The drive to the student town Tomsk was straight forward till we turned off the main M53. This shortcut was also not recommended by our GPS for obvious reasons. The tarmac was worn out and slow driving. Still I think the recommended detour would have taken us longer. In the town we found a nice camping spot in-between the old houses overlooking the river Tom. We drove/strolled through the streets and saw several lovely old wooden houses. It is great to see that they are being restored where possible. The obligatory Lenin statue was present as well as churches and even a mosque. A caricature statue of Chekov was present along the water front boulevard.