Olympics? Obviously everyone knows what that is!
Paralympics ? Yeah OK, heard of it.
Universiade/World University Games ? Never heard of that before! Until I came to Kazan...
This cat with wings was the mascot of the 2013 Summer Universiade which lasted from the 6th to the 17th of July. The whole city was buzzing with excitement for weeks before the beginning of the games. Roads were being rebuilt and English signs were being put up.
The games started about two weeks after we had been in Kazan, and the difference in the atmosphere was incredible. The main street (named Baumana) was ACTUALLY crowded, and you could always hear different languages being spoken all around you with all the athletes dressed in their country's shirts with locals dashing up to them for a quick photo. Not going to lie, we couldn't resist these Estonian boys either.
(We also lied about being athletes to avoid revealing too much information to creepy men)
Tickets for the Universiade were also very cheap, costing only about 70-120 roubles (100 roubles being £2) per event, and it even included a whole day of free transport around the city. So we went to see the swimming heats.
I never knew that watching swimming could be so exciting! And so many countries participated!!
The tickets also gave us free access to the Olympic park, where there were some activities and a concert in the evenings. Then from 10-11 there was a free Cirque du Soleil show!!
Only problem with a free Cirque de Soleil show was that it was extremely crowded, and Russians aren't exactly polite when it comes to queuing as we got pushed around the whole time, and some babushka's hand was up my bum.
Nonetheless it was an amazing show with some really spectacular acrobats and stunts.
This was the scariest one as the man was unharnessed and at one point, even blindfolded!!
xx Vagabond Girl