My Visit to Galka, 19 May 2001

This page was begun 26 June  and revised 14 July 2001 -- rak.

Galka still sits on the banks of the Volga, the views of which are simply breathtaking from many different vantage points.  This first picture shows the village when you first approach it.  galkavolga3.JPG (35409 bytes)  You also have a nice view galkavolga2.JPG (56090 bytes)  from the cemetery.  The Volga is so dominant it is almost impossible for me to think of the village without thinking immediately of the river.  This is the view of the river from the northern end of the village. galkavolga1.JPG (42539 bytes)  And just to the left of that view you can see a dredge at work.  My guess is they are putting in or renewing a big dock.  galkavolgadredge.JPG (26307 bytes)

We were immediately directed to a German lady who lives in a German-built old house.  galkahouse1.JPG (92442 bytes)  You can see Elena our interpreter talking with her.  She, in turn, directed us to her parents' home.  galkahouse2.JPG (41542 bytes)  It is the house on the right in that last picture.  Here is a detail from their garden  galkagate.JPG (109978 bytes)  gate.  And here are the couple, Lena and Karl Maier, with Ed and Elena standing among their fruit trees.  galka couple.JPG (154493 bytes)  Fortunately, our driver had not come in with us, so I took the picture, proof positive that we talked with Germans!  Llena and Karl had come to Galka in 1971.

When we first approached their house, Karl was not at home and no one answered the knock.  Then I noticed that a woman was working out in their extensive garden, so Elena went back and approached her there.  Later I had occasion to go out into the garden to see what she had been doing.  She a an about 1-quart jar half full of liquid into which she had been putting potato bugs.  So when I got back to the house, I told her that I since we had interrupted her work, I would help her pick potato bugs -- that I was very experienced, having help my grandmother do that for years when I was a kid.  She got a big kick out of that, laughed heartily and declined my offer.  Guess she didn't think I was serious.  But I was ... at least half!

The sharp eyed will have noted that there are some very large two-story houses in Galka.  The old couple told us they were built with funds from Germany or from a German bank.  One of the projects of that operation was to build a "motel" which is still there. galkamotel1.JPG (78014 bytes) This is just one end of it with its sign still in place, although we were told the venture has folded and the units are now provide permanent housing to families.  Nevertheless, as you can see, the sign is still in place.  galkamotel2.JPG (11541 bytes)  It says Aker Inn in German; Aker Hotel in Russian. Evidently theGerman money no longer is flowing and the couple were relieved by that since they felt what was done with the money made it harder for them as Germans to live there peaceably.

The sharp-eyed will also have noted that there are large, usually insulated, pipes running all over the place around the houses.  Galka, like some other villages and all cities in Russia, has central heat.  It is generated by one central plant and piped above ground (in the villages) to each house.  You will also have noted that all of the villages I visited had electricity and, usually, television.

As we left Galka, we had an Adventure, click on it to share it!

To go on to visits to other villages, click here.

To go back to the main Galka page, click on it.