Komsomolsk on Amur and Day 1 on the BAM

Here we are, 13.5 months into our journey we have arrived at its easternmost destination. Two weeks ago we didn’t even know we would come here 🙂 Komsomolsk-on-Amur. It’s in the middle of nowhere, which is why it has been built. Sukhoy builds fighter jets here and the factory next to our dorm nuclear submarine reactors. Not exactly an activity the Russians wanted to carry out close to the Chinese border which is never far away here.

We couldn’t find a host as most people have left for holidays and instead booked a night in a working mans hostel. I did not see any woman apart from the (surprisingly nice and friendly) reception lady and Nastya, but lot’s of topless men running around the corridors, enjoying VERY cold showers, or cooking in community kitchens. Memories from 1986 coming back, when my mom moved with my brother and me to Moscow where my dad was studying. A dorm was our home for the first few weeks and a rather harsh welcome 🙂

Next morning we go to explore all three sights listed in Lonely Planet, mostly monuments, the almost deserted river ferry boat station and – no that’s really it. Nothing much going on, nothing to see, looks like any city in Russia. We decide to try some local beers instead and do grocery shopping for what will be a few days on the train from here on. This is probably why we love couchsurfing the most. Without a local guide you come to a place like this and find nothing much appealing. Having a local on your side however changed the game so often on our journey.

In the afternoon we board our train and I realize from here on its going West meaning going “home”, wherever that is. I have to say I don’t like the thought too much. While it may sound ridiculous to most of you reading this, we feel like we barely got started. Two weeks of Vietnam wasn’t enough, neither were two months in India. The list goes on and we feel this trip has put together a to do list as there are so many places and things we didn’t at all know about a year ago and now want to go see. Should this be it? Back to Europe, getting an office job, a mortgage and 1.2 (statistical German average) kids?

Thank You for inviting us for a train ticket or a night in a guesthouse, please let us know your address. We would love to send you a card from Russia!

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