Orenburg – the city on two continents.

Hi folks!

Sorry I’ve been quiet of late, but I was away on a business trip in the Orenburg oblast (region) and it was non-stop intense work, so I didn’t have time to write up my impressions. So here, today, is me catching up…

Orenburg-region highlight? There were three actually…

The first – a personal record: the furthest I’ve been underground (1310 meters below the surface!) ->

The second – the lecture I gave at Orenburg State University organized by the progressive folks at the Orenburg branch of the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media ->

And the third: a small dose of tourism, naturally. This included a pleasant stroll along Orenburg’s main pedestrianized street ->

Apparently, it’s the longest street of its traffic-less kind in the country. Bold statement. Will have to check up on that!…

We took in the river upon which Orenburg sits – the Ural (and you thought the Ural(s) referred just to a mountain range?:) ->

Past those two columns with “ЕВРОПА” on them – you guessed it: Europe. But more on that a little later…

The Southern Ural:

And underneath the Urals? Let’s have a look…

Seriously heavy industry:

Seriously spooky in places:

Though you may not remember, it’s likely that at least once as a child you sat in a sandbox and shoveled sand onto the back of a toy truck with a spade, moved the truck around the sandbox, and had the sand offloaded in a different spot in the sandbox. Basically that’s just what they do here – only on a slightly larger scale…

Anyway – more on our underground excursion in the next post; today – the micro-tourism part of our visit. As briefly mentioned – this started with a walk along the city’s… La Rambla, which happens to be called Soviet Street:

Its pedestrianized section is around a kilometer-and-a-half long. Very nice too. Reminded me of a street that’s very similar in Nizhny Novgorod, though this one is much younger – the city having been founded in 1743, while Nizhny – 1221. Onward we stroll…

Neat and tidy, cozy… authentic. And lovely weather!

Suddenly, our host took us into one of the city’s museums:

The city has a certain affinity with Russia’s greatest poet since the idea for The Captain’s Daughter came to him while journeying around the South Ural region, and this boutique’s museum’s exhibits comprise different editions of this very novel – in many different languages! ->

Wow – Pushkin’s works sure got around: we noticed versions of the book translated into Portuguese, Chinese, Malay and Thai!

Here’s a monument to Valery Chkalov – the famed test pilot and Hero of the Soviet Union. In fact, the city itself was named after Chkalov from 1938 to 1957 – though he never once visited it! Perhaps more logical is the fact that, today, the town where he was born – originally named Vasilyovo (near Nizhny Novgorod) – is today named after him: Chkalovsk

The Europe–Asia Bridge:

This side: Europe; over there – Asia. There aren’t many cities belong to two continents! Naturally, a stroll into Asia was deemed mandatory…


Mini-railroad! Apparently it’s called a “children’s” railroad, but that’s not very inclusive – what about adult children?! It’s six kilometers long, and runs from the river to the city’s children’s summer camp – kinda the train to the Orenburg Hogwarts! Here’s the main station:

Alas, our visit to the city was a little too early in the springtime – I’m sure given another month the greenery will make things much prettier ->

Back in the city, we pass… the studying cat:

The view from the hotel:

Orenburg – the city: done. But we weren’t finished yet with the Orenburg Oblast. More on that coming up (rather, down) soon…

All the photos from the Orenburg region are here.

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