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Japan - Cherry Blossoms and Tranquility

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Japan & Russia on HAL Westerdam - April 2019

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Part 9 - Vladivostok

In the morning we woke up in Vladivostok at the end of the Trans-Siberian Railway.  The city, also known as The unofficial capital of the Russian Far East, was our only non-Japanese stop on this cruise.

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Our passports had been collected when we left Japan and returned with a Russian stamp in the morning. In order to avoid the hassle of applying for a Russian visa, we had booked a walking tour with the cruise line for the afternoon.  However, after breakfast we decided to try to venture out on our own first, despite having no visa... and sure enough, the passports were checked twice by officials who only looked at the stamp and couldn’t care less if we had a visa or not.

We walked past the nearby town square dominated by a monument for the Fighters for Soviet Power, past a  few Russian Navy ships and a submarine monument and museum.

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From there we continued through Admiralsky Skver Park towards the Maxim Gorky Theater.

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We headed back in the general direction of our ship and then coninued past the shophouses of the old Chinese quarter which we followed to reach an embankment/amusement park.

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Running out of options what else to look at we went back to the ship.

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While enjoying lunch in the Lido Market, we hoped the walking tour in the afternoon would take us to more interesting places. But unfortunately, as it turned out, we had seen more in the morning than on the guided tour. The only thing we hadn’t seen in the morning was Yul Brunner‘s house and a statue of Comrade Lenin.

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“OK” we thought “at least we can add Russia to our list of countries visited...” and during sail away we were very much looking forward to a few more days in beautiful Japan.

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