Gulags and Wilderness at -40

January 3rd, 2012

January first and there is a plane to catch. Where? To the Ural Mountains and into the western edge of Siberia.
First stop was Perm. It was a breezy -30 when we got off the plane.
That evening we didnt have time to do much we just got to a hotel and slept.
Then in the morning we went to the bus station
We were headed to a town called Chusovoi. After arriving we had to flag someone down to take us to the camp
We were headed there to see the only Gulag camp in Russia that wasn’t destroyed when it closed and has now been turned into a museum. Its called Perm 36
This is a lamp that the prisoners made
The beds they slept on
A typical cell
We were the only visitors there. It was quiet interesting but very cold. it was -40 out.
When we bought the train tickets we asked how we could get back to Perm. This gulag was about 20km from a city. The lady at the bus station said there was a bus stop about 1km from the camp and sold us return tickets. She said she would inform the driver to be sure to stop.
So we went to the bus stop to wait.
There wasnt much around. There was an old abandoned gas station behind us but nothing else. After waiting outside for an hour the bus either never came or we missed it. Not knowing what to do we went into the old gas station to get out of the elements for a bit
Our only option was try to flag someone down and hope they can get us closer to Perm. We only saw a car about once every 15 minutes or so but the first one we saw stopped. It was a family going to Perm to visit relatives. we were able to cram in for the 160km ride to town.
We stopped to help some other cars out that had slid off the road. Finally a few hours later we were back at the hotel. They charged us the equivalent of $5.00 for the ride!
Continue: Kungur Ice Caves