was in this basement that the murders of the Romanov family took place.
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After the murders, their bodies were then taken to the Koptyaki forest where they were stripped and mutilated. In 1979 and 2007, the remains of the bodies were found in two unmarked graves in a field called Porosenkov Log.

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Ganina Yama was a 9 ft. deep pit in the Four Brothers mine near the village of Koptyaki, 15 km north from Yekaterinburg. In the pre-dawn hours of 17 July 1918, after the execution of the Romanov family, the bodies of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family (who had been murdered at the Ipatiev House) were secretly transported to Ganina Yama and thrown into the pit.

A week later, the White Army drove the Bolsheviks from the area and launched an investigation into the fate of the royal family. An extensive report concluded that the royal family's remains had been cremated at the mine, since evidence of fire was found and charred bones, but no bodies. But the Bolsheviks, realizing that the burial site was no longer a secret, had returned to the site the night after the first burial to relocate the bodies to another area. The secret Bolshevik report on the execution and burial did not give the location of the second burial site, but the description provided clues.

Seven chapels were later constructed at the site, one for each member of the royal family. Each chapel is dedicated to a particular saint or relic; all members of the Romanov family that was murdered were subsequently canonized to sainthood.

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Posted by stevecrownz 13:23 Archived in Russia Tagged crow bmw russia customs vladivostok versys carr as_the_crow_flies 1200gsa Comments (3)

TRIP HAZARD #3: The Short Drop


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In New Zealand, and probably many, many other places around the world, in areas where there are no public sanitation systems toilets often comprise some some for 'seating / supporting arrangement' mounted over a deep hole dug into the ground to collect the aghhh, ummmmm, well you get the picture.

At home this is fondly called a 'Long Drop' for obvious reasons.

Now, Long Drops are rarely pleasant things to use but unless you opt to grab a torch or miner's helmet and peer down into the gloom the chances of being confronted by something left behind by a previous 'tenant, apart from a foul odour, is low.

In Russia, and in particular Siberia and the Eastern areas, they have brutalised the Long Drop and developed a particularly odious contraption, the Short Drop.

In its purest form, the Short Drop is simply a mounted platform raised 300 to 500mm off the ground with a hole cut in it for bodily wastes to pass through onto the nearly ground.

I have had the misfortune of needing to use (for number ones only thank god) short drops on a number of occasions and suffice it to say some were so absolutely rank and foul that I simply could not stay long enough to take any photographs. Oh, and forget European type thrones, we are talking squatters here folks.

Here is a BETTER one.

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These are typical of most road-houses / truck stops in Eastern Siberia.

Posted by stevecrownz 06:42 Archived in Russia Tagged crow bmw russia customs vladivostok versys carr as_the_crow_flies 1200gsa Comments (0)

The first accident on the trip

And hopefully the last


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While putting the side-panels, handle-bars, crash-bars back on David's bike someone who shall remain nameless slipped and sprained/broke/fractured (not sure which) the pinky finger on his left (clutch hand).

I am reliably informed that it is somewhat painful.

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Fortunately medication in the form of cold beer has helped dull the pain; actually I am posting this because we thought these were pretty unusual beer glasses.

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Posted by stevecrownz 06:31 Archived in Russia Tagged crow bmw russia customs vladivostok versys carr as_the_crow_flies 1200gsa Comments (0)

We changed the name of our blog

As the Crow Flies becomes 181 Across Russia

We decided to change the name of our blog to reflect the fact at is not just two 'Crows' riding across Russia.

The new name, 181 Across Russia, does NOT refer to our intended average or even top speed for the trip.

It is the sum of the ages of the three riders.

Steve 62
John 62
David 57

We thought about 'Old Bastards Road Trip' or similar but then decided that would imply our Mum's were ladies of low morals....

Posted by stevecrownz 19:03 Archived in Russia Tagged crow bmw russia customs vladivostok versys carr as_the_crow_flies 1200gsa Comments (0)

John's bike arrives

USS Carr arrives

overcast 13 °C

John shipped his 2018 R1200 GSA directly from his US home in Las Vegas a month before our bikes shipped from Auckland.

His cleared customs yesterday.

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The big guy's bike arrives. He's a happy chappie even though it cost him US$6500 to get it off the docks (see my earlier post for the reasons).

We have just been advised that the ship carrying our container docked in Vladivostok at 1530 yesterday and we are to meet our agent Yuri at 1245 today to clear the van and our two bikes.

Bloody good service!

Fingers crossed :-)

Posted by stevecrownz 18:45 Archived in Russia Tagged crow bmw russia customs vladivostok versys carr as_the_crow_flies 1200gsa Comments (0)

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