Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Spring Break: Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan

AHHHH! FINALLY FINISHED THIS POST! I don't know how long it took me to write this post. I kept pausing because I was too busy and how long it was kept in the DRAFT because I was too lazy to watermark the pictures. Anyway, lets go to Kazan! ;))

So I have 2 more weeks left of break before my exam on the 15th of June. It was such a last minute planning to go on this trip. I wasn't the one planning the trip, I just jumped along. ;-p

2nd June 2012
So on the 2nd of June at 10:27PM, we embarked on our trip. Since we bought the train ticket last minute, we had to endure 12 hour journey in the sitting wagon. The wagon with beds are all sold out. T_T

After the 12 hours enduring back pain in the train, we finally arrived in Kazan!!!

3rd June 2012
We were a bit lost when we got out onto the street. Couldn't really believe the map that said our hostel is just 5 minutes walk from the train station. So we decided to just take the bus. Random bus because we couldn't find bus number 91. Luckily, the bus conductor was so nice, she told us they already passed the street, but since we're already on the bus, so told us where to get off and gives us direction to the hostel.

From 5 minutes walk to 1 minute of bus ride and 15 minutes of walking because of the bus ride, since we had to go a whole round.

We stayed at Oranjin hostel. The hostel is new, and I mean VERY NEW. The place isn't fully furnished and it was very dusty. And I feel like the bathroom is made out of cardboard pieces! There wasn't even a sign outside the hostel. But as long as everything was working properly, no complain here. ;P

We booked a 10 beds room, but somehow the room wasn't prepared yet, so they gave us 6 beds room with an extra bed. Kind of funny though. After we had settled down, we decided to rest first. Had our bath, and I took a nap.

At around 3 PM, we decided to tour the city. The city is so small, it reminds me of Kuantan. Our hostel was just 5-10 minutes walk to the Kremlin. We just pass by the Kremlin, because all of us were hungry, so we decided to grab something to eat first. We walked through Kazan's Arbat as I like to call it, which is actually Baumana Street (The street looks exactly like Old Arbat Street in Moscow) in search for a place to eat. We walked around and decided to eat at a restaurant called Pronto. It's an Italian restaurant. We, being girls absolutely loved the interior of the restaurant.

Entrance to Kremlevskaya Metro Station 

 Baumana Street

Another entrance to Metro Kremlevskaya but this one is closed.

After lunch, we continue our walk at Baumana Street. Bought some souvenirs, and did a little shopping. Took pictures of the landmarks. They have a lot of statues and fountains along the street. The most famous landmark of the street is The belltower of Epiphany Church. Gorgeous building I must say. It started raining after a while (which explain why I was covering my head in the pictures). After tired of walking, we took a coffee break at McDonald's and waited for the rain to calm down.


While waiting for our orders at Pronto Restaurant.

The famous Kazan Cat at Baumana Street 


Epiphany Church. One of the landmark of Baumana Street.

When the rain stopped, the sun was shining very brightly! Even the sky was blue. I will always never get the weather in this country. So we continued walking and taking photos. We walked towards the Kremlin. There's a lot of buildings inside the Kazan Kremlin, the most famous had to be the QolSharif Mosque and the oldest of which is the Annunciation Cathedral, but of course, we were more interested in the Mosque.

The statue of Musa Dzhalil, Tatar poet executed by the Nazis 

Part of Surah Yasin written on the wall.

The Mosque looks magnificent with the sunset in the background.

We didn't get to go inside the mosque today because it was already 9PM. We just took pictures of the sunset and since it was getting really cold, we decided to go back to our hostel.

We went back out later at 11PM because we wanted to see the mosque at night. Some of them decided to go buy dinner instead, so only me, Diana and Hazirah went to see the mosque.

Came back, ate pizza, and went to bed.

4th June 2012
I woke up 2nd last today. Had our bath, had  a little bit of breakfast, checked out from the hostel, and roam around the city again.

We didn't really do much in Kazan. Basically the same thing as yesterday.

We went to the Kazan Kremlin first, since yesterday we didn't get to go into the QolSharif Mosque. The main reason we wanted to enter the QolSharif Mosque beside it's amazing architecture was to see the 2nd largest Quran exhibited in the QolSharif Mosque Islamic Museum. The entrance fee was free for students. Not sure if it's free for international students though (students that don't study in Russia). But unfortunately for us, the Quran had been moved to another place just a week ago. So sad. :'( Nonetheless, we didn't feel too regretful, since the entrance fee was FREE. So, we just walked around the museum, looking at Islamic history and.. stuffs. ;p


In front of the entrance of the mosque. 

The 2nd largest Quran was replaced with this little one. You can google "2nd largest Quran in Kazan" if you want to see how big the Quran is. 

Entrance to Museum

At the balcony

After touring the whole mosque, we head back to the exit. Once we exited the Mosque, we saw some bikers interviewing the Imam (with camera & all). Oh! The Imam actually studied in UIA, Malaysia! According to some of our friends who had a chance to talk with the Imam when they were in Kazan few weeks earlier. So, we were watching them because it's like weird looking at bikers interviewing people and somehow we caught their attention. Maybe because we look at them for too long or maybe because we were foreigners.

Ajie interviewing them or they're interviewing Ajie? hehe.. 

They came to us and ask our permission to film us. Haha. Ajie had the chance to be interviewed since we were just too camera shy. They just asked simple questions, told them we studied in Moscow and all. Then we continue touring the Kazan Kremlin. Taking pictures at every building and garden in the Kremlin.

Us with the bikers 

Just us

Just me 

The Soyembika Tower 

Againts the wall of Kazan Kremlin

Later, we head back to Baumana Street to have lunch and do a little more shopping. We hang around the street for awhile before heading back to the hostel to collect our luggage.

Where we had lunch.

LUNCH! 

Cool clock with some arabic writings written as it's hours situated at the end of Baumana Street. Not sure what is it's significant. 

Matroshka pakai songkok! =D 

Me and Ajie in front of the hostel entrance. You wouldn't have known there was a hostel in there. Seriously.

We walked to the train station, we took a new route which we found out that the train station was just 5 minutes away from our hostel. JUST 5-MINUTES WALKING DISTANT! -_____-" Oh well...


Bye-bye Kazan!

So we boarded our train at 10:35PM. Another 12 hours to endure in the train.

The night was freezing!!! Plus the conductor was freaking pissing me off!!! Don't let me tell you the story. I just can't bear Russians sometimes! grrrr.... But I did sleep most of the time because I was just too tired. And I didn't regret spending a great time with my friends... =)

5th June 2012
Arrived in Moscow safely and a little bit pissed. haha.. =P

4 comments:

petite girl said...

interesting!

Faza said...

love to c all the pics! :)

mr.Rock n' Roll said...

wow,u do capture a good view of d whole experience.amazing how life was in some other part of d world.thanks 4 sharing.

mr.Rock n' Roll said...
This comment has been removed by the author.