The main Reason why we made the detour to Maschatkalla was a experimental Aircraft that lies in the military port in the Caspian Sea. Its a Ground effect Aircraft developed in cold war times and meant to transport troups and weapons with 300mph over the sea. It was able to carry double the weight by using half the fuel of conventional airplanes. We saw pictures of this thing a while ago but would have never believed that we would have the chance to see this thing once in real life.
But why care about all those boring facts -when you see this picture above you will understand why we nerds are totally down for this.
Russian experimental cold war weapons anyone?
We did some research wethever its possible to just go there and take some pictures - maybe there might even be a museum and we could go inside.
Well. the Term "Research" might be a bit exagerrated - we googled it and couldnt find anything - so we decided to just go there and check ourselfes.
"Nijet,Nijet,nijet" said the guard in front of the fenced of military harbour. Our pleas that we came all the way from china to see the famous "caspian sea monster" didnt quite convince him that we are worthy admirers of russian military memorialia but more that we are crazy - That wouldnt open the door for us
We tried different ways around the harbour - maybe there is some kind of viewing plattform over they bay of some sort. What we found was that you could actually get a glimpse of Ecranoplan if you walk along the beach shore and peak trough the fence.
so we did that - i mean - of course we didnt walk along the beach.
We have motorcycles!
So we drove to the fence and spied trough the barbwire
Unfortunately thats all we could see - but in our defense and not to sound crazy:"its was totally worth the detour.
Honestly - It was a bit of a bummer - but if you want see some closeup pictures of us in front and inside of the ecranoplan check out this website and photoshop us in.
Instead I can offer a picture of us on the beach and one more where we give our blessing to newlyweds
After that we continued our trip to Vladikavkaz - the entrance to the Kaukasus.
We passed by the city of Grozny and into Chechnya but except some police checkpoints there was no sign of the war that killed so many people here 10 years ago.
The road was not very exciting - just the anticipation of mountainous Georgia the next day and crazy russian drivers kept us awake.
when we arrived it was already late and started to rain - so we checked into the "Vladikavkaz Hotel" - and thats that.
Ok - one more time "Ecranoplan!"