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

Post 69: Volgograd 4

In Volgograd, room 412 of the Hotel Tourist, Poor Circulation has established ‘Base Camp’. Thanks to the considerable efforts of Roman, our new tyres are working there way south from Moscow and will arrive at 20:10pm on Wednesday 11th June. When Roman says 20:10pm you’re left with the distinct impression that 20:11pm will simply not be acceptable. Roman is the kind of man who makes things happen, …. and so in him we trust.

Although the promised excursion on Slava’s boat along the Volga did not happen; ‘Business Commitments’, the bikes have now been delivered to Roman’s new workshop and a pleasant evening was spent with Roman, Slava and their stunningly beautiful friend Hadjenke. Again we were wined and dined at their expense before being taken for a night time tour of this beautiful city.

In Volgograd the people are rightly proud of their amazing city. In the centre there stands one tree and one solitary building. These are all that remained standing after the siege on Stalingrad in 1943. Everywhere are the reminders of the 1.5 million people who perished here during that time. We’re taken to ‘Pasha’s House’, a corner edifice that was once a building when for one month in 1943 opposing forces fought floor by floor to retain or gain advantage. The line of the street in front of the house marks the thirty meter piece of ground stretching back towards the River Volga, the main piece of land which remained under Russian control and at it’s centre, the last remaining building. A brick built mill with a tall tower, it stands wearing the scars of this battle along side a museum that we are yet to visit.. Everything else in Volgograd, ‘EVERYTHING’, …… has been rebuilt since that time and it is as friendly and inviting as it’s people.

Consider your own local motorcycle dealer in the UK. You wish to purchase two sets of tyres, at cost. The dealer personally spends four hours of his working day sourcing the tyres to fit onto your obscure sized wheels. Unfortunately they’re not available in your own town, ….. but that’s not a problem. At no expense to you, your dealer will have his family purchase the tyres in another city some 1,000km away, carry them across town to a transport depot and arrange for overnight delivery to you. During the delay, your dealer will take you for lunch and dinner whilst providing chauffer driven transport at all times. As the tyres will not arrive until the evening before a local holiday, your dealer will employ his mechanic to work on that holiday specifically to fit your new tyres. Here in Volgograd we have been fortunate enough to slide a hastily written note beneath a door belonging to the right person. However, judging from those that we have met here, ….. we now believe that ‘Any Door’ in this huge city might well have provided the same level of hospitality.

Welcome to Volgograd’s new heroes, …. It’s People.


texastengu said...

Hey now one and all.
Anyone heard from Geoff and Alan?
It's been over a week and after seeing "Eastern Promises" I'm
hoping everything is a-ok.
Anxious in Austin.

'Blue 88' said...

Thanks Austin,.. we're all 'Canny' but a lack of Internet and a lot of Rough Camping have kept us from the keyboards.

Phil said...

Im in Volgograd at the moment doing London Bangkok.
Do you know anyone here that can help me xhange tyres, oil etc?

'Blue 88' said...

Hi Phil .. Oil you can find anywhere, tyres not so easy. I met a fantastic guy named 'Roman' with a bike shop (Moto 34) in Volgograd .. he sourced tyres from Moscow for me. The only number i have for Roman is 37-87-19 (Local Volgograd Number) ... all the best .. enjoy Volgograd, say hi to Roman & Friendsif you meet him ... Geoff