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Full Circle

Day 20: Vladivostok

Vladivostok, Eastern Russia 
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Plaster sun-worshippers on top of the sanatorium.
Michael Palin - Full CircleThere are solid, turn of the century red-brick buildings which could be in Leicester or Derby, as well as a Gothic church with a steeple which survived the atheistic Soviet years as a military museum. There are attractive streets of wooden-balconied houses, and on the crests of the sylvan hills around which the city is built are grand apartment blocks with curving roofs, domes and ornate pediments.

This all goes to show that there was plenty of money here in Tsarist times when Vladivostok - the Princess Of The East - was founded. I have the feeling there could be again. Japan is 750 miles away, China much less than that. There is a railway connection with Europe and a superb natural harbour. If Russia is to start looking towards the Pacific then Vladivostok could become its Hong Kong. There are certainly plenty of signs that the Pacific is looking towards Russia. Vladivostok's football team is sponsored by Australia's Castlemaine XXXX beer.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 20
  • Country/sea: Eastern Russia
  • Place: Vladivostok
  • Book page no: 43

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