When my husband said he was going to a two day conference in Murmansk I seized the chance to go with him. “But what will you do all day” he asked? I assured him that I would be quite happy walking around the town and visiting museums on my own – i’m a big girl… Continue reading Murmansk – Capital of the Arctic
Yup it’s not a mis-print, Arthur Ransome, most famous in Britain as the author of the children’s book Swallows and Amazons, spent time in Russia. When I was 9, my Aunt gave me Ransome’s book ‘Old Peter’s Russian Tales‘ for Christmas. I still have it and brought it to Russia with me when we moved… Continue reading In Search of Arthur Ransome – in Russia
Contrary to my expectations Moscow has a vibrant coffee shop scene. There are many small cafes dotted around the city. Some are chains and some are independent. Some have a cosy old wooden vibe and others an ultra modern space age feel. They sell a variety of particularly delicious cakes and pastries as well as… Continue reading Moscow Coffee Culture – Raf or Bumble?
In April, when winter was truly over, we decided to spend the Orthodox Easter break visiting a few more towns on the Golden Ring. We set off on the Yaroslavl highway in the pouring rain, passing Pereslavl-Zalessky, sight of a previous trip. We headed on until we reached the small town of Rostov on the… Continue reading Golden Ring Part 3: Rostov to Yaroslavl via Uglich and Rybinsk
Nastoiki are homemade Russian liquors, usually flavoured vodka. Many restaurants and bars will sell a selection of 3 or 4 different flavours; some might have up to 6 different flavours to choose from. If you are feeling brave you can buy a set – one of each – to try. There are sweet ones generally… Continue reading NASTOIKI! Zaztravia!
A month after our trip to Vladimir and Suzdal (see part 1) we ventured off to a couple more towns on the Golden Ring. First up was Sergiev Posad, home to the Trinity monastery of St Sergius, founded in 1340, which is today one of the most important spiritual sites in Russia and an active… Continue reading The Golden Ring Part 2: Pereslavl-Zalessky and Sergiev Posad
The drive from Irkutsk to Olkhon island is 4 hours. We set off at 10:00 heading north out of town. Slowly the city sprawl and the villages strung out along the road gave way to a vast nothingness. Mile after mile of a gently undulating, muted, two tone landscape; brown trees, brown grass, brown earth… Continue reading Siberia part 2 – Lake Baikal
I have just spent an amazing 3 days visiting Irkusk and Lake Baikal in Siberia. First let me start with getting there. My husband and I flew with Pobeda, Aeroflot’s low cost airline. The crew were smart and professional and the planes clean but basic. It is a 6 hour flight but the airline is… Continue reading Siberia part 1 – Irkutsk
A Russian love poem about love of his country by Mikhail Lermontov (1814 – 1841). Translated by Peter France. Lermontov was a Romantic and considered the Byron of Russia. My County I love my country, but with a strange love – stronger than reason! ….. Neither the fame that blood can buy, nor the calm… Continue reading A Love Poem for St Valentines Day
This weekend my husband and I went away, as part of a group, to a recreational resort complex on the banks of the rivers Volga and Shosha. The complex, opened during the Soviet times and run by the ‘Ministry of Hospitality’ for the use of diplomats and other ‘foreign representations’, is about 2 hours from… Continue reading A weekend in Zavidovo