Finally in what was once a closed city of the "Evil Empire" because it also serves as a naval base.  I was expecting activity along the lines of San Francisco or Seattle, but the emptiness made an impression on all of us, as well as its beauty.  to be fair, when the city was opened, the naval base was moved to a bay 'around the corner' away from prying eyes. But where did they hide all the sailors and 'camp followers' one expect from a major seaport?  I saw a few sailors, but not more than a handful.  The region has a lot of potential and the people have much of which to be proud .  I expect Vladivostok to be a very different place in ten years.  I just hope they keep the beauty as well.  I just hope the Russians are not longer wearing those hideous shoes with the very long pointed toes.



     I had always thought of the railroad at going from Vladivostok to Moscow, maybe because that is how the Earth rotates.  Most people evidently think of it the other way around, and I cannot argue with them since we started at kilometer 9288.  But Vladivostok to Moscow is the way to go -- you go from the remote, empty Russian far East to the bustling cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Vladivostok Station
The Gang of Car 8, weary but happy at the end of the trip