Curated Expeditions

Curated Expeditions is dedicated to observing and experiencing fascinating earthly phenomena

Archive for June, 2008

First official invitation arrived!

On Thursday, 27th June Agnes received, as a first member of the expedition, her official invitation from Novosibirsk. This invitation is formulated by the Zoo of Novosibirsk and confirmed by Russian Interior Ministry, so, it is very important paper! With that document all the expeditioners are going to applicate the visa from the Russian Embassies in Germany, Spain and Finland, and, after almost three month´s paperwork, the whole adventure seems to be near to happen. The train tickets are almost fixed as well, and now it seems that our final route will be: Helsinki-Moscow-Novosibirsk and return: Novosibirsk Ekaterinburg-St.Petersburg-Helsinki.

To buy a ticket in Platsekarte – wagon in Russia needs patience and good contacts – or a lot of money. In our case there is not lot of money, so it meant that without Tuuli Hakulinen in St. Petersburg Kymi Travel, to buy the “low-cost” train tickets would have been impossible. To purchase a ticket, someone has to go the the station and wait in a line 2-3 hours and if the ticket you want to buy is not available, an alternative plan has to be done very quick. And the difference in between of different wagons is big – if a Platsekarte -wagon costs 100 euros, the same ticket for a Cupé -wagon (the next price group) costs 300 hundred!

In the article of European Bank it says the following:

Just over 15 years ago, the skies above the Soviet Union were full of passengers – more than 130 million each year – flying across 11 time zones in what amounted to the largest country in the world. Today, fewer than 20 million people fly across those 11 time zones in what is now the Russian Federation. With average monthly wages of $400, flying is not an option for much of the population.

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Notes before the first expedition – meeting with Dr. Sabater Pi

From now on I will try to find time and keep you updated on the important things happening in these last weeks before the first Curated Expedition to Novosibirsk. Yesterday I had an opportunity to know in person Dr. Sabater Pi, famous catalan ethologist and antropologist, that passed almost 30 years in Africa studing primates, amphibians and birds in their natural habitat. In spite of his advanced age,( born in 1922) this scientist is still working, giving conferences and interviews. The meeting happened in Documentation Centre that carries his name.

amhibians- Jordi Sabater P�

I have used one of the phrases of Dr. Sabater Pí as a motto of Expedition project – he says in catalan: “observar – dibuixar – conèixer – estimar – protegir ” that in english stands: “observe – draw . know – love – protect”. In the Documentation Centre you can find a rich collection of drawings, watercolours and sketches, realized mostly in Africa, Spain, and a library on topics related to ethology, primatology and anthropology, and ethnological objects of Africa.

Dr. Sabater Pí listened amused to my explination of our plans once in Novosibirsk Zoo – and promised his support for the project. Mireia Saladrigues will visit the centre next week to study closer some issues for her work Zoolar Eclipse, and also interview Dr. before the big journey. He experienced a total solar eclipse some 50 years ago in Equatorial Guinea, great drop of the temperature and the strange light effect.