The concert hall in Perm does a great job with its publicity, and quite successfully: tonight's concert was packed! The organ is a beautiful and fairly new instrument by Glatter-Götz - felt very familiar to me and was easy to play. In an hour I'll leave for Ekaterinburg, once again an overnight ride on the Trans Siberian. Tomorrow is the first (and only) day of rest on this tour, the next concert is only on Monday...
Perm boasts a mix of buildings from many eras in Russian history. One can find almost anything: churches, concrete structures, 'Jugendstil' - even McDonald's!
Impressions from today's 20 hour-long train ride from Omsk to Perm: the landscape was stunningly beautiful (and untouched!) for miles, from time to time there were little farms or villages...and the streets are rather dusty, as you can see in the second last picture
Last night's concert location in Omsk: a beautiful former movie theatre from the early twentieth century, now transformed into (organ) concert hall. A professional photographer took pictures of my concert, so more pictures will follow once I get them.
I went for a short walk from the hotel along the Om river, right to the point where it joins the mighty Irtysh (right under the gun which you can see in the second-last picture!); the river promenade is really beautiful - lots of nice buildings and monuments...
On board the Trans Siberian: I boarded the train in Chelyabinsk at 3am and arrived in Omsk (picture on the left) at 5:30pm. The first row below is inside the train, which reminded me a lot of the night trains I took from France to Germany while I was a student in Paris. On every platform, you have little shops where people can buy snacks, even in the middle of the night!
Russia is huge, as you can see in the pictures in the two bottom rows. The only change in the scenery throughout the entire journey was the appearance of birch trees the closer we got to Omsk...
This church was built in 1916, just before the revolution. Today, it functions as one of the concert halls of Chelyabinsk (and they have a LOT going on in there!) - but it will be turned into a church again; and guess what: the orthodox church does not want the organ, they have to move it somewhere else...
Eule built the organ in the '80s, it sounds really nice in the room. One can play a pretty diverse repertoire.
After my concert tonight, together with the presenter on the right and a member of the audience.
In the middle of the night, I will take the Trans Siberian to Omsk - arrival at 5pm local time - which is 11hours ahead of Atlanta!
I got here in the early evening after a two-hour flight on board a brand-new A320. As you can see in these pictures, Chelyabinsk is a mix of old and new.
More pictures to follow (from the organ & concert hall as well!)...
Two impressions from my arrival in Moscow: first, it is wonderfully quiet at the airport and the hotel, as there is no music running constantly in the background - Alleluia! Along similar lines, the immigration and customs officers did not ask me any questions at all, but simply checked my passport and the visa, stamped it - and that's it!
Second, I was really touched when I saw that the airport authorities had set up a huge advertisement by a rather well-known German company right at the entrance to the super-modern international terminal at Sheremetyevo Airport - in GERMAN (see picture)! That was a nice and unexpected welcome :)
Speaking of languages: at check-in in the hotel, I used my limited skills in Russian for the very first time:
Me (in Russian): "Hello (greeted with a big smile from the receptionist) - Do you speak English?"
She (in English, and visibly disappointed): "Just a little bit."
Well, it turned out that she was fluent in English!
On the other hand, when I bought a snack in a small store (to the amount of 170 Rubles), I became painfully aware of the fact that so far, Rosetta Stone had taught me the numbers only up to 99 - given the exchange rate (100 Rubles are about 3US$), this is not going to help me too much whenever I want to purchase something in Russia...
Now I am looking forward to a good night's sleep. Tomorrow I will continue to Chelyabinsk, where I will give my first concert of this tour on Monday.
Pictures, stories and videos from my concerts & travels