Tuesday, May 29, 2012


We left Sunday night for a city north east of Voronezh called Saransk.  We got on our bus to travel about 1 hour to a different city to board a train that would take us to Saransk.  The train was again a night train and it took us about 14 hours to arrive here.  This time Simone (my travel roommate) and I were not so lucky to get nice bobushkas we had shared a room with before.  This time unfortunately we were with a man and woman who enjoyed wearing clothes that accentuated their large figures.  Both of them wore shirts that their stomachs hung out the bottom of and the girl shorts that were much too small.  I dont know why this is but one thing I have found is that tight fitting clothes generally add to bad body odor... and their clothes confirmed this hypothesis.  The train smelled terrible.  It is hot here now and the heat does little to make an over night train experience pleasant. All of the windows were fogged up and all of the people in our wagon were standing in the hallway because the rooms were even worse.  Which made the hallways crowded and uncomfortable.

I have a hard enough time sleeping in comfortable beds at home... so I never look forward to these over night train excursions. I watched a calming movie trying to go to sleep but as soon as the movie finished and I rolled over to go to sleep the man below Simone began his snoring....

This video is when I finally just got up with the sun at 5 AM and spent the rest of the morning in the hallway with a dixie cup of coffee trying to get some fresh air and peace and quiet.  The train arrived in Saransk at 8 AM where we boarded another bus and came to our humblest abode so far.  Let me just say I miss the 5 star hotel in Turkey. Usually after those train rides the first thing I want to do is shower, but upon walking into our bathroom, I decided against it. The shower is a shower head connected to the sink with a drain in the middle of the bathroom floor next to the toilet hole. Its really quite pleasant.  

So we tried to get some shut eye and make up for the lost sleep from the night before in time for our game at 6.  We left at 430 for the field.  The field we played at was called Start Stadium which was a stadium used when Russia hosted the olympic games.  It was a really nice stadium with a beautiful turf field.

The game was not a good game.  We did not play well.  We had many opportunities and were winning 2-0 with about 15 minutes left.  We ended up losing 3-2 after some crucial mistakes we made.  It was a slow game and could have been a completely different game if we put our chances away. I assisted the second goal and had many opportunities, although I wouldnt say it was my best game, I thought I played well. But, now we have to win our upcoming games to be sure to stay in 2nd place in league.

Our next game is even further east in a city called Perm and so we will not be going back to Voronezh before traveling again.  Instead we are staying here for a few days to train until we fly to Perm.  Apparently Perm is on the Russian border between Asia and Europe and is the furthest East we will be traveling.  So, today we got the morning off.  Simone, Ximel and I took the morning to walk around and see Saransk.  It is a beautiful city.  Very clean and very calm.  We walked through their main city center and through a big attraction park.  

 Saransk recently hosted the World Race Walking Championships and they still had the stands lining the streets, so naturally we utilized them for car/ people watching.  Real exciting!

 This is the central cathedral in Saransk

 This Russian family was so welcoming to us...
 And this I had to take a picture with because it reminded me of my mom! Hi mops :-)
 Saransk is home to one of Russia's most famous fairy tale authors.  This park was dedicated to him and his stories.  
 Then we walked down their river for a while, enjoying the sun and peaceful nature of Saransk.
 This is their WWII memorial 
Just like in Voronezh they had small farmers style markets that sell an assortment of everything.  But Saransk has an indoor store for them.  We walked around enjoying the colors and fresh food!

So we will be in Saransk for a few more days before boarding a flight that will take up to Perm to play another game.  We will play the team that we played in the semi finals of the Russian Cup.  We need to get a win and with most of our team back from national team commitments, it will be a much better game and performance for us.  I look forward to telling you more stories from our travels as we fly east!

Hope all is well back at home!! 

All my love!




  1. IWow..how you didn't go crazy on the train...thus the syaing crazy train...is amazing! And then the bathroom at your hotel! Agghh! You are such a trooper and ray of sunshine! Sorry to hear about the game but will be praying hard for your team and the next game. Still in shock over your travel experience:) love love love to u my beautiful girl:) xo

  2. I love the pictures and the stories. Can't wait to see what Perm is like and how long it takes to travel their. Hope you get some babushkas again as bunk mates! ha

  3. thanks guys!!! i can tell that this travel is going to make another blog immediately... i think it is going to be a 24+ hour travel trip to get there.... YEAY!! :-( haha love you guys!!!