Tuesday, 21 August 2012 Vladivostok, Russia (0 miles) Total Trip Miles – 4723. 0 hours riding
Weather Temperature in the low 80′s and humid with heavy fog in the morning and clearing to party cloudy skies
First night in Vladivostok went fine even with the interesting accomodations…no A/C and a bit humid with the bed at an all time best for hardness! Anyhow, Shanon made a great suggestion that I just add my camping mattress to the bed…that sure beats sleeping on the ground somewhere! Also, I was updating my blog last night in the hall of the 8th floor near the salon and the mosquitoes were having a field day on my legs – enough so that I went back to the room for some insect repellent…I may also need to pitch the tent on the ajoining twin bed for added mosquito protection – you just can’t make this stuff up!
The salon was still open for business late last night past 11 pm with their TV blasting & folks enjoying their favorite cigarettes…like a late night gathering spot. Most people on the floor left their doors open for venilation playing games, listening the the TV & drinking…college dorm living at its best seems to most accurately describe the evening.
Culturally a number of things are a bit different in this part of the world and one is the hotel entertainment spot - just off the restaurant entrance, is a hotel club with neon lights: Billiards, Karaoke, Strip Club, Sauna & Casino…guess that bout covers it – every vice in one tightly wrapped package!
Was up about 5:30 this morning and had breakfast at the hotel restaurant Summit…the meal is included in the hotel stay and the place was quite busy with guests…the buckwheat, porage oats & diced hot dogs were to die for – probably going to have a difficult time sleeping tonight with all the anticipation on what’s instore for the next mornings dining experience.
Decided to get out & about and tour the city and its best to described Vladivostok as a port city with a strong European flare. People are neatly dressed in contemporary attire for the most part; not unlike what you might find in the US…the city is thriving and going through quite a bit of urban renewal with the upcoming APEC Summit in just under a month; the city is also putting the finishing touches on what will be the largest suspension bridge in the world The city of about 600,000 & founded in 1860 is a huge naval port for the Russian navy supporting its Pacific fleet and is the largest port of entry for a wide range of goods from around the world on the Russian east coast.
I also made a trip back to the ship passenger terminal hoping to get a glimpse of my bike in the customs yard, but instead, watched a bit as they unloaded excavator after excavator and car after car from the DBS Ferry…quite incredible how many vehicles were transported in the bottom of that vessel – some 70 cars, 20 containers and an untold number of excavators.
Decided to have an early dinner just above the port and below the hotel at a patio restaurant and, unfortunately, I was unable to translate the Russian letters…the manager did pronounce it for me a couple of time, but I just couldn’t quite connect. I have to say it was one of the better meals I’ve had since leaving on my trip and being that it was also outside overlooking the city and water, it was more to my taste. It was a contemporary spot with modern music and a broad menu. I decided on the Greek salad, pork rib, sauteed vegetables, sliced potatoes broiled with parmasean cheese & spices and all topped off with a 0.5L draft beer.
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