[Vladivostok Travelogue] Souvenir shopping and a short trip to Ussuriysk in the suburbs (Part 2)

We’ve had a great trip this time, nine days and seven nights (eight days in Vladivostok)!

The second part is from day five to the last day!
We went streetcar riding, souvenir shopping at a large supermarket, and took the Trans-Siberian Railway to Ussuriysk in the suburbs for a short trip.
We also took the Trans-Siberian Railway to Ussuriysk, a suburb of Vladivostok. (Part 1)

[Vladivostok Travelogue] I went to the famous Eagle's Nest Observatory and Fountain Street! (Part 1)
I went to Vladivostok, Russia, which is said to be the closest Europe from Japan, only 2.5 hours away! ...

I’ve included information on what you won’t find in the guidebooks, how much it costs, where it’s located, etc., so if you’re going to Vladivostok, please refer to that!

Travel Schedule

Day 1: From Japan to Vladivostok via Seoul
Day 2: Check out souvenirs at the city’s best souvenir shop
Day 3: May Day parade and sightseeing at the Submarine Museum
Day 4: Visit the Eagle’s Nest Observatory and Pakulovsky Church.
Day 5: Take a bus to the suburbs. Ride a streetcar.
Day 6: Visit Vladivostok Railway Station
Day 7: Take the Trans-Siberian Railway to Ussuriysk
Day 8: Souvenir shopping at various places
Day 9: Return to Japan by direct flight

In addition to the standard spots recommended for first-time visitors to Vladivostok, such as cute sundries, Russian food, and sightseeing spots, we also visited Ussuriysk, a two-hour ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway!
The second half of this report is from Day 5 to Day 9.

Travel Style

・First visit to Vladivostok and Russia
・I like to buy groceries and souvenirs.
・I am interested in Europe.
・I like fun places.
・Sometimes I buy food from supermarkets or delicatessens and eat it at the hotel.
・I travel mainly by bus and cab.
・I am traveling alone this time, but usually travel as a couple.
・I want to go to a place close to Japan.
・I want to go to a place that is close to Japan.

・If you want to go to Europe easily, visit Vladivostok or Russia for the first time, or travel alone or as a couple, I think this will be a good reference for you!

Day 5: Take a bus to the suburbs. Take a streetcar.

First, we’ll move hotels: Equator Hotel -> Hotel Primorye.

We will move from the Equator Hotel, where we stayed for the first three nights, to the Hotel Primorye, where we will stay for the remaining four nights.

Hotel Primorye is conveniently located just a five-minute walk from the Vladivostok train station.

It is a famous hotel that is often introduced in guidebooks.

This is also a double room for one person.
It’s an old but clean and comfortable room.

This hotel also has a bathtub.
Many hotels in Europe do not have bathtubs, but most hotels in Vladivostok seem to have bathtubs.

The hotel has all the amenities you need, including a toothbrush set, shampoo and conditioner, so there’s no need to bring your own.

The price was $85.24 per night (including breakfast) during the Golden Week season.
This time I stayed alone, but the price is the same for two people, so if you split the cost, you can stay for $42.62!

Take a bus from Vladivostok Station to the suburbs

Now that we have a room, we’ll take a 30-minute bus ride from the station to the suburbs, where we’ll ride the streetcar, visit the Kitayski market, and the classic car museum!

The streetcars use very classic cars from the Soviet era, which tickles the hearts of railroad enthusiasts (laughs).

Board bus #31 and head for the streetcar station!

First, take bus number 31 from the Zentrum bus stop in front of the central square to the Sporchivnaya Street bus stop where you can transfer to the streetcar.

The ride took about 30 minutes, a long and leisurely journey.

The great thing about Vladivostok buses is that the fare is the same no matter how far you ride.

The fare is $0.46 for a 30-minute ride.

Visiting the vibrant downtown market

We arrived at the Sporchivnaya Street bus stop and boarded the streetcar!

But before that, we decided to visit the Kitayski Market right in front of the tram stop.

As the kitchen of Vladivostok’s citizens, the Kitaisky Market here sells vegetables, miscellaneous goods, electrical appliances, and most excitingly for tourists, marine products such as crab and salmon roe, honey, and many other souvenirs.

And they’re all cheaper than what you’d get at a supermarket in the center!

