After Irkutsk, we spent a few days in Krasnoyarsk. My friend and I ended up staying with some friends that I met in Vietnam a few months prior while on vacation in Nha Trang, a beach town. Our first day in Nha Trang, me and my friends encountered some musicians from Krasnoyarsk. We all clicked and ended up meeting up with our new Siberian friends almost every evening of our vacation. Turns out Krasnoyarsk is one of the stops along the Trans Siberian Railway so when my travel buddy and I were planning our stops on the Trans Siberian, I wanted to be sure that we would see my Krasnoyarsk friends.
My friend and I arrived in Krasnoyarsk and our hosts were working but had a couple of their friends get us from the train station. We got lunch together before they dropped us off at our host’s apartment where we were able to shower and relax for the rest of the day.
Krasnoyarsk was one of my favorite stops along the Trans Siberian. It’s really a beautiful city that’s full of art and culture. Since we were staying with musicians, we got to experience a little of the music scene in Krasnoyarsk.
Our first night we went to a bar/restaurant and listened to our host’s friend’s band which was reminiscent of a 90’s ska band. They had a ton of energy and there were a lot of people on the dance floor dancing. One cool thing that I observed while in Russia was that people are way more romantic than they are in the U.S. If there was a slow song on, you could be sure that EVERY man was taking their lady out on the dance floor and not ashamed to be dancing. Couples, in general, were very loving. Lots of couples, young and old, would hold hands or have their arms around each other or just joke around. I’m not one to be gushy but it was really sweet to see all these couples in Russia in love.
Our second day in Krasnoyarsk, our host took us on a city walk tour of Krasnoyarsk. Like I said before, Krasnoyarsk is a beautiful city. The waterfront area is well developed, making it easy to walk around and there were lots of designated biking and walking paths along the waterfront. The city also has a lot of little book share shelves. We explored the main city park in Krasnoyarsk which was filled with lots of activity. We even ran into the band that we saw the night before preparing for a show later that night. We did tons of walking that day and ended our afternoon in a ger drinking tea outside of the art museum. Later that evening we went to a lights/architecture exhibition that was held basically in middle of nowhere (Actually, it was on this island in Krasnoyarsk). We were told that it was an annual exhibition but normally held outside of the city. This was the first year it was held within city limits and all the exhibits were built and designed by artists in Krasnoyarsk.
Our 3rd an last full day in Krasnoyarsk was spent at Stolby National Nature Reserve. If you’re in Krasnoyarsk and like the outdoors, or even if you’re not, it’s a really beautiful place. You can get there by public bus and will need to hike a ways up before you get to the rocks but it’s totally worth it. The nature reserve consists of “stolby” or rock formations. There are a number of rock pillars that you can see within easy hikes of one another. I was really impressed by how well maintained the park is. The paths were easy to navigate and like I mentioned in my post on Lake Baikal, Russians really know how to do outdoors and this was no different at Stolby. This park was what I wish all national parks in the U.S. were like. They had THE BEST rest areas on the hike up to the rock formations…. ADULT PLAYGROUNDS. Whaaaaat. It was so cool. You could also grab hot drinks and food at the rest areas which was great. The bathrooms were also well maintained and clean. It was also cool to see that a lot of people that go to Stolby are regulars. Regular Stolby goers are called Stolbists. We learned that Stolbists like to find different ways to ascend the different pillars. We spotted a few rock climbers and parkour-ers throughout our more tame adventuring on the rocks. Stolby was one of the highlights during my trip to Krasnoyarsk and you can see why by the pictures.
Finally, we wrapped up our time in Krasnoyarsk seeing our host’s band play at this fancy lounge for a very bizarre beauty pageant.
All in all, Krasnoyarsk was a really great city and a great stop along the Trasn Siberian. The people we stayed with, too, are also seasoned couch surfing hosts so if you find yourself in Krasnoyarsk and are looking for a place to stay, let me know, and I’ll point you to the right people that will really take care of you. And if you’re a musician, even better!