ScoutingTrains Journey to Russia

Scouting Train has established already in August 2013 further contacts with Russian Scouts, organized the campsite and figured out why a trip to Lake Baikal is so exciting! 

The route was the other way round from how it will be organized in 2014: Although started in Moscow, traveled directly to Irkutsk, then back to Moscow by train and plain!

Share the thrill with us and read our story!

The story: Irkutsk – Omsk – Yekaterinburg – Moscow 

Or: two guys from Bremen and Hanover and a girl from Bavaria on the road for the ScoutingTrain 2014

Chapter 1 - The Travel preparation

After an exciting preparation period concerning passports and visa which was conducted while being on a nationwide scout camp, the fascinating trip to Russia could begin – exploring the countryside for camping grounds, figuring out train routes and meeting Russian scouts, in exactly the opposite order than planned for the trip in 2014.

Chapter 2

The Trip began in Irkutsk (06.08.2013 – 08.08.2013; via Airplain:  Berlin – Moscow – Irkutsk) and this tale is about the Russian Jamboree, the Camping ground at our destination, gravel roads and car breakdowns & Omul-alarm at the Baikal lake.

After seven hours of flight time through 70% of Russia’s time-zones (there are 8 time-zones in Russia!!!), we met Thomas, a former scout and woodsman who has lived in Irkutsk for many years now, is building up Christian youth groups there and was our local host. After a brief introduction session we got started. The thrilling path via a speedy gravel road where we lost (but luckily regained) a tire took a couple of hours, but in the end it was worth it: The first impression of the Camping ground in Irkutsk: Fantastic!! It is fully equipped, in the middle of woods and mountains and right next to the Baikal Lake. There are various possibilities for sport and game activities, trips to villages and hikes in the incredible nature – it couldn't be any better. The Russian jamboree on the site was joined by 1500 scouts from all over Russia. We were invited to experience Russian cooking (which, by the way, was handled locally through the villagers and thus is amazingly fresh and traditional) and were always encouraged to be part of campfire & music sessions as well as for example the closing ceremony which was spiced up with rock music. Our last day we spent in the nearby village and at the lakeside, took a brief bath in the freezing water and got a taste of Russian extremes: Omul! Who or what is Omul? Find out yourselves ;)

Chapter 3 - Next stop: Novosibirsk

Next stop was Novosibirsk (08.08.2013 – 09.08.2013 via Air plane: Irkutsk – Novosibirsk) and this is the story of an impressive train station, missing scouts and mysterious advertisements made of chocolate.

From the first arrival on, Novosibirsk makes a great impression, starting with its picturesque train station and the adjoining square. Street musicians transport the atmosphere into Russian nostalgia and create endless moments of bizarre quality. To summarize: A beautiful city centre but sadly we haven’t had the chance to get in touch with local scouts. Nevertheless we promoted the ScoutingTrain 2014 in Novosibirsk and tried to purchase the chocolate-made miniature trains that are produced there – for the moment in vain.

Chapter 4: A City that is offering itself only at the second Glance

Next Stop: Omsk (09.08.2013 – 11.08.2013/Train: Novosibirsk – Omsk). Here we discovered wonderful camping places, potential Train conductors and the typical food of Russian youth houses.

WOW! Omsk, show us your beauty! It took a second look, but as the cultural capital of Russia, Omsk proved to be a very interesting and beautiful city. Thomas (from Irkutsk) had arranged for us to be housed in a protestant community center where highly motivated and German speaking Russians hosted us – they even want to join the train as conductors! The adjoining camping ground is more than suitable for our yurts: green and clean, as well as a little bit outside the city. We were spoiled with meat and lentil dishes throughout the day and experiences the delight of simple Russian cooking.

Chapter 5: The most beautiful place immersed in warm atmosphere

Penultimate Stop: Yekaterinburg (11.08.2013 – 13.08.2013/Zug Omsk- Yekaterinburg), where cultural highlights, a pilgrimage of tsars and a friendly atmosphere welcomed us.

Yekaterinburg was an amazing Success! An incredibly likeable city with a warm atmosphere, botanic gardens and curious city trams that join the different districts, winding their ways through the streets. As applicant city for the next Expo, Yekaterinburg has been trimmed up and made deducible for tourists. Long promenades and walks through the city were accompanied with music and dance. Conclusion: A very recommendable place and a lot of happiness about stopping here again next year! Even the representative of the German cultural senate in Yekaterinburg has promised to support our plans for the ScoutingTrain 2014. Spasiba!

Chapter 6: The last Destination of our Travel was a Surprise!

Last Stop: Moscow (14.08.2013 - 16.08.2013/Air plane: Yekatarinburg – Moscow), where we were impressed by the friendship of Russian scouts, the capital city flair and cultural and historic commodities.

Water fountains, many tourists and generally lots of people. Yes, this city is immense! But there is a scouting house and the Russian scouts have welcomed us in their incredibly friendly way and have joined us fort he one or the other typical food and drink. An incredible city with a lot to see and to experience!!

Experience it yourself! Join us on the ScoutingTrain 2014!

Yours: Mische, Enno und Susi

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