For the first time we experienced bad weather on our trip. A Taifun coming from Japan provided us with stormy and rainy days in Khabarovsk and later in Vladivostok.
Khabarovsk is the capital of the Russian Far East. It is a Russian and Chinese holiday destination and known for its attractive parks, river beaches, classic architecture and national parks nearby.
The Amur River is the centre of history and today's life and it is very impressive. The famous Amur bridge (2.6 km long!) is one of the must sees on a relaxing boat trip. For strategic military reasons the Russians also built a corresponding tunnel nearby.
The riverside is a very nice and lively recreational area (if good weather….).
Our excursion in a national park with a botanic guide was very informative. The flooding made it a wet and challenging experience.
The Vyborg Market is a huge and very lively market, with not only local Russians but also a visible example of the proximity to China – many Chinese traders selling imported products of every variety under the "sun", e.g. appliances of any kind, toys and clothing. Everywhere you can buy dried oak branches for the sauna treatment. The vegetable, fruit, meat and fish market is amazing.
For lunch we visited a Russian family. They proudly showed us their house, garden and sauna. The lunch which they had prepared for us was full of Russian specialities and it was delicious. The Russian hospitality and kindness surprised us. Together with our German speaking guide as a translator we could discuss and inform each other about our cultures. It was touching how you feel at home all over the world when the people around you are so warm-hearted and interested. Respecting and understanding each other's differences make life so much easier.