|2004-07-21 - Magadan, the Russian Far East
First reflexion of the Russian Far East -(which could be totally wrong, which in most cases it seems to be!)
No doubt about it, we´ve arrived at the end of the world!
One can only fly into Magadan. There´s no railway and no road leading here. There is a harbour, though, the same one that Stalin used to ship millions of unfortunate campinmates to the deadly Gulags, which of the worst renowned was situated just outside Magadan. It seems the town is a leftover from the time before perestrojka. The red star and other sovjet signs are easily spotted all over town and Magadan seems badly run down. Times are known to be extremely hard. The unemployment is disastrous, the opportunities for decent future for somebody young are bleak and the infrastructure is on the verge of collapsing. This is what people in Moscow told us.
This tragic fact considered, I have to say one aspect of Magadan is truly great! It´s the people! Already during the 8 hour flight east from Moscow, I realized that these folks belong exactly to the group of people we enjoy spending time with. They´re down-to-earth, tell exactly what you want to know, whether you like it or not, easy to please, generous and they don´t worry too much about the securityaspects on an airplane. I already sense we have a spectacular adventure coming up!
Don´t have any more energy to write, we haven´t slept for 28 hours...