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All in all, I spent only 3 days and a half in Krasnoyarsk, and it is not at all enough to fully enjoy the city and see everything there is to see.
The airport is some 40 km away from the city, so as you fly in in the evening, it is already getting dark and all you can see is the mountains. The mountains are not very tall, they look more like tallish hills, but these are the famous Sayany that go through Hakassia and to Tibet. The famous "poles" ("stolby") - very tall stones - can be seen from the city too.
The river Yenisey runs through the city. The Yenisey was the only one of the great rivers of Russia that I had not seen before, so it was especially interesting to see its leaden-grey waters and the lots of ducks that stay there all winter as the river does not freeze over in Krasnoyarsk.
The city lies on both sides of tyhe river, one bank being more business/trading/university/administrative area and the other one a more industrial/residential one.
One of the most beautiful streets in Krasnoyarsk is Prospekt Mira. As you walk along it, you feel like you are travelling in time. The end of the street which is closest to the Yenisey starts with a monument to Ryazanov and a concert hall, and as you walk through a tall arch, you find yourself in between two rows of wonderfully preserved late 19-th - early 20th century buildings. Most of these buildings were owned by local merchants, so they are large and built and decorated according to the fashions of St Petersburgh. On every such building you can now see a plaque which tells you whose house it used to be, who the architect was and whether this was a house in which someone lived or whether it was built as a school. Uncharacteristically of Russia of those times, many buildings in this street belonged no to men, but to women, who ran their businesses themselves.
The old houses go about halfway along the street, and then, afte a few more steps, you reach Stalin-era architecture. Massive Empire-style buildings with columns and Soviet symbols look stunningly different from what you have seen just a few minutes ago. Some of the buildings look gloomy, if imposing, but the people of Krasnoyarsk have found a wonderful solution to fight the darkness and gloom. Many of those period pieces are painted in bright colours. You will see a bright-green hospital with white columns which does not look like a typical hospital at all. The Federal Railway has several huge office buildings there too.
The street ends with some of the 1980-s and 1990-s buildings which hardly fit the overall looks and atmosphere of ythe street, but fortunately, there are not so many such buildings there.
Next to this street you can see several beautiful old churches, so when you are still in the 19-th centruy part, you feel like you are visiting a different era.
But what makes the streets of Krasnoyarsk special, is not the architecture, no matter how beautiful it is. What really stands out in the streets is a multitude of fountains, sculptures, artificial trees and small clock towers. Of course, the fountains are now covered for the winter, but as you walk past them, you can imagine how great they must look in the summer when it is hot. The sculptures are very diverse: you can see Alexander pushkin reading poems to Natalie Goncharova, a statue of a local artist in a battered sweater with his study album, figures of a nude woman and man, holding hands, and many other things.
All the clock mini-towers are not tall, they seem to be about 2 meters tall at best. They all look a bit like Big ben, but in fact they resemble the clock tower on the city administration building. Apart from those towers you can also see a couple of very special clocks, with huge round faces with a lot of dials that show time, holidays and jubilees of historic events.
And probably the most special thing about the streets of Krasnoyarsk is the artificial trees. They look like sakura trees, bonsai trees or laurels and cherries. For leaves and blossom they have tiny lightbulbs and in the evenings, when all is dark, they shine with different colours: green, yellow, violet, purple... They really make you feel as if it was Christmas.
I was in Krasnoyarsk only last week, but they already had snow. Last Friday was a sunny day, a bit chilly because of the wind, but the snow was shining brightly in the day, and in the evening everything was filled witht hlight of the trees. And if you have a chance to go to Krasnoyarsk, a walk along its streets in the evening is a must if you want to enjoy the city as much as it deserves.
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