De-icing at Domodedovo

When temperatures plummet below zero Celsius (32 Fahrenheit) a very time consuming (but absolutely critical) operation that planes have to go through before departure is that of de-icing.

The Mosque of Kazan

The Qolşärif Mosque in the city of Kazan is one of the most impressive mosques in Russia and arguably in the whole world and it is the main mosque in the Republic of Tatarstan. Situated inside the Kazan Kremlin, it was built between 1996 and 2005 in honour of the old  mosque of the Khanate of Kazan, which was destroyed in October 1552 during the siege of Kazan by the Russian Tzar Ivan the Terrible.

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.

A Rocketship in the center of Moscow

The Vostok rocket, still proudly sporting the USSR (CCCP in Cyrillic) acronym in bright red letters on the side. To understand the historic importance of this rocket suffice to say that the first human spaceflight in history was accomplished on this spacecraft on April 12, 1961, by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

Lenin – the first nuclear propulsion ship in history

Murmansk, Russia (above the Arctic Circle). There is a lot to see, but for a technology and history geek like me, one attraction is clearly the most special of all. I am talking about the 1957 icebreaker Lenin. Now a museum, it was both the world's first nuclear-powered surface ship and the first nuclear-powered civilian vessel, when it entered operation in 1959. Visiting the Lenin is a truly unique occasion to see what a state-of-the-art operational Soviet nuclear icebreaker looked like in 1989.

Straight lines, or lack thereof

Wooden house in Russia, Tver. When photographing a building it is always important to try and keep vertical and horizontal lines straight. In this respect, Russian architecture frequently poses a serious challenge and often not by design!

Christmas in ГУМ

GUM store on Red Square at Christmas, Moscow, Russia. First of all, ГУМ (GUM) is an interesting abbreviation. In the Soviet Union  there was no free market or free competition, so all department stores were state-owned and largely state-run and they were appropriately called "Государственный универсальный магазин" or simply "State Department Store".

Winter is coming!

The wait is over! After a seemingly endless hiatus, Game of Thrones returns tonight! To celebrate the occasion, here's a picture that could easily have come from behind the wall. This is actually a remote artic road, also known as a white road, that connects Murmansk to the fishing village of Teriberka, both North of... Continue Reading →

White Winter Roads

There are two things that surprised me when I first saw the Russian roads during winter. First of all, the excess snow gets removed, but the roads are never completely cleaned. A layer of snow always remains on the road surface. This might seem dangerous, but it is actually for safety. Winter tires are specifically... Continue Reading →

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