The flight was nothing to write home about. We got here, and it was on time, but the airplane was quite old, with no video or audio entertainment, and there was a full load of passengers. The meal was of a reasonable quality. There were two just foreigners on board – Garry and me.
The aircrew had no Immigration cards to hand out on the plane (only the two foreigners needed them, so no real problem, actually). We fronted to the immigration counters thinking we would be sent packing. Instead, the man pre-printed our cards from the information in his system and we were through in a jiffy! The bags came quickly, and we found our driver and car to deliver us the hotel.
There was very little traffic on the roads at 1.00am, and were soon enough at the hotel. Another of life’s disappointments. It was OK, but over-heated, small and musty. The breakfast was good, and for the sum of about $6, they agreed to mind our bags for the day. I’ve never paid such a fee before, but there is always a first time, I suppose.
It was a sunny day and not very cold (about 11 degrees). We wandered the streets of Vladivostok, along the waterfront, up hill (mostly) and down dale. We walked along busy streets, through quiet backyards, past modern shops and memorials to old wars.
The physical setting for Vladivostok, on a peninsula with the sea on both sides, and a very active and busy waterfront, was very attractive. There are new massive bridges joining the mainland to the adjacent island areas, but there is a distinct lack of maintenance or attention to the needs of pedestrians.
It was an interesting day, and we were not hassled or troubled. But I think we will both be very happy to leave on the train tonight.
Apologies for the lack of pictures today. I have taken plenty and will add some the when I next have a good internet access. That may be a few days hence, when we are in Irkutsk.