After my last, slightly self-indulgent, very text-heavy entry I have decided this time to use more pictures than words to describe the city of Kazan.
|This is the building in which I'm living.|
|Again the building I'm living in, this time showing the entrances.|
|The street I'm living off is just off of this road.|
|For reasons I cannot imagine, there's a Lego store located just around|
the corner from Nelly's building, in the middle of a residential area.
|The Qolşärif Mosque, inside Kazan's kremlin, was built in 2005, with|
funding from the Saudi and Emirati governments. The original
was destroyed when Ivan the Terrible stormed the city in 1552.
|Here's a gated community, which is home to Kazan's wealthy élite.|
Apparently, the area used to be full of very old wooden houses, but
these were all demolished to build these luxury residences.
|The skyline of "new Kazan" on the northern bank of the Kazanka River:|
when my host Nelly was younger, none of this existed.
|A billboard advertising Rubin Kazan soccer team, in front of their stadium.|
|Kazan's parks don't quite compare to London's...|
|As a kind of climax to the event, a flag of balloons was released during the national anthem.|
|These creepy mannequins in traditional Tatar dress are all around the touristy parts of the city.|
|A "tree" where couples lock padlocks, before throwing the key into lake Kaban, to|
represent their unending love. A familiar concept to anyone who has visited Paris or Rome
|We visited a bizarre, Disneyland-esque reconstruction of a traditional Tatar village within Kazan.|
|A much more authentic sample of Tatar culture was when we visited this|
bazaar. Sadly I was rushed through it, and didn't get to explore fully.
|A lot of the city is under construction, in preparation for the 2013 Universiade and the|
2018 FIFA World Cup.
|A view over lake Kaban.|
|While walking near lake Kaban, I spotted a cluster of beautiful old buildings from afar, and had to get a closer look.|
|The well-preserved, brightly-coloured specimen on the left provides a striking|
contrast with the drab monotony of much of the architecture in Kazan
|This run-down and clearly very old house is nonetheless still inhabited.|
|This massive palace is in fact a children's theatre.|
|A vandalized monument that I happened upon in a park.|
|Gridlocked traffic at rush hour.|