The Art Hostel in Yekaterinburg – the search
I arrived in the middle of the night in Yekaterinburg. I booked with the Art Hotel in Yekaterinburg. Now, I just needed to find it.
The Trans Siberian Railway had brought me to Yekaterinburg. When I left the station at 4am, the streets and the square in front of the station were desolate. I tried to get a driver with Uber, but that didn’t work at first. I could see the driver approaching on the map in my phone, but it was as he failed to reach me. There was no choice, but to cancel and ten minutes later I was on my way to the hotel.
Finding the hotel
I booked the hotel during a stop with the train via hotels.com. An employee reached out via Whatsapp earlier in the day, so at least I expected them to know I was arriving. When the driver entered a very small and dark alley and told me the hotel was here, I called them from within the car. There was no sign anywhere indicating a hotel anywhere in the buildings we’re standing in front of. The address however checks out… The girl on the phone speaks very poor english, so I give my phone to the driver. She insists that we’re at the right place and that she’ll pick me up at the street.The girl arrives at the car, and walks me to a building. No sign still from a hotel. She opens the door of the building, and walks me five flights of stairs to an apartment door. Behind that door an improvised reception desk, and a couple of doors with names of rooms. She shows me a room with a bed, and I crash there. Since the room had no curtains, I wake up early. The next morning I take a good look at the place, and I assume this is an illegal hostel. The capitalism and the excesses, this must be that other Russia. I’m the only western guest staying here. One night done, one to go.
A different city
When I walk the street of Yekaterinburg with the camera, the reactions are a bit different than what I was used to in Moscow. The 1800 kilometer I crossed brought me from the “free” Moscow to the rather old fashioned thinking Yekaterinburg. It will not stop me to discover this city and the surroundings a bit further.