Amsterdam – Gdansk on a yacht. Lessons of humanism

Every time something like this happens in my head after traveling to Europe, which is very difficult to describe in less detail, but I really want it to stay with you longer. And usually enough for about a week or two.

That’s why, as yet fresh, I decided to start my travel notes about the recent yacht voyage Amsterdam-Gdansk not from the usual descriptions and road photos, but with something more abstract. But not less important, as it seems to me.

Travel, as an occasion to ponder. Do not chase after the checkmarks in the list of attractions, and the ability to sneak into the windows of an unfamiliar city. All this does not matter now. Order coffee in a cafe with windows on the floor in the street, whose name is not very important and watch slowly, as life flows here.


Being in Europe, you involuntarily begin to compare. It’s not that the exotic East, where, according to legends, people walk on their heads and surrender to me, it’s not that exaggerated.

People here are exactly the same as we are, but something seems to flash on the periphery of the glance, some barely noticeable point and it is necessary to peer for a very long time and carefully, so that it slowly starts to increase and become more discernible. It’s like in the shadow of a huge moon for us, suddenly notice the tiny Saturn, not yet realizing its true scale, about how huge the space around.

And the easiest way to understand this is in comparison, and this time I had the opportunity.

So, after a short walk through Amsterdam, I came to Iumuiden – a tiny Dutch town on the North Sea, where my future fellow travelers stood in the parking lot. The first thing that appeared to my eyes when I climbed the yacht was her captain with a disheveled head of hair. In his hand, he had a half-empty (or half-full? Then it was not clear yet) misted glass, and next to it was a glass of the Absolute. The clock was 19-30. This picture was repeated with small variations (drinks) afterwards every evening when we were not at sea. But this story is not about the harm of alcohol, not at all. To describe the atmosphere that reigned during our hike on board, it will take only two words: gnashing of teeth. Gnashing of teeth was every time we did something together: landing, sailing, setting and cleaning of sails.



But then I saw enough of them. The fact is that the passage of the canal is a buzz of pure water: no disturbance, no flow, no laying of the course (the shore is always in sight) – you can rightfully relax and gape on both sides. What the Norwegians did. And on a catamaran there is something to be entertained, especially to children. We observed this pattern for a couple of hours. Both rebets in turn raised each other by a winch almost to the very top of the mast, the height of which is so much at a rate of 18 meters. Dad at the helm, my mother somewhere in the bowels of the catamaran. That video, is nowhere more visible.


At us on board it was necessary each time to ask the permission to pass on a nose of a yacht and to make, for example, such frame. Of course, every captain on his ship assigns his own rules and does not argue with them. I did not argue, but looking at the Norwegians tried to understand – why do we so love these heaps of meaningless rules? Actually, for us it’s not a curiosity, is it? We are afraid to look stupid with strangers, especially in a foreign country, we are afraid to ask again and even more to smile if all the same has committed a mistake. And often we take out anger on the closest people. We live like this, as if tomorrow is a war, but today the charges and every mistake are deadly. Without any flexibility with respect to the current situation.


The Lost City of Angkor

At 7km from Siem Reap is the center of the once flourishing Khmer Empire recognized as a world heritage site – the Angkor complex. Since the IX cc. and for six centuries was the most powerful center of the civilization of South-East Asia, located on 3 thousand square kilometers, which is comparable to modern Los Angeles. Five hundred years ago, it collapsed, the jungle began to fill the space, the inhabitants it was left. Why? A great mystery for scientists.


There are many stone temples left, and the rest of the structures are of a non-religious nature, incl. The royal monasteries, built from ordinary materials, did not survive until now. In the 12th-13th centuries. Angkor was larger than any European city with a population of more than 1 million people. Unfortunately, the chronicles were kept on materials that erased time.


The temples are oriented to the sides of the world with incredible accuracy. The moat around Angor Vata with a perimeter of 5.5 km has an error of only 1 cm. At the time when the construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral lasted 200 years, the Angkor temple was erected in 20-30 years.


The interest is not only the architecture of the buildings, but also the decoration of the walls with internal bas-reliefs, including the Egyptian type.


We also decided to touch a mysterious culture armed with a loaded audio guide and bicycles.
It was incredible, when at the entrance were on the same road with elephants, which moved strictly on the right side.


The Bayon Temple is one of the most beautiful temples


Five-headed horse. It is located in the hidden corner of the terrace. Prepared to not miss the most interesting.


Riddle to the temples of 1100 years, dinosaurs died out 60 million years ago, the remains of the climate of Cambodia decompose quickly. Where does the image of the dinosaur on the walls come from?


Manpupunor or how we went to visit the Mansi spirits along the ridge of the Northern Urals

It all started in the summer of 2011, a very good friend of mine told me about an unusual place in the North Urals – the Manh Pupu-Noor Plateau and the mysterious boobies. He also said that it would be necessary to walk … a lot of walking …

Footnote: The Man-Pupu-Ner plateau is a unique miracle of nature, giant stone idols located in the inaccessible area of ​​the Northern Urals on the territory of the Komi Republic. Formed at selective weathering of rocks. Plateau Manpupuner is a popular objectsports tourism. In 2008, the columns of weathering on the plateau of Manpupuner took the 5th place in the contest “7 Wonders of Russia” and the 1st place among the wonders of the North-Western Federal District.


