The Tower in the Terminal

To serve its almost 20,000,000 (yes, twenty million!) inhabitants, the city of Moscow can count on nine railway terminals and four international airports: Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo, Zhukovsky, and Vnukovo. Today I want to talk about the last one in this list and, in particular, abut a rather unique architectural solution. Vnukovo is Moscow's oldest operating airport and it is the highest... Continue Reading →

Black sky and white Volga

Coming from the warmer climate of Italy, my native country, I am still very much fascinated by the frozen rivers of Russia. Especially the large and very large ones, like the Volga, which turn completely white in winter once they are covered in snow. If you've been reading this blog, you also know I am deeply intrigued by the possibility of visiting Russian cities and regions that were once completely off-limits to foreigners (and to most Russians, as well) under Soviet Union law. The picture above combines both of this element and maybe that is why it means a lot to me.

The magnificently eclectic Farmer’s Palace in Kazan

Situated in Kazan the capital and largest city of he Republic of Tatarstan, the Farmer's Palace is a pretty unique building. It serves as the headquarters of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Tatarstan (link in Russian), the Chief Veterinary Department, the State Enterprise "RACIN" and a number of other organizations. Amongst these the Agriculture Ministry is by far the most important, as the sector saw a very significant grow in the last number of years and today represents 5.1% of the total revenue of the republic.

1.500 steps to the Volga

Originally the staircase, which is has over 1.500 steps, was simply "Volga Staircase" but it was soon renamed Chkalov Staircase, after the world-famous test pilot and hero of the Soviet Union Valery Chkalov, the first man to fly from Moscow, to Vancouver, Washington, in the United States via the North Pole on an Tupolev ANT-25 plane, a non-stop distance of 8,811 kilometres (5,475 mi).

The Arktika Train: Moscow to Murmansk

Today I want to present you the Artika train (Artic train), that takes you from Moscow to Murmansk, above the Artic Circle, and/or back. Murmansk is by far the largest city north of the Arctic Circle (with a population of around 300.000 people) and is a major port on the Arctic Ocean. It is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, an inlet of the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, close to Russia's borders with Norway.

Sixty: the highest restaurant in Europe

Sixty operates both as a restaurant and as a cafè. That is one of the greatest features of the place and a truly fantastic opportunity not to miss if you want to enjoy one of Moscow's most spectacular views on a budget! You can actually go to this establishment pretty much at any time during opening hours and, provided it is not already full, you can then just enjoy a cup of coffee (or tea, if you are feeling very Russian or very British) and no one will even raise an eyebrow because you are not raking up a substancial bill.

The very Gehrysh Planeta KVN in Moscow

The former “Havana” Movie Theatre, now transformed in the Planeta VKN Youth Center. The three big letters you see on the front of the building are actually not "KBH" as one instinctively reads them in English (or Latin alphabet), but they are the Cyrillic letters KVN. They stand for Klub Vesyólykh i Nakhódchivykh or Ka-Ve-En, which translates into “Club of the Funny and Inventive”.

The thermal waters of Krasnousolsky

his is just an example of one of the endless Russian gems that foreign tourist almost never get to experience. The main reason why is that this natural spa is a 2 hour drive from Ufa and a good 20 hour drive from Moscow, but if you are persistent enough to get to Krasnousolsk and then still a bit further up the road to the spa resort, you will be rewarded with a pristine nature and wonderful thermal waters.

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