Discovering the world on $20 per day ......................

Post 67: Volgograd 2

We’re told that the Tourist Hotel on the north side of the city is cheap. We pass through a complex of dull and dreary tenement blocks where the endless grey of the concrete is only broken by the washing hanging from every balcony. Dogs snap and bark at our ankles and the road turns from asphalt to stone and then to sand. At the banks of the River Volga we turn left, .. the light is fading and as far as Volgograd is concerned we feel that we’re on the wrong side of the tracks. Behind us is an abandoned factory of unknown purpose, we see the sign written large in crylic script, … ‘Hotel Tourist’, .. the sign fails to say ‘welcome’.

The Hotel Tourist is a relic of an age when authority liked to keep it’s visitors cosseted and cared for in an easily managed environment. On entering the foyer it felt as if we were the first visitors to this once almost grand establishment since the fall of the Berlin wall. It wasn’t quite the ‘shabby chic’ that we’d hoped for, … it was actually less chic and more ‘shabby’ than even our eclectic tastes were prepared for. However, with a few days stay in Volgograd necessary and at just £12 per night, …. The Hotel Tourist would be perfect.

Our moods had been temporarily lifted and our problems had been placed firmly into context by our visit to the memorials of 1943. However, with the prospect of being unable to ride any further east without tyres, and even if appropriate tyres were procured, the prospect of future police interference over the coming sixty days would result in a restless night for both of us.

No comments: