Well the mystery about where the European continent ends and the Asian begins is over, it’s here in the Ural mountains near Yekaterinburg. 
After our little stroll around yesterday afternoon we were keen to explore the city today and even the snow and the cold couldn’t deter us. We donned just about every item of clothing we had and set off. The city has painted a red line for tourists to follow around and take in the sights so off we went.
The city is really quite beautiful architecturally. There is a complete mix of everything but somehow it all works together and in and amongst everything there are loads of sculptures, some of which were great and others were more amusing.
First stop was the tallest building in Yekaterinburg which offered a great view of the city, it was only about 150m tall and didn’t need to be any taller as we could see the whole place. It wasn’t the most impressive panorama but still nice to see the view.
The rest of the days walk took us around the town and we saw amazing churches, old buildings and some pretty impressive new stuff too. All mixed up together. The whole city has a university city feel to it and really was quite cool and impressive.
We also passed an incredible amount of theatres and concert halls. They were all advertising loads of events and for a city of 1.4 million there was certainly plenty of options culturally. So of course we had to join in and thought we would give the ballet another go.
This time the tickets were twice the price ($20) and we weren’t quite as close to the front but the standard of the dancing was amazing. The back up dancers here could have easily been the lead in the ballet we saw in Ulan Ude. Somehow though the magic wasn’t quite there. We were both really excited to watch the ballet in Ulan Ude but here, although technically very good, there wasn’t the spark to keep us totally enthralled. Still definitely worth doing and a great end to a great day!
All in all Yekaterinburg has been a great surprise and I can imagine that in the summer time this place would be a great place with loads going on, I really think we only got to scratch the surface. T

These huge stately buildings are very impressive.  The colours on the Russian ones really make them stand apart.

An example of the sculptures around the city.  This keyboard by the river was really quite unusual but at the same time quite cool.

All around Russia we have seen these striking trees with their red berries on.

Downtown Yekaterinburg. 

The worry is that these old school fire engines are probably still in use.  We have noticed though that there is a lot more public spending here than the other cities we have visited.  Everything seems a bit better taken care of in terms of the roads and the parks etc.  maybe the tax dollars don’t get as too Far East.

Wonderful old trams and lovely walkways through the city.

Church on the blood.  The main attraction and really quite a breathtaking church.  I think the snowy ground helps as well.

I really do love the colours of the churches.  The odd thing though is that we are limited as to where we go inside and it’s usually just a small area for praying (and a shop) and there are no pews which is strange.

The opera house was originally opened in 1912 and was a packed house for the performance.

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