Tuesday July 3, 2012 – a few extra views of Vladivostok

These were taken after the museum, click through for larger ones. Doesn’t Lenin look so much better with a tree behind him?

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I’m particularly proud of these pictures for their use of colour. Here’s the main rail terminus, taken from a long pedestrian bridge which went off in interesting directions but remained airborne (you can see it on the left):

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Some cranes next to the rail terminal:

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Some trucks beneath the bridge. Something about the composition of this shot makes me think it should go on a wall, I’m not sure why – their arrangement seems symmetrical, the colour as well:

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Earlier in the day we’d run into a Hare Krishna handing out leaflets. You know your country is in deep spiritual decline when the Hare Krishnas are in every city. Sensing an opportunity, I asked him if there was a Hare Krishna restaurant in town. There was, not too far away, he told us, and gave us directions. So that evening we went to find it. It turned out to be quite far away, up a steep hill leading away from the centre, next to a university – prime recruiting ground, presumably. And sure enough, there were thin women in flowy skirts seated in the bright saffron dining hall, with paintings of Hindu gods and, if memory serves, a couple of planetscapes on the wall. I ordered a lot of food initially, but the waitress kept saying they were out of things. We managed to get the final chapati in the restaurant – really, how do you run out of chapatis? By running out of flour? Dinner ended up being turmeric, rice and peas; and cumin, rice and frozen vegetables. And a cheese ball in tomato sauce. It wasn’t as bad as the Buddhists, but it was pretty bad – I’ve made better curries when I’ve screwed up the recipe. So this photo is in honour of there being a vegetarian restaurant in meat-only Vladivostok, not because I’d recommend the place. Avoid it unless you’re lost and need starch.

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We walked back to the hotel and took a short-cut along another section of waterfront being frantically remodelled in time for the APEC summit by Asian labourers. The interlocking brickwork ran out, and pavement ran out too, and soon repainted amenities ran out and we were on a beach beside a cliff. This unfortunately ended in a typical Russian cul-de-sac: not a dead end per se, but a motley collection of junk, wood, fence and old boats.

I don’t think APEC is coming back here:

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Vladivostok is where part of the Soviet Pacific Fleet is harboured and has been on invasion-watch for numerous colonial wars:

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