Arrival in Moscow! With Global Village we transfer you directly to your hotel from the airport or railway (want to Start in St Petersburg? – look at our before and after section) for your first night in Moscow (Also ask about our great flight deals into Russia and back from Asia!).
Breakfast, walking tour of Moscow (including places connected with the story in “Dr Zhivago” and its author and times). Free afternoon and evening.
Daytime free to explore more of Moscow, early-evening departure by train to Perm’.
By train across the Urals to Perm’ early evening arrival, transfer to hotel, overnight.
Special Walking Tour of Yuri Zhivago’s “Yuryatin” (Perm).
We start at the Pushkin Library, which was the Public Reading Room where Yuri and Lara first meet in the book. In the novel we hear that it was behind the “Giant” cinema; it’s actually behind the “Triumph” cinema. Across the street is the city’s leafy Central Square, where you can easily imagine Yuri and Lara must have gone after they first met, and sat on a park bench opposite the Opera House. Nearby the nightmare realities of Zhivago’s time interrupt our dreams – the small former hotel where Tsar Nicholas II’s brother was staying on his way to Ekaterinburg, where the Royal Family were imprisoned in 1918. In fact Grand Prince Mikhail was the last Tsar of all but he never knew. Our tour reveals the bizarre secret, and its British connection. Nearby is a small wooden two-storey house which is “Lara’s house”. In fact it is just another private house (ie you can’t visit) in the city, but carefully reading of the book identifies the exact location, opposite the imposing C19th palace across the road. A few blocks from the mansion is the hospital where Lara works in the novel. There’s a chance to see some imposing houses built by wealthy C19th merchants you can imagine Komarovsky must have had friends to stay with here? There’s also a monument to Boris Pasternak. Not far away is the River Pier district before the Trans-Siberian Railway was built, travellers to Siberia would come by boat from Moscow this far and disembark, and the Great Siberian Tract (the old Post Road) began from this point. Chain-ganged convicts would be brought here at night, for fear of frightening local people with their terrible fate and force marched to Siberia on foot. The Old Razvilje Railway Station was then built here it was from here that the Trans-Siberian Railway originally departed (it was only later linked back as far as Moscow), and this is where Komarovsky’s private “Government train” waited for him. The Siberian convicts had to march for months to their destination – you, however, only have another ten minutes walk to get to the new “Dr Zhivago” Restaurant… for lunch. Afternoon free to explore Perm’s shops and extensive museums and galleries (Perm is a major location for fossil-hunters, the Permian period takes its name from the city, and there’s lots in the museums). Evening free – there might even be a performance of the opera “Dr Zhivago” (yes, there really is one..) at the Opera Theatre? Remainder of day free to explore more of Perm’.
Full day Excursion to the Gulag Museum, housed in the only surviving soviet-era Gulag now visitable in Russia. En-route we pass small villages which must have been the inspiration for the one where Yuri & Larissa hid out from the Secret Police. Evening return to Perm.
Free day in Perm to explore the rest of this pleasant Urals city – then evening transfer to the station for departure eastwards
Days 8 - 12
On board the Trans-Sib eastwards via the Chinese Manchurian frontier with Russia. (This is the route by which Komarovsky kidnaps Lara in the book, in a private train). The train usually stops a couple of times a day so you can get off and stretch your legs, moreover the Trans-Sib is a lot more modern than you'd expect. Its usually air-conditioned in the summer or hot in the winter - the train attendants (usually old Russian Grannies called Provodniks in Russian) like the heat! Also on many of the station platforms there will be old ladies selling home made food. There is some fantastic stuff here, such as some great home-made dumplings and pastries. Buy them! They’re usually pretty good.
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Arrival in Beijing very early morning.