One of my favorite ways of showing a place is through pictures! I identify most with pictures, much more than words or videos. So, here is an attempt to present the city of Krasnoyarsk in Siberia through my most preferred medium.
The first picture is my favorite as it was one of my first glimpses of the city center. This was the view from my 8th Floor corridor window (not room) at the Novotel Krasnoyarsk hotel and what a lovely view it was!
In spite of reading and researching before I went to Siberia, I was stilling clinging to my myth, of Siberia being under snow for the whole year! But after seeing flowers and greenery throughout, I was forced to change my opinion.
I was lucky to see the vibrant City Day celebrations at Krasnoyarsk. The weather was mild and people were in a festive mood. People were out in numbers in the streets.
Krasnoyarsk is a modern city but there are quirky old wooden buildings and doors interspersed right through the city center and they are such a delight!
Talking about quirky reminds me of Yushin Brothers which is a barber shop which doubles up as a bar! It is the most interesting barbershop I have ever visited! In the picture above is the seating area of the bar, the barber shop is on the other side.
I will also remember Yushin Brothers for the fantastic people we met there including Denis Yushin and Baba Lena.
Siberia is high on natural beauty and Krasnoyarsk is no exception. This is a random shot that I took near Bobrovy Log Fun Park!
Bobrovy Log itself offers hiking and a tryst with nature even though it is a fun park primarily. However, the most popular attraction around Krasnoyarsk is Stolby.
Stolby Nature Reserve is popular with rock climbers. But it has great hiking opportunities even without serious rock climbing.
I was lucky to win a seat in the Follow Up Siberia contest for their second tour. Their is still one last tour to Siberia left with them, do check it out.
There was a time when I used to trek once every year! But gradually I stopped for no particular reason. After a while I developed knee pain which now leaves me scared at the prospect of trekking. However, when I got to visit the Stolby Nature Reserve near Krasnoyarsk, Siberia I am glad I was able to keep up with it.
We boarded our Follow Up Siberia team bus and headed to the Stolby region which was not more than 20 minutes from the city center in Krasnoyarsk. The officers from the park greeted us at the gate. The official park bus dropped the group at the beginning of walking trail in the Stolby National Park.
Our guide for the day was Sevtlana Yushkova who works in the IT department. She is an amateur rock climber herself. Even though we were listening to her via a translator she did capture our interest.
Solby is fascinating for every nature lover but it holds a special charm for rock climbers. The reserve is full of rock formations. The locals have given them interesting name. For example, one rock is Grandpa and the locals invented a whole family to keep Grandpa company.
Svetlana told us that the park has its own rock climbing subculture known as Stolbist! The idea was to use only a rope while climbing! There are groups of climbers and they have their own cabins. Having a key to a group cabin gives a special sense of belonging!
For us casual visitors there were easy rocks to climb. I managed to climb the top of the Grandpa Rock. The view from the top is amazing.
One of the most famous rock formation is known as the Krasnoyarsk Pillar or the Feather. To me it was the most impressive of all that I saw. And I am sure I saw only a few.
Svetlana (and Lucy who would translate for us) told us a fascinating story about the Rock of the Sinner. The legend is that if a sinner stood beneath the rock, it would fall! Apparently the wives of the initial climbers were insecure about the time spent by their husbands away from home. So the husbands said if they were cheating, the rock would fall on them! These days people go beneath the rock to make a wish.
Posted by Mridula Dwivedi on Monday, August 27, 2018
There are Siberian Nuthatches all through the park which know no fear of human beings. They would pick nuts of people’s hands. I also saw many Siberian chipmunks going around the park.
It is easy to walk around the park as the routes are marked on the trees, yellow, purple and the blue. We took the blue route. If you are not into climbing, you would love the hikes.
On the route we saw some pine trees that were going red. Svetlana explained that was due to attack of bug beetles. But the park has a policy of not interfering with nature.
Our group of Follow Up Siberia went on to climb up another rock formation while I decided to wait for them at the base. After a while their voices started fading and I was left alone with the nature. I think I had the park to myself for about 25 minutes. Maybe 4 other hikers crossed my path. I was sitting on a big flat stone and enjoying the solitude. It is only when I sit on big flat rocks, surrounded by the nature I am able to think with clarity about things that are of life shattering importance to me!
Being in my mid forties, there are times when I question my life choices! I wonder what will happen to me when I get too old to travel. At times I already feel too old, particularly on a fast paced FAM trip.
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All my doubts vanished when I met the 91 year old travel inspiration, Elena Erkhova from Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. She is an Instagram sensation but she is even more sensational in real life. Right after meeting her, I told myself that the next time I started doubting my ability to travel, I would kick myself!
I had the pleasure of meeting Baba Lena as she is affectionately known, at the Yushin Brothers in Krasnoyarsk. I visited Krasnoyarsk with Follow Up Siberia after winning a seat in their second contest. It was wonderful evening where our hosts had arranged for us to meet various local people.
Baba Lena herself started traveling at the age of 83 “as she didn’t have the time or money to do so earlier.” (Quoted in the Moscow Times, do read the full article here). She has been extensively covered in the English media you just need to search her name.
It was a pleasure to hear Baba Lena talk. She had the floor in raptures with her stories though we got to understand her via our charming translator Lucy Dobrynina. One of her statements that stands out was “take everything from life, it is short!”
I went to greet Baba Lena after her talk and took a selfie with her. I generally don’t binge on selfies but I genuinely wanted one with her. We could not talk much because of the language barrier but the affection was unmistakable! She held my hands and asked which country I was from? I told her in English that she was an inspiration.
We had a group photo (first photo in this post) and then she climbed down the stairs with a young man who I presume to be her grand son (also seen in the selfie above)!
The next time you see me cribbing about my age, agility, capability to travel just remind me of this post! Meeting Baba Lena has been one incredible experience on the trip to Ktasnoyarsk, Siberia!