Happy Canada Day!: 01 July 2006 (Saturday)


I woke up this morning to the sound of the train solidly on its way through the heartland of Russia. Meanwhile, many miles away at home, people will be getting up to celebrate one of my favourite holidays: Canada Day. In Newfoundland, it’s a joint celebration of Memorial Day and Canada Day; Memorial Day celebrates the great loss of life for the country of Newfoundland during World War I. While the numbers may not be the same, it seems to be a sentiment shared by the Russian people who lost great percentages of population during the two World Wars. One of the most obvious signs of their reverence to this loss in Russia are the many monuments no matter how small the town or village.

So to all ye back home, Happy Canada Day and to all ye in Newfoundland, much respect on this Memorial Day.

To finish off yesterday’s story, I spent much time talking to the Danes and drinking vodka with them. We also bought some Jaegermeister-like liqueur called Balzam from a vendor at a station (probably not the wisest decision). It wasn’t bad… after the first shot. Like the scenery we were speeding through, the time seemed to fly by around us. The two young Danes, Rosa and Natalie, have been trying to teach me Danish.

Today, as I mentioned, is very special to me and I want to find a way to explain this to the Russians and Danes and whomever else I meet!

Overnight we crossed the Ural Mountains which is considered to be the physical boundary between Europe and Asia. There is supposedly a white obelisk marking the demarcation line which the train must have past sometime after midnight. I had decided that sleep was more important and was better than disturbing my companions.

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