In the summer of 2012, the camps began: groups (we had a team of solyanka from Perm and Izhevsk residents) , the purchase of products, sublimates, sweets and nuts. We agreed with the delivery of our group to the starting point of the hiking route with a ZIL car from Ivdel, bought tickets for the train and went on the road!

The first day passed through the forests full of mushrooms, but the next began the mountain scenery.
The first stop is the Djatlov Pass (there will be a separate post about it),


where, in a special “Tourist Book”, we left our autographs and went to the main goal of our expedition – “TO BUY!”.


and blueberries, blueberries, blueberries … at each stop – you fall on the hob and collect, collect …)


On the way to the plateau we were 5 days there and 5 days back, the weather was happy (thanks to the spirits!)
one of the evenings, before spending the night,


we spent on the plateau about 5 hours, arranged a festive dinner (each of the expedition members brought with a delicious – we ate red caviar, pineapples and figs with dates), plenty of pictures, climbed the “Shaman” and the happy went to the base camp on the river Pecora.



My impressions of the campaign: I could not imagine that it would be so hard for my office-plankton organism … my legs are strong, but here the weight of the backpack pressed down to the ground thoroughly … there were even thoughts to get off the route while there is a possibility …

I have to say , it was our husband and I (thanks to him for his support and patience), the first hike) I think the next five years we are unlikely to decide to repeat such a feat.

The route chosen by us is not optimal, if today I was asked how to get to the plateau of Manpupuner better (and lose as much effort as possible), I would advise going along the route from Ust-Ljaga – only 1.5 days on foot to the plateau in one side, plus small radial outlets (at the same time you will go to Toreporeiz – the view from there, it is said to be stunning) can still be by helicopter from Nyrob, Krasnovishersk, but this is for the busy ones – you will spend 1.5-2 hours on the plateau, but for one the day will be.

Results of the expedition: 1300 km of highway, 330 km of unpaved roads with crossing of rivers to ZIL, 220 km of pedestrian section. New friends, new impressions, new plans!

Unraveled mystery of Old Tallinn

Tallinn – like an old and long-studied long and wide known friend. It seems that you know him for a hundred years, have studied all his habits and characteristics, you can guess in advance what he will say and how he will react to what you have said. And he fully justifies all your expectations, says, reacts, laughs, sad … And suddenly – rrrraz! – and wrack you with an unexpected phrase, a smirk, a sudden laughter through tears or a tear at the moment of unrestrained fun. So is Tallinn. You crave yourself, you wander through the long familiar street, you peer through the windows and walls many times, even through the sneakers you feel the unchangeable stones of the stone blocks with your feet and suddenly – one time!– And you turn to an unexpected, completely unfamiliar street with completely different houses, walls and stelinkas on the windows. And suddenly you recognize an old acquaintance from an entirely different angle. And still you understand that this is only a new face of something familiar and native, only a new corner of beloved Old Tallinn.


This time we arrived in the town by sea. Before the ferry, there was a sleepless night in a bus to Helsinki and a couple of hours in the Finnish capital, which were remembered only by packets and newspapers floating in the wind, drunk-sleepy Finns at the entrance to McDonald’s and a smoky fountain in the old railway station.


And then there were three hours of water, salty wind and multi-deck decks of the ferry Helsinki-Tallinn. And the crowds of well-fed gulls, which at times allowed themselves very close to themselves and even allowed themselves to be drawn into a short, non-binding conversation.


Familiar outlines of houses, spiers and fortress walls appeared from afar and came very slowly, as if afraid of rapid rapprochement and preferring to start to show off and let yourself be appreciated from a respectful distance.

But in the end the ferry docked in the port, from which it was only a stone’s throw away to the heart of the Estonian capital – the old city – and finally Tallinn stopped hiding behind the water-smoothness and unapproachable walls and let us into our entrails through the most important entrance.fc479eLife in the old city is slow and measured. At the appointed time, bells ring in the numerous ancient temples, in the allotted hour all the various craft workshops, galleries and souvenir shops are opened, as by the hour tourists hurry to occupy their crown seats on the terraces of street cafes.


And the locals have their own, well-organized schedule, and that’s understandable – after all, try to ride the time with your three Dobermanns! 😉

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But closer to the evening the heat subsides and the city wakes up, shakes off its drowsiness as if not to the place growing spider’s web and begins to live – quickly and brightly – as if trying to recoup for the missed daytime hours. Without stopping, the signs are torn, calling to the audience, aimlessly staggering along the streets! Will you dine out? ”


But do not be deceived and blindly believe in its coldness and severity. It’s enough just to look closely, just to look into the glowing eyes of his windows – and then you will feel the warmth and the light lurking somewhere inside, beyond the walls of the old stone and the beams from the time-battered beam … This luminous heart of Tallinn, kept under a reliable cover – An unassailable mystery, which is so easy to solve.