Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Kristen and I are now in Krasnoyask, a city that is about halfway on our journey from Beijing to Moscow. We arrived at four in the morning and had a terrible time finding a hotel but now we're rested and about to go and see some 'stolbys', which are rock pillars. Yesterday we went on board the SV Nikolay, the boat that took Lenin down the Yenisey river when he was sent into exile in Siberia and which is now an excellent museum.

During the long train journeys I have started reading 'War and Peace' by Tolstoy which may turn out to be the greatest endurance test of my journey. I'm reading it on my iPhone. I've never read a whole book electronically before, preferring the paper variety, so this a major test of the new format. My electronic copy runs to 5119 pages, though at least the pages are smaller than paper ones. So far a Pavlova woman has been moaning about Napoleon, had a sympathetic moan with a prince about his two hopeless sons, and is now holding a party trying to matchmake one of those sons. Not sure if I can manage another five thousand pages of this stuff. Might also switch to paper if the electronic format starts bugging me.

We've also heard about the major earthquake that occurred in Christchurch and hope everyone is coping okay. It sounds as though just about every house has lost its chimney, so maybe this will turn about to be the catalyst for improving the city's smog problem.

SV Nikolay

Mosaic of Lenin and followers outside Krasnoyarsk railway station

Me standing outside the Palace of Culture of the Combine Harvester Builders.

A sports bar in Krasnoyarsk had pictures of Jonah Lomu painted on its outside walls!

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