During our time in Chelyabinsk Russia, we left for 3 days to visit a Lakeside resort about two hours out of town. Let me tell you, after living in a high desert region for a few years, the water, greenery, trees and everything about this place was absolutely amazing.
On Monday June 18th, we woke up earlier in the morning, got ready, packed some clothes into a small suitcase and backpack, and took a taxi to the bus station near downtown Chelyabinsk. After we arrived, we waited for our bus for some time. Once our bus came, we were surprised at the small size of the bus. In fact, it wasn’t really a bus, it was a large van that we got to ride in for two hours with a bunch of Russian strangers.
Thank goodness for the unlimited cell phone data while overseas, I was able to log into Netflix and watch a couple of programs during the drive. After some TV on my phone and a somewhat lengthy nap, the driver announced that we had reached our resort. He stopped the van and we got out. We had a little bit of a hike into the resort area and we found the hotel building. My mother-in-law went in and registered us, once we got out of the rain and into the building, we made our way to our rooms.
A Russian Resort
Once in our rooms, we decided it was a good idea to shower. Everyone suggested that I go first. I turned on the water and it came our brown for the first few seconds, which is not unusual in older buildings in Russia. It then came out clear, and I waited for the water to warm up. It began to warm up slightly from cold to cool, and I waited for it to get warmer….. I waited, I waited, and I waited more, but the water would not warm up. My heart sank, we had no warm water in this resort! I went ahead and took a cool shower. I told the others, and they informed the front desk. They apparently forgot to turn on the hot water unit for our hotel room. LOL Oops!
It stopped raining, and we decided to leave our room and explore the resort. We found the waterfront to the lake. Wow! I don’t think I have seen such a beautiful lake in my lifetime as this one. It was a large lake with calm water. The coast line from all around the lake was lined with tall trees including pine trees. The area was very hilly, and on the other side of the lake you could see a passenger train pass every now and then.
On the other side of the resort was a building with an indoor pool, some game rooms, and a massage area. My wife and I got massages, which felt good, but were rather painful. After the massages, we took the girls to the indoor pool and allowed them to swim. One thing to note about Russian Public pools, is that everyone is required to wear a shower cap! Not to get confused with a swim cap, and shower cap, like what you see in your hotel room, but never use…..(hopefully).
In the evening, we went to the hotel cafeteria and we were served some very typical Russian Food. The quality was okay, some of the food was good, some of it not so good, but it was all included in the cost of the resort.
Row Row Row Your Boat
On our second day (and our only full day) in the resort, we decided to take advantage of the beauty of the lake and rent a row boat. It was super cheap and we had two hours to enjoy it. My mother-in-law, my two daughter, my wife, and I rode the row-boat together, and I was assigned with the task of rowing the boat while the other four relaxed. We made our way out into the lake. We crossed to the large island in the lake and road somewhat close to that shore traveling toward the east part of the lake. Once we got around the island, we headed toward the south along the east coast of the island.
My goal was to go around this large island and make our way back to the water front, but as we got further south on the lake, the wind began to pick up significantly and the boat was rocking side to side to the point some of the others began to feel sick. They begged me not to attempt to go around the island, so we turned around and rowed back to the water front. Once we got back, the others commented on how well I was able to row a boat. I got the Rowboating Merit Badge in Boy Scouts when I was about 13, so I guess I still haven’t lost my touch 28 years later.
We spent the rest of that day playing ping-pong, billiards, and going on a little hike. In the evening before dinner, we took the kids on a rope obstacle course. Once they finished a thunderstorm rolled in and we were caught in a heavy down-pour again. We ran quickly back to the cafeteria for dinner, we were soaked, but thank goodness we had warm water and dry towels.
Last Day in Chebarkul
Our last day at the resort was fun. We had breakfast and hung out at the lake in the morning. We had our back-packs and suitcases there so when the bus came in the early afternoon, we were able to catch it. It was a clear day, so we got some good photos of the Russian countryside on our way back to Chelyabinsk.
One of my favorite things to do in a foreign country is to visit a resort, whether that be visiting a lake, mountain resort, or a beach resort. We got to do that in Russia!