Saturday, June 9, 2007

Omsk 9 June 2007

We did another 700km day yesterday to Omsk, the road was good and we are
making good time. Omsk is such a pretty place here on the river Irysh, that
we have decided to have our first lay-day since being on the road.

I am looking out our hotel window at barges going down the river, Lang in
the carpark doing a few things on the car and over the road, a stream of
limousines arriving almost every 10 minutes to what I presume must be a
registry office with bridal parties in all their finery. So far in a few
hours I have seen about twenty brides.

The weather is cool but fine, much like we have experienced most days since getting
to Russia.

Since starting our trip the scenery has been lovely. Siberia's taiga is the
worlds largest forest, made up of fir, pine, larch and spruce trees. This
gives way to the steppe where everything looks green and lush.We are
seeing it in spring with all the new green growth.

Two little squirrels are the only native animals we have seen so far, but
plenty of domestic animals. Most families in the villages own a cow that
they milk each day. Olga milked their cow both night and morning while we
were there and there were also some hens in the barn.

We are having a discussion on the car's name. Since it has been so
faithful, the name Red Rodent does not seem endearing enough. Everyone
here in Russia comes up and says "malenkiy" which means little or "malysh"
which is the Russian "little one" equivilent to Bambino. So while in Russia we have
adopted these names.

On the trip we have our mascot Bertie the Brooklands Bear with us. Bertie
was given to Lang and Peter by Prince Michael of Kent at the start of the
Vimy trip. Bertie has been on every trip since. At one stage Prince
Michael asked for him back to go on one of his trips but we decided Bertie
was ours and we applied to Brooklands and we now have his official
adoption papers. He still wears his flying suit that was made by Gieve and
Hawke of 1 Saville Row, London.