My visit to Kazan for work semeed like a mini holiday...
Kazan Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
Arriving in Russia for the first time was little more difficult than I am used to, straight away I could see language was gonig to be more of a challenge than I expected, but this would just turn out to make it even more of an interesting trip.
Having prety much gone there from spending the whole summer between Athens and Cyprus I never expected that it would be so cool in the early autumn, especially the evenings - should have brought warmer clothes.!
Being in Kazan, to deliver a project to a major bank in the region I had already met a friend from a partner company when I stopped in Moscow for my connecting flight to Kazan but having arrived about 10pm that Tuesday evening in Kazan we went straight out to see what the town was about, catching a few bars and some non-airline food for the first time that day !!!
Ordering food was to be one of the many insteresting experiences for us as there were never english menu's so it was usually a case of point at the menu and hope for the best.
This one evening we went to a really nice restaurant for dinner and as our coffee's arrived so did a belly dancer to entertain us, this clearly wasn't part of the normal daily routine as far as we could see, as the staff explained how it had been arranged especially for us - a very plesant and surprising end to our long evenings dining.
Of course most evenings were followed by sampling a different bar or club in the city, some great, some, lets just say a little bizarre, but always a good experience.
Working was a little tricky also as there was not much english so almost everything had to be translated for us, .
Kazan city is a surprisingly lovely place, not sure why I'm surprised but... It stood out to us how clean the city was and had some really beautiful and impressive buildings, architecture and a massive water fountain in the centre of town which was illuminated at night to music.
Coming from a small town in Ireland the size of the streets really suprised me and every day I'm sure we ended up walking far further than we realised, so great for some light exercise !!
Talking of getting around, the single most amusing memory for me will be the taxi rides, regular taxi's just don't seem to exist here, it's just a case of sticking your arm out and waving down any passing car.
Always we found the people to be incredibly nice trying their best to help us and I'm sure on many occasions we brought a little humour and entertainment to their day also..
On my last evening there, the project manager brought me out with some of his friends for dinner and then on to a club where all I can remenber is this big fat guy in red shoes (maybe a local celebrity) was on stage singing and entertaining the crowds, what a night - all I can say is I now beleive the cliche about Russia and Vodka, 4 people, 4 bottles, 1 night - how I made my 09:30 flight to Moscow the next morning I will never know - actually that's a lie, I made it with the help of the hotel staff entering my room to wake me up at 08:00 cause I had slept through my alarms and wake up calls - I've been drinking cranberry juice ever since !!!! Thanks Munzer for the night out, I think.
My trip to Kazan, the food, the bars, the clubs, everywhere we went and most of all the people were just fantastic !!!!
I'm so looking forward to getting back to Kazan at the end of the month for the rest of the project.
More to follow I'm sure......