05.06.2011 - 05.06.2011 18 °C
A v early start this morning as we had to exit the train at 1am and go to our hotel in Kungur for a bit of a sleep before we set out for the day. I've managed to score my own room and I have to say I'm really enjoying having all of this space to myself!!
We started with an early brekky and then a walk around town. Its a sunday today so the town had its market on in the main street which was great for some yummy baked goods (esp considering brekky in the hotel was an inedible omlette and a small piece of bread). The town of Kungur is really picturesque. The town was founded in 1663 so it has heaps of beautfiul old buildings in different states of repair and of course orthodox churches! The town is set on the banks of the Silver River and the churches have pride of place overlooking the river. At the summit of the town rests this beautiful old stone orthodox church which we were able to climb to the bellfry to see the lay of the town. Just beautiful.
We had lunch with a loverly lady Inka who invited us into her home and cooked lunch for us. Lunch was 5 meat soup and Rice with Chicken. Really tasty. On top of this Inka taught us how to make Russian Pies.. Flour, water and an egg make up the pastry.. The inside was a vegetable I haven't seen before but looked like Spinach and tasted like Lemon!! When added with heaps of sugar the Lemon flavoured Spinach Pie was pretty damn tasty!!!
We spent the afternoon in Kungur's famous ice caves. We had to catch a bus between Inka's place and the ice caves and just as we left Inkas the heavens opened and we were heavily rained and hailed on!! My gosh we were wet!!!! Luckily I had packed my rain jacket (as we were going to the ice caves) so was able to keep the worst of the storm off me but everyone else was absolutely satched.. Entering caves of below zero and wet isn't normally a good combination!!
The caves themselves ran for almost 2km.. The first few chambers are well below zero and contain huge ice stallictites and mites and frozen rivers. One of the caves even had what looks like a frozen waterfall! The remainder of the caves contained huge underground lakes and old coral.. The reflection of one of the lakes is just incredible.. for a while I didn't realise the lake was even there!! Overall the caves were a little underwhelming but for those few readers who ever actually make it to Kungur it is the main attraction so you'd better attend (or cut down your stay by a couple of hours).
No more plans for Kungur until we get on our train to Moscow tomorrow arvo at 1pm.