Today is our last full day in Russia and we spent it with our friend Steve, who we met in Mongolia, exploring the city of Vladivostok. Why here? Because this is where the Trans-Siberian train ends after 9288 km from Moscow and has only been open to tourist for the last decade or so. We spent the day wearing my dad out, because as he says “I have plenty of time to sleep on the plane home”. Haha
I am going to save my favorite thing for Sunday, but my dad’s favorite stop was the Classic Car Museum. I am not going to lie to you, this was very similar to car museums all over the world. They had very nicely restored cars, military vehicles, and motorcycles and I think they even displayed them better than most places. The thing that we liked the most was that most of the vehicles were Soviet made and that is different from what I have seen in the past. I was amazed how similar the styling was to the US made cars.
A place I really liked was the fortress, because they had an impressive selection of anti-aircraft guns. This museum is on site of the actual fortress used to protect Vladivostok, which has had vital importance in the last two centuries. Not only is it the home of the Russian Pacific fleet, but it also gave the Russian Empire a critical link to the Pacific Ocean and the Far East. Here you can walk into many of the bunkers. They even let you climb on the bunkers, AA guns, and missiles they have laying around. Very cool.
Another museum we visited was the Regional Museum and this is yet another must do. It has exhibits on the local animals (including the Siberian tiger), past empires, history of the city, the military influence, and so much more. This was well worth the couple hours we spent here.
If you like statues, then there are several of those around for you. For example, there is the statue commemorating communism reaching the east. This three-part memorial is in a very nice square. The Yul Brenner statue is a little tough to find, but it is around to celebrate his birthplace in the city. The Lenin statue is my favorite, because he is pointing and people say he is pointing to the future. Of course the direction is actually Japan, so make of that as you will. Haha
Let me leave you with a funny story from today is when we were all walking to the C56 WW2 submarine museum (this was my favorite and I will write about it on Sunday). We had to pass the still active naval base and they fired off a cannon at straight up noon. Due it being so close, it being so unexpected, and the cannon having such a concussive boom we all jump so high I am a little surprised we did not soil ourselves. Haha
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