O.M.G   Leave a comment

Last stop in Russia.  O MY GOD….after a delayed start to our train journey to Vladivostock (the train station in Khabarovsk was closed and the police barring the way wouldn’t tell me the reason why or the timescale to reopening) we finally arrived in the port city at the end of the Trans Sib Railway.  It was nice short overnight journey of a mere 12 hours.  We arrived to torrential rain with rivers of water flowing down the street.  Despite numerous maps and copious sign languages none of the taxi drivers understood where our accomadation was.  So we decided to walk it in the pouring rain.  We arrived at the grey run down Sovietesque looking Equator Hotel resembling drowned rats still 10 metres underwater!  Here the fun and games really started.
1. The receptionist didn’t speak English.
2. She took 20 minuetes to photocopy our passports, registration docs and immigaration cards.
3. She then spent a further 10 minutes clicking on her PC and talking about us on the phone (I know some Russian by now.)
4. Despite initially being told they had our  booking, I asked if there was a problem.”No all ok.” I was informed
5.  I was asked to pay for our booked accommadation for four nights.  5040 r for the whole stay. Yay I thought progress.
6.  We were them informed it was actually a twin room with shared bathroom and toilet. Not what we booked.  The adjoining room was occupied by a Russian mother and her young baby.  Er alarm bells started to ring!!!
7.  We asked to see the room and were also  offered an alternative on a higher floor to view. Mmmm
8. OMG.  The room we had booked was down a seedy wallpaper stained corridor and the room looked like a drugs den…Sharp exit.
9.  Viewed better alternative room.  On returning to reception we were informed this better room would cost 4300 r PER NIGHT!
10. We unpolitely requested our money back. Braved the torrential rain again and trawled the streets.

We finally finding a smart cheap modern hotel with a balcony view of the bay and Pacific Ocean for 1500 r less than the shitty hotel up the road.  We had read that accommodation in Vladivostock was difficult to come by and generally poor quality but our first choice hotel was just taking the p#*s  Here I now am, showered, in dry clothes, hair quiffed, coffee’d up, tummy full of pizza, free WiFi and watching MTV in the bar.  Funny how a day can turn out.

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

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