And Russia has an edge of
Having lost actually proud status of the one sixth part of the land, our country did not stop being territorially the world`s largest. But here paradox - for most of the Russian people it... secret. Not in the sense that many fellow citizens of such fact do not know, and that for tens of millions of inhabitants of the European part of the Russian Federation everything that beyond Baikal, it is as fantastic, how Tasmania or Tierra Del Fuego. Never their leg set foot on land Chita, Priamursky, Seaside across which territory the motor rally route Moscow - Vladivostok lay.
more useful and most fruitful the aircraft does not do to overcome domestic open spaces by car - obviously because gives “effect of the neighboring yard“. It is possible to overcome in several hours several thousands of kilometers by air and soon to return back, in any way without having felt fatal geography Russian, the physical number of kilometers Beryozovo - the listvennichny wood on highway roadsides.
, of course, still the well-known Trans-Siberian Railway which remained the main means of the Euroasian message in the Russian Federation until recently Is. The train gives the same idea of the fatal extent of spaces, but it deprives of the traveler of that creative beginning which was, actually, shown by Russians, having developed all this inconceivable volume of land. The train stops, starts, gathers and reduces speed at will of the schedule, and all who inside, automatically become his hostages.Remains to
- the car. And already the correspondent “Round the world“ drives one of ten new “Skodas Octavia Skaut“, holding the hard way from zero kilometer at Red Square towards Vladivostok. The Urals, the South of the Western and the Central Siberia are passed. We decided to join a campaign at the last stage because it is always fascinating to witness the final. Besides somewhere beyond Irkutsk that “secret“ for Russians - Europeans with which I began the narration also begins.
the Hallmark of Irkutsk and all near Cis-Baikal - the well-known wooden architecture. In the local cities the whole areas often look as if elegant villages though live in them - and davny - long ago - the most ordinary citizens who drive own cars, serve in offices, are online.
we Go - time
(Irkutsk - Baikalsk - the Uhlan - Ude)
Contrary to favourite argument of many system critics of our society “life outside MKAD“ exists. Moreover, it is impossible to be limited to this trivial ascertaining. It not only exists, but goes in line with the general dynamics of the country, repeating all its amusing, touching, promising, serious, encouraging and ugly tendencies.
the Same Irkutsk, like St. Petersburg and Moscow, hasty and on a substantial scale is under construction, sometimes even directly copying the forms tested in the capitals. For example, within the city in the middle of wide Angara (the river known for that “contrary to laws of the nature“ follows from Baikal instead of falling into it) “art“ fountains absolutely of the same form and structure beat that at spit of Vasilevsky Island. Only it is less. It is slightly less also all the rest - neonew - high-tech office skyscrapers, “image“ hotels where seldom who lives, except participants of actions, significant for area (us, for example, - in transit) or Moscow “auditors“ of different colors. The repair woods everywhere, abundance of offices selling permits to Philippines in the absence of within reach elementary stall where it is possible to buy cigarettes. And so on - all this, apparently, national and temporary city signs of today`s Russia. And here they are imposed on life and images naturally - traditional, and therefore always individual.it, of course, and the glorified wooden architecture staying, alas, in a low condition - nearly a half of painted log huts and estates directly in historic center cost
In Irkutsk driven in and dilapidated as if in some become extinct village. It and habits of local youth, including numerous young ladies to pour out on the embankment with laying and to sunbathe there topless as if on the beach as soon as the sun warms to the district to how many - nibud the acceptable temperature. There`s nothing to be done - in Siberia even during a warm season heat happens quite seldom. In addition pribaykalsky weather as we were convinced, is changeable, for directly - in the dazzling sunny day can fly night wind from the lake and by next morning to ship the city in dank slush. It is necessary to seize the moment - here inhabitants of Irkutsk and catch directly under windows of the best-known architectural masterpiece - the local geological museum, on the short avenue between monuments to Yury Gagarin and Alexander III, under severe looks of both of these heroes. Well and, of course, go by a parokhodika to the Russian wonder of the world - to Baikal.It is time for
