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8Sep/103

What to see on Europe-Asia border?

The border of Europe and Asia is one of the must-visit sights in the vicinity of Yekateriburg. To get there you will need a car as it's right on the highway. Buses don't stop there and there are no trains.But it's only 17 km west from Yekaterinburg so you can take a taxi even. Beware, taxi drivers may try to charge you more because you are a foreigner so don't agree on more than 500 roubles (12 euro)

The border mark is on the right side of Moskovsky trakt (highway) that used to be Great Siberian Road. Russian Tsars (including the present ones) had a habit to exile their political foes and other convicts as far away from the capital as possible i.e. to Siberia. Hundreds of exiled would pass Yekaterinburg in shackles everyday down the same road that you will go to the border. Think about it when you travel by Trans-Siberian from Moscow to Yekaterinburg. That's only half way the others had to walk!

Back to the border mark. It's relatively new. The monument was erected in 2004 and represents two interwined letters A and E. There you can happily put one foot in Europe and other in Asia while your friend or a driver takes a picture of you.

Is there anything else to see on the border? Yes, there is. Russian weddings! If you go there on Friday or Saturday you are sure to spot many of them. It's a tradition in Russia that newlyweds hire a limo and cruise around the city visiting the sights where they can take nice pictures for their wedding albums. At the same time they continue drinking so don't be surprised to find a lot of empty champagne bottles on the border and locks with newlyweds' names. That's a new wedding tradition that came from Italy, I believe. A bride usually doesn't mind being photographed by everyone so you can easily take some pictures of Russian weddings for your album. And if you are lucky they may even invite you to the evening party. Don't say No. It's quite an experience, a lot of food and drinks guaranteed! Tourists usually wonder what it is that guests chant that causes a newly married couple to kiss in public. They chant Gor'ko! (bitter) meaning life is bitter, show us something sweet.

Now, there is a bitter side of the story. Every second wedding in Russia ends up in a divorce. It's not the case of the couple on the picture though. Those guys are happily married and have a child.

Book the tour to the Europa-Asian border here: http://yekaterinburg4u.ru/en/tours/europe-asia-border

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Comments (3) Trackbacks (1)
  1. So interesting! This is a great blog, good writing, unique topics.

  2. Sorry to inform you, but what you feature is a fake and built for tourists and weddings. The real one is a much larger monument and a bit further away.

    • Dear Robert,
      there are many markers on the border of Europe and Asia and all built along the watershed in different times and all are used for tourists and weddings these days. The one you mention is located 30km North-West of Yekaterinburg near the town of Pervouralsk. If tourists have time we take them to that one as well. The marker on the 17th km is closer to Yekaterinburg and easier to access by taxi. I have another post here with pictures of other obelisks near the town of Nizhni Tagil, in the Northern Urals and there’s one even in Kazakhstan and they are all real. http://askural.com/2011/05/euro-asia-border-is-it-worth-it/ In other words everything on the spine of the Ural Mountains is a symbolic border of Europe and Asia.


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