1. We were on Russia’s Far East Kamchatka peninsula – in the city founded in 1740 by Vitus Bering which has only been opened to outsiders since 1991! It is 9 time zones away from Moscow, is not connected by roads to anywhere, and there are 68 active volcanoes! Black ash can be found everywhere on the snow and ice.
2 &3. The Russian Orthodox Church, which was a theater during the Soviet era, and is now a church once again. Orthodox Easter was celebrated on April 19th. Their new church is being built behind it and to the right.
4. Most Russian towns have torn down their statues of Lenin – not here. The kids here refer to the statue as “Batman”.
5. It was a cold, snowy day so from a hill over the town we could see the bay, our ship, and some hills – but none of the volcanoes.
6 & 7. The Natural History Museum of Kamchatka.
8 & 9, Entrance to the local market where you can buy fur hats, dried fish, and caviar – but only if you have Rubles.
10. Our “Sail-away” was delayed by two hours (due, perhaps, to all the Russian paperwork) and we started on our way across the Bering Sea. Every night now for 7 nights we have been turning our clocks ahead by one hour, and since we will be crossing the International Dateline heading east we will be having two Thursdays!