there and to us... And here, kilometers through 60, for Beryozovo - elovo - cedar groves, before us they open from the picturesque hill - 20 percent of world reserves of fresh water. Open - not all 20, of course, and their extreme southern share, near the settlements of Kultuk and Slyudyanka. In general after quite deserted district right after Irkutsk becomes more crowded on all signs here: from roadsides goats run up, in glades campfires are seen, indexes find a civilized look and, of course, - fish. It is clearly visible, and smells even more distinctly of how local life is connected with the great lake. At each rural log hut, even very remote from the coast, - the motor jolly boat, either a network dries, or at least the well-known endemichesky seal on a sign of some shop is drawn. And, naturally, smells of fish from all roadside cafes; trade in it from private trays through each kilometer of a way where it is convenient and where it is inconvenient.Presence of travelers - foreigners in these parts in general is not that strange
for an eye... but emphasizes, perhaps, color. Does it to sharper. “Well, how to you our small cities?“ - asks one of them which for a while changed our crew of the Austrian, the editor-in-chief of one of satellite TV channels when we pass whether Shelekhov, whether Kultuk. “More likely, they are similar to villages“, - that politely reacts, looking at the infinite line of a wooden fence after a window. Russian in reply, of course: “About you did not see the real villages yet!“
I the poster with a naive inscription a font of a sample 1960 - 1970 - x years “35 years. Baikalsk will live“ looks even more fondly, and this punctuation mark, a point is somehow erased in consciousness, and it turns out that the city had this term, no more no less... And the dead stadium with the drunk person sleeping on a tribune as if looks is even more dead when there pass on it floridly dressed Europeans. And classical as it seems to me, the picture of evening Baikal becomes especially shrill. Here the rusted militia boat with “chandelier“ - a flasher rocks in ripples of waves, black seagulls on coastal stones, on the horizon turn gray low sad mountains, and air hoots from collision of wind streams (I do not know as far as it is the truth from strictly scientific point of view, but say that just there is an informal border area between spheres of influence of the Pacific and Atlantic air streams).
the Middle of the next day (some more honeycombs of kilometers - down with!) finds our long autochain already in the new Russian region - the Republic of Buryatia. It begins imperceptibly and is ordinary, “as if nothing occurred“ - just move the half-ruined bridge between the village Is new - Spasskoye and Vydryankaya`s river, and you already here. Also you recognize novelty of this space only by bilingual inscriptions yes to oncoming “Zhiguli“ of ancient production with ancient registration plates of black color (“BUZh“, “DRILL“ - is written on them). The road slightly worsens in comparison with the Irkutsk region, however, reconstruction is conducted everywhere - asphalt is shifted.
In the local village of Bryansk we saw the first for all road from the Buryat border an orthodox cross on church. Also were surprised to it not because Buryats are committed generally to the Buddhism, eventually, they are the same Mongols, ethnically differ in nothing from the southern neighbors, just that from them who lived on this side of border of the Russian Empire, since the 19th century was moved so to call. But because it is necessary to state with bitterness: many settlements are so abandoned here and are not well-groomed that even churches cost not topped. The cross fell once - and nobody lifts.
But we talked nonsense, and already and suburbs the Uhlan - Ude where at full speed and without stopping there is the most active wooden construction. Easy small log huts - fellings are put - it is visible - quickly so any major fire, like medieval Moscow or Kiev, would destroy everything without remainder here - pagodoobrazny dachas of rich citizens, Buddhist temples - datsans, wide fences... And still build in Buryatia it, but not otherwise. An explanation, I think, simply and lies in the base of national psychology: in effect, populated zones in Transbaikalia and on external impression which they leave and on some deep essence and continue to be nomadic. As it is natural, not the so suitable place for the cities in the European sense here in general. The steppe, flat hills opened not to seven, but hundred seven winds, lack of natural reference points which accurately would razmezhevyvat lands on any sites - all this does strong architecture senseless. Each ten kilometers passes without the slightest change of a relief into new ten, and so indefinitely. Everything is boundless, all - the general. And it is created feeling that the local people live, as at Genghis Khan. (By the way, we go its Velikaya Road which for those times, by the way, was considered as the best in the world what you will not tell about the present route.) What supposedly and wanders from the valley to the valley with wooden many thousands settlements. Of course, it only impression, and together with yurtas old way disappeared. It is interesting where present Buryats take so much wood, the steppe - that around naked?