The veggies are arranged in a pyramid, so pretty!

In the room further down the hall, seafood is sold.

Tea, by the way, was also on sale for about 30% less!

You can’t buy seafood because you can’t take it home with you, but you can buy other items cheaper than in the city, and I recommend looking for them here.
You can’t buy seafood here because you can’t take it home, but you can buy other items cheaper than in the city.

It’s a fun market just to look at how they are arranged.

Ride a Soviet-era streetcar!

Finally, the long awaited streetcar ride.

This time, we aimed for a complete run.


・Sportyvenaya Street Tram Stop → Minni Galadok Tram Stop (the last stop)
・Minni Galadok tram stop → Sakhalinskaya Street tram stop (the other end of the line)
・Visit to the Classic Car Museum
・Sakhalinskaya Street stop → Lugovaya stop → bus to the center
.

This was the route we took.

The train arrived, so I got on.

The body of the train was in shambles…


What a wooden chair inside the car!

It’s a little beat up, but it’s a fun car with a lot of flavor.

The newer cars are more comfortable for everyday use, but for trips like this, the older cars have a better atmosphere!

By the way, like buses, streetcars are the same price no matter how far you ride, $0.32 per trip!

Visit the Classic Car Museum to see cars from the Soviet era

The Classic Car Museum is just a two-minute walk from the Sakhalinskaya Street streetcar stop, the last stop on the streetcar line.

This museum mainly displays cars from the Soviet era, and they are all valuable cars that are not usually seen in Japan.

I paid the $4 admission fee and went inside.

A Soviet-era automobile is suddenly sitting on the ground.

Unfortunately, I don’t know what kind of vehicle it is, but it’s quite a large car, so it’s definitely for important people.

Moving on to the back, we found a Model T Ford.

It was indeed the first mass-produced car in the world, so I guess it’s worth displaying in Russia.

Moving on, here is a Soviet convertible.

It was quite a large car, and apparently it was used for some kind of parade.

Returning to the first room we entered, this seemed to be a car for the general public.

Although it was intended for the general public, the body was large.
I wonder if it was designed to be able to drive comfortably on unpaved roads in the Soviet Union.

It looks retro, and I really wanted to ride it (laughs).

This is a display of motorcycles.
It looks like a Vespa, but it’s not. It’s a copy of a western product that was common during the Soviet era.

Most of the vehicles are from the east, but sometimes there are some from the west.

Further on, there are military vehicles on display.

There is even a “Rikuo” that was manufactured in Japan before the war.

It’s not a big museum, but it’s a place where you can spend a lot of time with exhibits that you can’t find in Japan.

Basic information about the Classic Car Museum

・Entrance fee: $4.00
・Opening hours: 10:00 – 18:00
・Closed: Monday
・Address: Ulitsa Sakhalinskaya, 2а, Vladivostok, Primorskiy kray, Russia 690025

Strolling through the flea market around the Kitaisky market

We took the streetcar again and came back to the Kitayski Market.

From the Classic Car Museum, you can take bus 31 back to the central square, but I was curious about the flea market going on around here, so I came here.

Retro goods are miscellaneously arranged.

In the midst of all this, I saw a store selling old badges, so I took a quick peek.

I bought a Soviet-era pin badge on impulse (laughs).
They cost $1 each.

To Starobaya at Vladivostok Station

This evening we had dinner at Kopeyka, a Starobaya (cafeteria) located in the basement of Vladivostok Station on the Airport Express.

It is a very cozy Starobaya with the appearance of a stylish Parisian cafe.

Tell the clerk what you want and ask him to take it.

On this day, we had kasha, which is made from cooked buckwheat noodles, and pizza.

I didn’t know what kasha was, but the waiter (the guy in the photo above) kept recommending it, so I tried it, and to my surprise, it tasted just like soba noodles! (Of course.)
It tastes just like soba!

It was a bit much, but you can also take it out, so don’t worry.
The price is $4.64 for this.
Eating out in Russia is really cheap, which is a big help!

Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s not tasty, and you can really enjoy the taste of Russian home cooking!
It seems that the locals usually use Starobaya rather than other restaurants.

If you are looking for a cheap meal and want to taste some home cooking, please go there.

Basic information about Starobaya “Kopeyka”

・Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
・Closed: No holidays
・Address: Ulitsa Aleutskaya, 4, Vladivostok, Primorskiy kray, Russia 690007

 

 

Day 6: Leisurely stroll around the city

Pizza for breakfast at the hotel

We didn’t have any particular destination in mind today, so we had a leisurely start.

The hotel’s breakfast is served by a pizza restaurant, and pizza seems to be a big seller.

As expected, the pizza was delicious.
Pizza in the morning? But the pizza was surprisingly light and easy to eat.

There was also a wide selection of other breads and fruits.

Bike event in the central square

Today, there was a motorcycle festival in the central square.

If such a large scale event were held in Shinjuku or Shibuya in Japan, I’m sure there would be complaints immediately…

Various types of vehicles are participating in the event.

During the long, long Russian winter, you can’t ride a motorcycle at all, so perhaps the joy of welcoming spring is even greater than in Japan.

It seems that anything with two wheels can participate (laughs)

Return to Buro Nahodak in the back of Gumu

Today we went to Buro Nahodak, a general store that we couldn’t enter on the fourth day.

This store is popular for its cute Cyrillic-lettered goods and five-color coffee.

There are a lot of cute goods on display.

I bought a notebook with Cyrillic characters ($3.20).

For some reason, there was also a swing set in the store that I was allowed to ride.

And the rumored five colors of coffee.
With colors like these, I’m really curious about the taste!

I chose orange, which seemed to have the least impact on me if anything happened…

And then it came out.

It’s a beautiful orange color.

I’m curious about the taste… It’s just normal, delicious coffee.

It seems that each color is just a color, and does not affect the taste.

Bureau Nahodak’s basic information

・Opening hours: 11:00 – 20:00
・Closed: No regular holidays
・Address: Svetlanskaya St, 31/2, Vladivostok, Primorskiy kray, Russia 690091

 

 

Shopping for notebooks at a bookstore on Fountain Street.

The next stop was a bookstore called “Blood Kunigi” at the entrance of Fountain Street.

I came here because it seemed to have not only books, but also stationery such as notebooks and miscellaneous goods.

The store is nice and spacious and bright.

We quickly found some books and souvenirs about Vladivostok.

There was also a Russian version of The Star Prince.

Again, I’m looking for a notebook…

I bought these Russian-looking notebooks ($0.80 each).

The books are in Russian, so I can’t read them, but if you want Russian-looking stationery and notebooks, you can use them after you go back to Japan.

The products in this store are not sold in ordinary souvenir shops, so if you want something unusual, please go there.

You’re sure to find something you like.

Basic information about Blood Kunigi

・Business hours: 10:00 to 20:00
・Closed: No regular holidays
・Address: Ulitsa Aleutskaya, 27, Vladivostok, Primorskiy kray, Russia 690091

 

 

Knorr’s borscht flavor is the only thing this place has!

One of the standard Russian souvenirs is Knorr’s Borscht base (middle photo), which is very Russian and makes a great souvenir.

However, I couldn’t find it at all in any of the supermarkets in Vladivostok…

I had looked in all the major supermarkets, and even in some of the lesser ones, and was about to give up when I found one in a slightly obscured area!

It’s Chico Market Semenovskaya Street, about a five-minute walk from the central square.

It’s such a minor (new?) store that it doesn’t even show up on Google Maps. It is so minor (new?) that it doesn’t even appear on Google Maps.

The price is $0.60 per bag, including flavors other than borscht.

Cooking example. The red one in the foreground is the borscht flavor.
The red one in the foreground is the borscht flavor, and it tastes just like the borscht I had in Russia.

Basic information about Chico Market Semenovskaya Street

Opening hours: 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Closed: No holidays
Address: Semenovskaya Ulitsa, 30, Vladivostok, Primorskiy kray, Russia 690091

 


It’s not on Google Maps, so here’s a store in the neighborhood instead. It is across the street from this store.

Day 7: Short trip to Ussuriysk on the Trans-Siberian Railway

Today I’m going to take the Trans-Siberian Railway to Ussuriysk, a city two hours away by train.

I’d really like to take the sleeper train to Khabarovsk, which is two days and one night away, but I can’t go that far because of my visa, so I’ll just stick with Ussuriysk.

