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.

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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 →

Truthful AND deceiving

There are a lot of things I like about this image. I shot it from the Kremlin of Nizhny Novgorod, overlooking the frozen Volga.  The white expanse is actually the river, frozen and covered in snow. The little black dots on it are ice fishermen. They are a bit hard to see at this resolution, but... Continue Reading →

Suzdal Sunset

I realised that in the past few days the blog pictures have all been with a muted colour palette, with lots of white, grey and black. To "remedy" that, luckily I can always go back to one of the incredibly colourful sunsets that Russia so often rewards you with. The picture above was taken in... Continue Reading →

Inception in Saint Petersburg

During the navigation period on the Neva (from April to November) 22 bridges across the river and main canals are drawn at night to let ships pass in and out of the Baltic Sea and right through the city of Saint Petersburg. To know this is important for a number of reasons. It is a... Continue Reading →

The “evil” sun of Bashkortostan

The first time I arrived in Ufa, after a quick 27-hour train trip from Moscow, it was about 30 below, with a heavy snowstorm and strong winds. Not the best weather to fall in love with the place and definitely horrendous conditions to take pictures, as visibility was almost nil. Conditions only improved on the... Continue Reading →

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