we Go - two
(Chita - Blagoveshchensk)
the City of Chita where we broke through by the end of the next days actually through continuous wildfire 800 kilometers long, is well-known for two original phenomena: blizzards in the winter and dusty - in the summer. That is, of course, both that, and another occurs not only in city line, but the glory was consolidated to the regional center. We got dust. And full acquaintance to the city did not turn out. And it is a pity, it, judging by some signs, is imposing, convenient for life and differs in lovely provincial charm (this definition I do not want to offend anybody at all). What a local standard number of announcements and signs is necessary. Children are invited to occupations in the circle “frivolite“ (this weaving by beads and not that you thought). The public is more senior - on an exhibition of the anatomic museum in Officers` Club (1920 - x years of construction, the most known building in the city after “church of Decembrists“ - Archangel Michael Church). “You will see a two-headed and eight-dead Cyclops, and also the terrorist`s heart, a liver of the alcoholic and it is a lot more interesting. To look and be surprised to the address...“here beyond Chita, in 100 kilometers to the East, the most grandiose that only waits for the motorist on all way from Moscow to most to suburbs begins
A. SOIL! Any definition will seem pale: other planet, fourth measurement, loss of borders of time and space. The GPS navigation system shows, beginning from here: everything, more roads in the district are not present. And it is valid, actually to the fork in several hundred kilometers from Khabarovsk and Blagoveshchensk, and also places further, up to Primorsky Krai, the federal highway “Cupid“ reminds the highway no more, than the mushroom picker`s footpath. It is more than one thousand kilometers! - with a short break on a site which long-distance truck drivers and drivers of Japanese cars call “mirage“.
of Kilometers forty modern autobahns on randomly the taken piece, such high quality that even Germans were surprised. But on roadsides the landscape is insufferably picturesque: in the summer the purest African savanna, there are only not enough rhinoceroses with antelopes, plus a narrow strip of the Trans-Siberian Railway on the horizon. On it there are cars with an outdated inscription “Yukos“, and somewhere Khodorkovsky is imprisoned nearby.
Obshchegrazhdanskaya Road was wanted to be constructed as early as here in 1930 - x years, but war prevented. In 1960 - x the Council of ministers of the USSR issued the resolution on construction of the military strategic route. Respectively, her military builders stacked, but soon the Ministry of Defence submitted the estimate of necessary expenses, and business was considered the benefit to freeze. And here since the end of 1990 - x - the beginnings of 2000 - x there is a present “building of a century“ - already mentioned “Cupid“.
Few years ago V. V. Putin, as we know, already declared introduction it in operation, but, apparently, business will be ended, God grant, by 2010. Officials then thought up for the president the formulation streamline: the through movement opened... with use of a local road network. Obviously, it it also is - a local network...
However, it should be noted: the road is really constructed - with might and main, diligent and qualitatively. Workers and engineers, speak, invite from all space from the Urals to Kamchatka. Do not stint to build asphalt plants directly at future “roadside“. Skilled autojournalists who go here every year, note that the quantity of ready sites almost doubled. But the paradox is that so far works go, it is not easier to go on this boundless route, and it is more difficult than if they did not go. You feel as at the front: around blow up pieces of rocky breed, heavy BelAZ move the whole divisions, and through each one hundred meters - a detour. And it means maneuvring between trunks of trees in a taiga at all.All the same, of course, now it is better than
, than to “Cupid“ when cars from the Far East on the Continent got or on railway platforms, or so-called seasonal “expensive death“ - only enormous trucks ventured to go there, and only caravans. If the truck broke, it was thrown, about repair there could not be also a speech. And specialized gangs of autopirates, tell, hunted for such “stuntmen“, plundered them and killed. On some sites of a taiga of the truck were missing in tens.can be followed
, at least, safely Now. However, for all the time of a way from Chita before turn only one automobile vehicle intended not for sale, not on a stage by request from Vladivostok, and which was simply going on the private affairs came across to us Blagoveshchensk.
Anyway, it is impossible to doubt: the federal highway will serve to the general benefit and by all means will recover automobile communication on our open spaces. Already now some handymen manage to pass from Primorye to Moscow in 5 - 7 days. Imagine what will be when asphalt becomes continuous. Perhaps, not in such to hopelessly huge country we live?
we Go - three
(Blagoveshchensk - Khabarovsk)
Not so long ago when the government decided to bring gambling institutions out of big cities, as we know, it was decided to concentrate them in four special points scattered across all Russia. One of them has to appear in the Far East. And so, say that as such point the capital of the Amur region Blagoveshchensk is planned here. It does not have formal confirmations yet, but everything indicates that. Otherwise how to explain wealth and chic of this city, unexpected after thousands of kilometers of dust and work? The atmosphere changes again to unrecognizability as if in the middle of a film session the film broke and other movie went suddenly. From where this small Monaco on Amur, parade of bright night fires, chains of the taxi which are washed up to gloss at entrances a casino and elegant crowds in late night hour? (We drove in 200 - the thousand city already closer by midnight.)