By the way, the train costs $4.60 one way! Even though it’s a regular train, this is an unbelievable price for a two-hour ride!
After all, public transportation in Russia is so cheap…

Vladivostok station with beautiful interior decoration

Vladivostok Station is the terminus and gateway to the Asian side of the country, located 9288 km from the capital Moscow.
Naturally, the station is also very large, making it an appropriate first stop for long-distance trains.

There is a large ceiling painting as you enter the first entrance.
This depicts Moscow (on the left) and Vladivostok (on the right) at both ends.If you go to the back, you will find a relief of Czar Nicholas II.
This is a memorial to the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway by Nicholas II.

As we proceeded further, uniforms and tools of old railroad workers were on display, making it look like a museum.

The stairs leading down to the platform also had a solemn atmosphere, and I fantasized about how good it would feel to ride a long-distance train from such a place (laughs).

Finally boarding the train!

Long-distance trains to other cities have a locomotive pulling the carriages, a style common in Europe, but the train to Ussuriysk (Elektrochka) is the same as a commuter train.

Russian trains have been running in tatters since the Soviet era, and I have not heard good things about them.

But what came this day was the latest model! A much cooler one!
I was excited, but I wanted to ride a raggedy one, so I was actually disappointed inside…

I’ll look forward to it on the way back.

Russian trains are wider than Japanese trains, so the seats in the train are wider than those of the Shinkansen, with six horizontal rows, which is quite impressive.

But still, the seats are hard!
The seats are far from comfortable…

And so the train departed.

Through the city, by the sea.

Now the plains were closing in on us.
Incidentally, the name of the station is 9194km Station.
In other words, it is a station located 9194 km from Moscow.
There was so much going on that we didn’t even have a name for the place, so that’s how the station got its name (laughs).

We finally arrived in Ussuriysk!

After two hours of such a bumpy ride, we finally arrived at Ussuriysk!

Ussuriysk is a city located 100 km north of Vladivostok, and it used to be the center of trade, with international trains running from this city to China and North Korea.
In contrast to Vladivostok, which is a naval city, Ussuriysk is an army city, so there are many soldiers in camouflage uniforms all over the city.

There are two objectives in Ussuriysk!
・Visit the Cathedral of the Protection of the Blessed Virgin: a Russian Orthodox church that has not been destroyed during the Soviet era and has remained unchanged since 1917.
・Take a picture of the “I love Ussuriysk” statue in the Civic Park: a Ussuriysk version of the statue on the seaside in Vladivostok.

We’ll go see each of these!

The Cathedral of the Asylum of the Living Goddess as it looked in 1917

First, we went to the Cathedral of the Protection of the Living Goddess.
Ussuriysk station is quite far from the center of the city, so I thought of taking a bus, but I couldn’t find the bus stop and gave up.
I decided to walk, but it took me 25 minutes…

And so we arrived at the Cathedral of the Protection of the Living Goddess.

While many churches in Russia were destroyed after the Russian Revolution, this cathedral was the only one in Primorsky Krai that escaped destruction and has remained unchanged since 1917.

The interior, like other Russian Orthodox churches, is decorated with many golden walls and gilded icons.

They were just having mass.

The atmosphere was completely different from that of a Catholic church.

There is a rule for women to wear a scarf on their head when entering the church.

Basic Information on the Cathedral of the Protection of Living Goddesses

・Entrance fee: Free
・Opening hours: 8:00 – 19:00
・Closed: No regular holidays
Address: Ulitsa Chicherina, 80А, Ussuriysk, Primorskiy kray, Russia 692519

 

 

Lunch at a cafe we finally found

It was past 2 pm when we left the Cathedral of the Protection of the Living Goddess.
I was getting hungry.

As we headed for our next destination, the Civic Park, we walked again, hoping to find somewhere to eat.

…but I couldn’t find any restaurants or cafes.
I’ve read on the internet that there are not many restaurants in Ussuriysk, but it seems to be true….

I couldn’t even find a supermarket (maybe there was one, but I can’t read Cyrillic…).

After walking for about 10 minutes, I finally found a cafe.
I have no choice but to enter.

There were so many insanely delicious looking breads!

In the meantime, I ordered pirozhki with beef (not pictured), Hachapuri, a Georgian-style pizza, and coffee.
Finally, I could catch my breath and eat.

