Tobolsk’s lower town.
Second day in Tobolsk, one day too much maybe. I have something in mind to refute this theory. First of all I will start making a tour of the lower town, left out of my walk yesterday. As I did yesterday I have to take the bus to reach the Kremlin. Here everything is incredibly already clean and without any sign of the medieval staging that amazed me yesterday. It is easier to access to different areas of the Kremlin and therefore I’m able to see a path leading to the lower town from within the walls that I didn’t see yesterday. There is a passage way going downhill and, after a gate, a stairway. The lower town is even more quiet of the upper part. Few streets with a very limited amount of cars. River is over there somewhere but can’t be seen from the central part of the town that lays around Bazarnaya square and the nice Zachary & Elisabeth church with its black domes dotted with golden stars. Finally from here I can see the Kremlin as it should be, in a dominant position. Today is a beautiful sunny day and the view from here is fantastic. There is a small canal and an apparently unstable bridge but everything is very pleasant. I decide to walk back to the upper town from a different route and once there I enter again the Kremlin to see it how it looks with this great weather and of course it looks terrific. I can’t stop taking picture of the white walls, the towers and the churches within the Kremlin but also the square today is much better than yesterday. The water tower and all the palaces around are shining at the sun. This is the kind of day I like. Let’s try to exploit it as much as possible. If in Tobolsk there isn’t much more to see, maybe there are other possibilities.
Excursion to Abalak.
Yesterday, searching on Internet I saw some tour operator offering tour of Tobolsk and Abalak. I went deeper and it comes out that in this village called Abalak, not far from Tobolsk, there is a nice monastery. It seems that there connections by bus are quite frequent so, I go to the bus station to check. Lady at the ticket office confirms that next bus leaves at 15:00 and that I would have the chance to come back around 18:15. I have time to eat something. My hotel is not far so I walk there, Before I take something at the supermarket and in the room I surf Internet and rest. I’m back at the station in time to take the bus that in 40 minutes brings me in Abalak. Here we are really countryside. Mostly wooden houses, a very relaxed atmosphere and, about 1 km from the bus stop, the nice monastery of Znamenski including the church of Mary Egyptian. Location of the monastery is very nice because it is on a small cliff over the river Irtysh. The monastery is very old and it featured once a wooden church that unfortunately burned out in 1680 and it was replaced by current stone one. Few cows are walking peacefully on the alley in front of the monastery. Following this alley I reach the “Tourist Complex Abalak”, something in between a folk park for adults and an amusement park for children. There is a bunch of restaurants and cafes, all of them closed, some stall selling souvenir and a lot of wooden statues. I do not find it interesting but bus will leave to Tobolsk in more than 1,5 hours so I need to spend some time but it really there’s nothing to do here so, I walk back to the bus stop, looking at the beautiful wooden houses I find along the road. I’m at the bus stop one hour before the schedule and I spend this time watching life of this small village going on. Back in town, I take a shower and I’m ready for the evening.
A nice restaurant and an unexpected help.
I would like to take pictures of the Kremlin at night but differently from Kazan, here in Tobolsk there’s no lighting at all. It is then better go to eat because, in the end, it is pretty late. The restaurant I’ve chosen is located in a huge wooden house. Food is very nice and also service is kind so I indulge maybe too much and when I leave is almost midnight. I wait for the bus but the only one I see is going to the deposit and furthermore is the last one of the day. I’m in the main square at the mercy of the mosquitos searching for a taxi. I stop a small family asking them help in my poor Russian. The man calls a taxi by phone for me and then is so nice to wait for its arrival together with me. It looks like an unnecessary kindness. The area is quite desert but it doesn’t look dangerous at all but in the end this is going to be my salvation because after waiting more than 20 minutes taxi doesn’t arrive then this person is so nice to bring me to the hotel with his car. We can’t talk so much, because of my Russian but I understand he is Tatar and he’s called Amir. With this act of friendship ends what it was a pleasant visit to Tobolsk and its surroundings as you can see from the gallery.