Another 36 hours on the train and Krasnoyarks Krai has got us off our feet straight away. Waking up at 5:40 and seeing hills, valleys and morning mist behind the windows of our coupe was enough to do so. The scenery has changed overnight and we are starting to see patches of red earth after which the city of Krasnoyarsk has its name. ‘Krasnyy’ meaning red and ‘yarsk’ is after the steep river banks which run up to the surrounding hills.
After we got off the train at 8am, we have walked the deserted streets of the early Sunday morning city, until we got to a park with a huge Lenin statute. We had plenty of time until our 11am check-in so we just sat here enjoying the sun for a while, which we accompanied with a leftover picnic. A little later I have eyeballed a couple, who then pointed us to a really nice cafe and we spent about an hour there over a cup of coffee and delicious breakfast. Obviously our picnic needed justifying… The place is called Coffee Academy and we have returned for breakfast every day.
Krasnoyarsk itself is beautiful. Buzzing city, rivers, islands, hills, nature, culture, cafe’s, restaurants, people… Has it all! Two days were definitely too short for this gem.
First day we had a long walk and discovered the city a bit. Next day we have decided to head out of Krasnoyarsk to Stolby, where an easy(ish) but long trek uphill took us to natural giant rock formations. These are popular among rock climbers and indeed we have seen many people scaling the rocks, without exception all climbed unsecured… We have climbed some too. By that I mean, I watched those crazy Russians run around vertically, halfnaked and barefoot, as the weather was 'permitting'... Later in the evening we had a few pints and I have been invited for a nice dinner for my birthday. Last day went quick. Breakfast at the Academy, chasing post cards and post office, packing, saying goodbye to good people at Titmouse House Hostel and running to catch a train to Irkutsk…