We used the holidays of last week for a "short" trip to the Ural (with a distance of about 1,900 km between Moscow and Yekaterinburg "short" is relative…)…

The borderline between Europe and Asia at the River Ural near Magnetogorsk
During our trip we crossed for many times the borderline between Europe and Asia. We visited beautiful places and locations which are more close to a vision of apocalypse. We went to many different towns, one of them more then 4,000 years old, another one founded just 80 years ago. And we got many impressions of this part of Russia, which lays on the borderline between two continents.

This is the first part of our journey to the edge of Europe…

Day 1
After a drive of about 1,000 km we arrived in the evening at Kazan. Laying at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka River, Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan. 

The multi-ethnic city is famous for Muslims and Christians living side-by-side in peace.
The Kazan Kremlin is a World Heritage Site listed by the UNESCO

Day 2
Driving on in direction Ural we passed through typical forrests, colourful villages and agricultural regions with former kolkhozes.

The Ural Mountains - not very high but anyway full of impressive nature.

We spent the night in a former Sovjet Sanatorium which is now a hotel but nevertheless has kept a lot of the "charm" of its former function. 

Day 3
While around Moscow it is already spring with green trees and flowers everywhere, here in the Ural there was still a lot of ice and snow around.

On the way to Karabasch. The Nature seems to be in best order...

Our target for this day was Karabasch, a mining town in the Chelyabinsk Oblast. Karabsch is concidered to be on of the most polluted regions in the world. A copper smelting plant is situated in the town, and its toxic waste has created extremly large amounts of pollution and serious health problems for the inhabitants. The averager lifespan of a male inhabitant is 42 years... 

More about Karabasch and the rest of our journey to come soon.

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