On other side of Amur - the river which we for the first time “overtake“ here, already China, the district city of Heihe. By sight the sizes and festive scope it obviously concedes to our Blagoveshchensk - and it a neadivitelno. It is considered that all this gambling magnificence is intended just for the southern neighbors at whom, as we know, such entertainments are forbidden in general. But has to testify the important fact: the ordinary hearing about domination of Chinese in the cities of the Far East, about what there and the European person you will not see, and Russian is almost not used, is strongly exaggerated. By sight, in any case. Night round of Blagoveshchensk shows: the right, is easier to meet a sign with the Armenian letters here, than with the Chinese hieroglyphs. The cheerful public on embankments bawls songs of “Lubeh“, under a monument to “organizer“ of the Russian Far East count Nikolay Muravyev - Amur kiss the Russian couples, payment in yuans nobody wishes to accept (I had no yuans, but I decided to arrange such provocative check).
is become farther by the road at once suddenly more cheerfully and more briskly, and distances - slowly again proportional to the European person. Villages flash more often, and life in them boils more intensively. Owners on small benches before the yards nibble sunflower seeds, bath brooms dry and on sale, Khabarovsk Krai for some reason is famous for them. There are haystacks and herds of cows who, as in India, should be driven after the journey horn signals. And the hard coating to us slowly comes back. And further, beyond sleepy industrial Khabarovsk which did not meet us by anything remarkable except that axiomatic view of the long bridge through Amur which is represented on notes of 5 000 rubles behind its “steel“ prospectuses and remakes - temples in the spirit of the Moscow cathedral of Christ Christ Redeemer, already real “resort“ South opened to us.
Really for a look of the inhabitant of the European part of the Russian Federation nothing so visually reminds Primorsky Krai as Krasnodar Krai. As if a specular reflection through all Russia.
the Genial sunshine, bulk tomatoes long lines along the road, fruit markets, cheerfully making a din “collective farmers“ expressing with pleasant accent which reminds South Russian (imagine, even with fricative ““).mountain
I. Of course, not Caucasian, much more flat - hills, but all - forming a contrast relief on which cars cheerfully “poskakivat“ as if sports planes before take-off.
I the playful carnival names which were so beseeming a zone of total rest: motel “Ardent dragon“, for example. Or Azerbaijani tea “Come here“.distinct already - you will not confuse
I with anything - breath of the Great ocean in the east. He is not visible yet, and to him there is a kind one hundred kilometers, but each kilometer of approach is given in an organism. And - the remote rumble of a summer thunder-storm somewhere over Manchuria over which we travel along the border, since the Chita region. And - feeling of the big money, pleasant for an eye, which is hasty put in the region. The national project of development of the Far East is quite material. Some plants and power plants which obviously staid decade without the movement come to this movement. Construction pits are scattered at distance of nearly outstretched arm from each other. Tractors in the field. Abundance of motor shows in the cities - Ussuriysk, Artyom, Spassk. (Notice, already levoruky, officially imported cars so with pravoruky “Japanese“ it can be soon competed - so far on routes are sold here, of course, in the afternoon with fire you will not find the left wheel.) And posters pestret slogans it seems “The Olympic Games in Sochi - pledge of the future of Vladivostok“. What communication - it is unclear, but it is felt that it is.
I at last the land broke. It appears, and Russia has an edge. The most distant outpost of our civilization, Vladivostok, was developed before us all the thoughtful beauty. Wide, as if a bowl of unprecedented stadium, Amur Bay, secret bays with adventure names it seems Ulysses and Diomid, peninsula Egersheld, the ships of the Pacific fleet flickering on raid, which literally are built in, cut in the coastal rock the first embankment the line.
Ya went along the local Arbat, the short pedestrian street of Fokin which is built up with generally night clubs and boutiques peered into an ocean distance through droplets of crude fog on points (in the city there is always a monsoonal humidity) and thought - as it is strange: the majority of us - I mean the Russian members of “team“ - never here happened earlier. And hardly again will arrive without special business. We are for seven thousand kilometers from the houses. And nevertheless we are houses. We in the country, and to us well here.