As action packed as the previous day was, its sequel was a lot more relaxed. For starters, since I had done about eighty-five percent of what I set out to do, I was able to depart for the city center later. Without having a World Cup match to plan around, the main goal was to just meander throughout Volgograd. Therefore, I’d like to preemptively apologize for my last day in the city for being relatively boring to read about.
My day started by enjoying a nice, hot morning of sleeping in/relaxing in the common room. By this point, laziness was in full swing, so I admit to spending far more time in the hostel than I should have. However, what got me to be less of a bum was the fact that I was starving. So, after coordinating a trip into the center with the affable Mexican bunkmate, we enjoyed a nice Germanic lunch of bratwurst and beer at the excellent Bamberg restaurant. After that, we departed for our respective itineraries: him to the nearby Fan Zone, while I decided to walk to some of the remaining destinations on my list. At the top of the list was the Volgograd Planetarium, which was about a 15 minute walk from the restaurant. However, as I was entering, I second guessed myself. How badly did I want to visit again? I mean, the reviews on Tripadvisor were pretty high. However, I was kinda put off that you’d have to wait for a tour (not in English; I kinda figured that irregardless of whatever I saw, I’d have good practice), and I spent 30 minutes there for the guide to start. Once we began, I simply realized that there was no way I’d be able to focus, as I was knackered from the previous day’s lack of sleep. Fifteen minutes into the tour and I just called it a day-my 300 ruble ticket was a donation to them, a write off for forcing myself to pay for something I wasn’t enthusiastic about. Don’t get me wrong though, in a normal situation I would have been super eager to see the planetarium and explore. Just, whatever happened that day meant my enthusiasm wasn’t there. I guess the fact that there wasn’t a lot of remaining stuff on my itinerary to see, there was a sense of obligation to complete it. Lesson learned though! However, the Museum Pamyat was a mere ten minute walk away, which more than made up for things. For starters, it was situated in the former headquarters of the German Army’s main general, Friedrich Paulus. What I especially liked was how visitors were able to see tidbits that you wouldn’t normally have learned about, namely the planning (there were lots of maps), some background (e.g. about a department store that played a pivotal part), and even about the field hospitals. As a history buff, you can’t find much better information than this! Despite its small size, the museum was rather engaging. Lots of mannequins helped to reinforce the brevity of Paulus’ situation, and I especially thought it was neat how his mock-up looked haggard. Sure, I spent maybe 45-60 minutes there, but it was neat soaking up all they had to offer-I definitely recommend stopping by!
After leaving the museum, I just strolled around the center a bit longer. By this point, I had already seen enough that it wasn’t worth sticking around for the rest of the night; besides, I did have to go to bed earlier as my flight was at 8 the next morning. To some extent I realize that I didn’t see as much as I could or should have, but I did pack in enough for my taste during the two full days. So, that was my time in Volgograd in a nutshell.