Arriving at the Civic Park, the main purpose of our visit to Ussuriysk

Less than ten minutes walk from the cafe, we finally arrived at our main destination, the Civic Park!

The park is a place of relaxation for the citizens of Ussuriysk, with not only benches, but also playground equipment and stores, making it feel like an amusement park.

By the way, ice cream is reasonably priced at only $1.40 a pop, so you can’t help but overeat!

Now, the purpose of coming here was to take a picture of the “I love Ussuriysk” statue.
As soon as I started looking for it…

We found it easily.
It is located by the fountain straight ahead from the park gate.

Compared to Vladivostok, there are fewer tourists in Ussuriysk, so no one is taking pictures.
While I was taking pictures, I was floating around quite a bit.

(Because there are so few tourists in Ussuriysk, you can experience things that you can’t in Vladivostok, such as not being able to communicate in English, and being curiously looked at.

Kids running amok in car rides.

The Russians shooting seems a bit more realistic.

This park has a more laid-back atmosphere than Vladivostok.

Basic information about the Civic Park

・Entrance fee: Free
・Opening hours: 8:00 – 22:00
・Closed: No regular holidays
・Address: Уссурийск, Приморский край, 692519

 

 

Ussuriysk enjoyed in a short time

We spent about five hours in Ussuriysk.

We spent 4 hours there and back, so it seemed a bit of a waste, but we thought it would be a good day trip for a small trip.

You can enjoy a different (more spacious and relaxed) atmosphere from Vladivostok.

Vladivostok can be visited in 4 nights, so if you are staying more than 5 nights, please come to Ussuriysk.

The return train ended up arriving at Ussuriysk station an hour late.
It seems that delays are the norm on the Trans-Siberian Railway (laughs).
If you want to get home in a hurry, I recommend using the bus.

The platform side of the station building and the station name sign.

Unlike the way we went, the train was packed on the way back.
By the time we reached Vladivostok, it was completely dark.

Day 8: Souvenir shopping and seeing off the Moscow-bound Russian train

It was finally the eighth day of our trip to Vladivostok.
Tomorrow, I’ll only be returning home, so today is the last day I’ll be able to spend the whole day here.

I’m going on a shopping tour today, going to supermarkets and grocery stores in the suburbs to buy souvenirs.
In the evening, we will go to the Vladivostok train station to see off the Russia train bound for Moscow.

Morning: Food shopping at a large supermarket, Gipermarket Samberg

.
First, we will go to Gipermarket Samberi (ипермаркет Самбери).
Gipermarket means “hypermarket” in English. That means it’s a very big supermarket!

From the bus stop near the hotel, take the bus to the Yaltynskaya Street bus stop.
From there, it’s a three-minute walk to Gipel Markhet Samberg.

For more information on how to get there, see “8 Sweets to Take Home in Vladivostok, Russia! For more information on how to get there, please see 8 of the best snacks to take home from Vladivostok, Russia.

8 Sweets to Take Home in Vladivostok, Russia! A selection of food recommendations that have been tried and tested.
What kind of souvenirs and snacks can I buy in Vladivostok, Russia? We have compiled information on sweets and gro...

Supermarkets in Vladivostok tend to get more expensive the closer you get to the center of the city, so this supermarket on the outskirts of Vladivostok is “well-stocked and cheap! This supermarket is located in the suburbs.
It’s about 30% cheaper than supermarkets in the city center, so even if you pay $0.92 for the round trip bus fare, you’ll get your money’s worth.

There is also a wide variety of general merchandise.

Chocolates such as Lays and Aryonka, which are not available in Japan, are available in a wide variety and inexpensive, making them perfect for bulk purchases!

There are many different kinds of black tea that are drunk in Russia.

They also had canned salmon and salmon roe.

I ended up buying over $40 worth of snacks and chocolates here (laughs).
Plastic bags are charged for, so it’s a good idea to bring an eco-bag.

Basic Information about Gipel Market Samberi Basic Information

・Opening hours: 8:00 – 23:00
・Closed: No holidays
・Address: Ulitsa Krygina, 23, Vladivostok, Primorskiy kray, Russia 690065

 

 

Lunch at the trendy Starobaya

We left the items we bought in Samberi at the hotel and had our last lunch in Vladivostok.

