Friday, July 5, 2013

Kazan Russia - Day 2: Happy 4th of July!

 Who thought Russia could be hot?  Well it is!  It was 90 degrees today and the sand was a little hot for the boys.  We had our first practice to get acclimated to the weather and courts today and practice went well.  We then toured the tourist district of Kazan, which is very famous for it Kremlin(Castle).

 Security is big here.  Every venue had scanners (which I set off with my new hips), and they search all our bags and make us turn on all our electronic equipment to show that it is real.

 We were the first team out on the new courts that were built just for this event.  They are right next to a river.  They've done a good job on them.

 Some famous women volleyball player.

 The boys warming up.

 We are famous!  When practice was over, we went sightseeing and a local news crew interviewed us about our travels and wanted to know what we liked about Kazan.  

 This is the official mascot, and a countdown clock.  There are several of these all over Kazan.  The whole city is very fired up about these events.  People come up to us and want to take pictures with us; it makes us feel pretty special.

 Goof ball!

 Another couple churches.

 Goof ball number two.  The lady in the shop was laughing at me and told our translator that that was a women's hat...who knew.

 We had a nice lunch in an outdoor cafe.  The food is better in the University Games Cafeteria.

 The people here are so friendly!

 These two girls were watching us for a while and came up to have their picture taken with us, and then they hung out with us for the next hour.  They didn't speak any English but they were happy to be around some crazy Americans on the 4th of July.

 This area looked like Disneyland.  I started to sing "it's a small world after all"  and it stuck in everybody's head the rest of the day.

 This is the famous Kremlin.  We will go back and get a tour later this week.  

 John's first subway ride.

This dance group does a cultural dance at the Flag Raising Ceremony.  Each country raises its flag for the games.  You can see the flagpoles behind.  There are 197 countries participating in these games.