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Yekaterinburg is a very cold place

So much snow on our -15 degree day! Well after a long train journey we arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed in Yekaterinburg to find that we had nowhere to stay. We had organised some accomodation but it fell through at the last minute, while we were on the train. So we found the nearest tourist office and thank god she could speak english. She told us that there was a conference on in town and that most accomodation was unavailable. We paniced slightly, and then she found a hotel right in the centre of town that was going to give a good price to us. SO we ended up staying in a 4* Hotel in the Luxary Suite. We blew our budget big time and thus could not go dog sledding as we had hoped. Yekaterinburg really introduced us to Siberia. We decided to go on a bit of a walk around town to see the Order of Lenin, Geology Alley, The opera House and everything else only to do it on the coldest day ever. -15 degrees and I was an ice cube. We still did the walk though. We saw this great exhibit at the Photgraphy Museum. It had all these amazing pictures from all over the world and a particular focus on Uganda and Nepal. The artist who took the photos wrote a blurb and he had apprently been travelling the length of africa for the past 30 years. We also went to various other museums. I know everyone says that Russians a stoic and cold and hard to break through but I have found the complete opposite. They ar ewarm and welcoming and when I speak my crappy Russian to them they smile and go beyond the call of duty to help us. Loving the people a lot. Anyway, that night we went to the Opera, which the locals go to like we go to the movies. It was sort of an amateur production but it was really great. The orchestra was sensational and the leading lady was amazing (singing opera whilst being about 3-4 months pregnant is not easy). Plus, I know absolutely nothing about opera, but when the first note were played I recognised it immediately. It was the same opera that was in Pretty Woman. You know the one where she says 'I laughed so much that I think I peed my pants' and he says' she liked it better than Pirates of Pensants!'. Priceless comedy! Anyway it was an experience an a half and Steve explained all the stuff I didn't get which made it even better. From there we head to Moscow. The Mother of Russia and I am so excited.

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