On the evening of Wednesday, June 13, 2018, our plane safely landed in Chelyabinsk Balandino Airport (CEK). There we got off the airplane, took the shuttle bus from the tarmac to the terminal, and we were greeted my in-laws, my wife’s family, and my kids’ cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandmother. It is really something to travel extremely far to the other side of the world and to meet people who know you and love you. Distance is no barrier for love and family!
My brother-in-law Sasha drove a car with my girls and their cousins, while my other brother-in-law Andre drove my wife and I back to my mother-in-law Vera’s apartment. Once we arrived there, we were greeted my even more of my wife’s family including my sister-in-law Anastasia. We ate a nice and simple dinner and we chilled for the remainder of the evening.
The next several days would be filled with less sight-seeing, but more time with family. For example, we celebrated my mother-in-law Vera’s 60th birthday, which pretty much was a birthday party and family reunion wrapped into one. We did a little bit of sightseeing in Chelyabinsk, which is my wife’s home city. We visited downtown, including a Natural History Museum, and we visited a lakeside resort for a couple of days.
Most days we stayed around the apartment complex where my mother-in-law lives and where we stayed, but on Saturday June 16th we visited downtown Chelyabinsk, which is a walking only street with businesses, apartments, stores, and restaurants on both sides of the street. It is called Arbat. We took several pictures and some videos of the area. This wasn’t my first time in Chelyabinsk, so I hold some very fond memories of my visit 12 years prior when I visited my wife before we were married.
Once we finished the snacking we worked our way down the rest of the street and visited a Natural History Museum depicting the Ural Region of Russia. When you get into this part of Russia and is not very touristy, everything is in Russian. There were no English translations in the Museum here as there was in the Museums in Saint Petersburg.
Cheyabinsk is famous worldwide for at least one thing. The 2013 Russia Meteor Shower that caused damage in certain parts of the city. Remember hearing that on the news> Here is one of the meteorites in the Natural History Museum.
After the Museum, my wife suggested that we visit a new style grocery supermarket that they recently opened. So we did, and it was modeled very much like a supermarket in the USA, with lots of variety different foods and miscellaneous items. When I visited Russia 12 years prior, grocery stores were little corner stores with a small variety of items, so much has changed. We ended up buying lots of food for the 60th birthday/family reunion that was the next day.
On Sunday June 17th, we had a family reunion during the day and in the evening took the kids to a famous park in Chelyabinsk called Victory Park. The park was beautiful with lots of tall trees and greenery everywhere. On the east end of the park was a small kids section with merry-go-rounds, bounce houses, and other kids attractions. On the west side was old Soviet tanks that you can climb.
I enjoyed seeing the tanks as they tend to reflect more on Russian History. This kids enjoyed the attractions more of course, and they had a really great time.
Kids’ Birthday Party in Gagarin’s Park
On Thursday, June 21, we celebrated my daughter Ariana’s 9th birthday. We visited the nearby amusement park where they had a small roller coaster, a Ferris wheel, and a kid’s train ride. It rained off and on this day, but the temperature was pleasant. The Ferris Wheel was my preferred ride because we could see the city of Chelyabinsk from up high.
The kids really enjoyed this park and enjoyed some of the rides that I just can’t stomach, I tend not to well on rides that go around in circles really fast.
Famous Sights Around Chelyabinsk
On Friday June 22nd was my last full day in Russia before I would return home. It was a bittersweet day as I was ready to go home, but at the same time, I was extremely sad to leave Russia and to leave my wife and kids who would be staying an additional 2 weeks. This say we took a tour around the city and visited some of the famous sights, such as Pushkin’s Park, Revolution Square, and others.
This area was also very beautiful, when I came to Russia in 2006, it was the end of winter and everything was covered in melting snow and no leaves on the trees. This time in June, everything was green and beautiful. We did not hesitate to take some good photos and videos.
Other Attractions in Chelyabinsk
After I had already left Russia, my wife, kids, my mother-in-law, and my sister-in-law visited other parts of Chelyabinsk such as the zoo and the theatre.
The Circus is supposed to be one of the best events that’s takes place in Chelyabinsk during the summer, but unfortunately it started a week after my wife and kids returned back to the USA. Bottom line, if you are in Russia and there’s a Circus, then go!