This time we will be going to Niluidai, a Starobaya that I have wanted to visit since the beginning.

It’s a super fancy looking place inside, but it’s Starobaya, so the prices are reasonable!

We ate our fill and it cost us about $7!

Basic information about Niredi Dai

Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 9:00-22:00, Sat-Sun: 10:00-22:00.
Closed: No regular holidays
Address: Владивосток, Приморский край, 690091

 

 

Take a break at a cafe on Fountain Street

After lunch, we wandered around Fountain Street, looking for souvenirs.
I’m looking for a hand cream from “Grandma Agafia’s Recipe” series, but I can’t find it because they are all sold out…

I’m tired, so I decide to take a break at a cafe.

We came to a Russian coffee chain called “Pirate Coffee,” which I had noticed people on the street carrying cups.
By the way, there is no Starbucks at all in Vladivostok.

The restaurant has a stylish atmosphere.

Prices are reasonable.
Coffee is available from $1.10.
I should have come here sooner if this was the case!

Basic information about Pirate Coffee

Business hours: 10:00 – 20:00
Closed: No regular holidays
Address: Ulitsa Admirala Fokina, 10, Vladivostok, Primorskiy kray, Russia 690091

 

 

Blood Gifts for all kinds of souvenirs

In the end, I couldn’t find any hand cream from Grandma Agafia’s recipe series…
I had no choice but to go to Blood Gift.

Blood Gifts in the central square is a bit more expensive than the other stores, but they have everything you need for souvenirs, so if you just can’t find what you’re looking for, I recommend coming here.

I found it fast w all the hard work I’ve done so far…. But I believed I could find it here (laughs).

I also bought some magnets and honey here.

We also have goods of President Putin that you will not see in other stores.

Basic information about Blood Gift

・Business hours: 9:00 to 18:00
・Closed: No regular holidays
・Address: Korabel’naya Naberezhnaya, 1А, Vladivostok, Primorskiy kray, Russia 690091

 

 

Sea Station, the cruise ship terminal behind Vladivostok Station

Having successfully obtained all the souvenirs we had planned, we wandered around the station.

First, we came to the cruise ship terminal “Umi no Eki” located behind the station.
The international ferry from Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture, also arrives here.

I was just here (laughs).
It takes two nights to connect Japan and Russia via Korea.
I was thinking that next time I want to come here by ferry.

The terminal has a fountain and a variety of souvenir shops (at higher prices).

As we ate dessert in front of the station, it was getting dark, so we finally headed to the station to see off the Russia train.

Seeing off the Moscow-bound Russia

From Vladivostok Station here, the Russia Sleeper Express departs once every two days for Moscow.
It is the longest train in the world, traveling 9,288 km to Moscow, and taking 7 days and 6 nights.

It used to be the shortest route from Japan to Europe, and now it is a romantic train journey that even non-railway fans long for.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t take the train this time, so I came to see it off as a preview.

I watched the departure of the Russia, thinking that the next time I would be on board would be when I went to Moscow.

Day 9: Return to Japan

The time had come to leave Vladivostok, where I had spent so much time relaxing….

On the way back, we took a bus to the airport.

We took minibus No. 107, which leaves from the bus stop in front of Vladivostok Station.
The fare is $4 to the airport, plus $2 for large luggage, which is expensive for Vladivostok where buses are cheap.By the way, there are quite a few of them and they are more convenient than the Airport Express (train).We arrived at Vladivostok International Airport in about an hour.
We had some time before the boarding procedure, so we took a walk around the airport.
I had already seen a lot of the airport when I arrived, so I just took some pictures.This is the place where you can buy the famous crab and salmon roe.
They also have canned goods, so if you have leftovers, you can buy them here as well.After completing the boarding process.The plane (in the foreground) arrived.
It’s time to go home. This is the end of our 7-night, 9-day trip to Vladivostok.

Summary

My first visit to Vladivostok was much more beautiful, European, and safe than I had expected!
For a place that’s only two and a half hours away, I’m very satisfied with my trip, and it’s been a very cosy one!

If you’re looking for a different place to visit, or just want to experience Russia in an easy way, you should definitely consider a trip to Vladivostok!

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