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My trip to Russia
#1
I got back a little over a week ago from a vacation in Russia (yes, I do have sadist tendencies)

The weather was rather hot, as you may have heard in the news. Moscow broke over 100F for the first time in history. I was in the Ural mountains, with temps in the mid 90s F, also record breaking. Forest fires all over the european Russia kept the smoke and smog in place the entire stay of my trip. As soon as we stepped outside the apartment we could smell smoke in the air, even though the nearest fires were 100 or more miles away.

Russian apartments are built to withstand cold, so there's no air conditioning and windows are small. On a typical day we stayed inside until it got too hot (about noon or 1 pm), and they we went outside until about 10 or 11p.m. Sunset was around 10 or so. We cooked outside as much as possible to avoid heating the apartment. When we did come in it was still a sweat house. There was only one small fan, and we couldn't buy more because there were none to be had; the entire country had a fan shortage.

So we enjoyed visiting with family and friends, but were quite ready to leave after 2 weeks (actually, the wife and kids were there for a month) because the of relentless heat.

So, here are some photographs.

-S

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Dawn over the Atlantic



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Sheremetovo Airport, Moscow



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Footbridge over the river Chusovaya (Yeah, it sways quite a bit)



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No bridge for cars, they ford the river (look closely and you will see a car in the river)



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Public toilet facilities (Place feet on raised boards and squat)



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Village main street



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Train station, Ekaterinburg Russia



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Overnight train with sleeping cars



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Trolley, Ekaterinburg



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Church for Russia's last Tsar, Ekaterinburg



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Industrial heartland; View from the hill



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Dacha garden



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Dacha lane



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Town Square



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Head waters of the river Chusovaya
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#2
Just saw this and I have to say it's very neat indeed. Russia is one of the top 3 or 4 places I want to visit. I want to ride the railway from one end to the other and back and backpack my way through the place. May take a month or so if not longer, but that would be a wonderful vacation in my estimate.
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#3
My wife and I have talked about doing a train trip vacation in Russia. I've only been on the local day-tripper trains, called Electrichkas (pronouned electreechka; meaning electrical thing).

My oldest son was actually on the the train pictured above. He was with a college friend, who had spent a year in Russia. They just happened to be travelling the country the same time my wife and I where there, and passed near us just before their departure. So we met them at the train station, and gave them a tour of Ekaterinburg. I hadn't seen him for almost 8 months, so it was a rather unusual place to have a meeting, since my son lives in Arizona and is going to college in Utah.

Anyway, thanks for looking at the photos.

-S
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#4
Nah, I was always fascinated by Russia. It isn't any problem on my part to gaze at them.

It looks beautiful and yet sort of depressing and dull at the same time, mostly the city photos. Why?

Also, whats up with their attitude towards Americans and foreigners? Good, Bad?
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#5
My favorite is the scene over the Chusovaya and the little Orthodox Church there.
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#6
Gunnen4u Wrote:It looks beautiful and yet sort of depressing and dull at the same time...

Well said. That is the connundrum of Russia.

Gunnen4u Wrote:Also, whats up with their attitude towards Americans and foreigners? Good, Bad?

It's less extreme than it used to be. There was a real novelty to foreigners, with Yanks being particularly exotic. Usually this resulted in pleasant and interesting conversations from curious people. But I also occassionaly encountered ultra-Russian nationalists (for Palladin, I'm talking about the Toyman type, but in real life, not some chatboard), quite intent on letting me know how America was the nexus for all "disgusting" in the world.

But both extremes are now diminished. It's more normal. Even the people look normal now that the cultural dress code (anything, just as long as it's black) is completely gone.

I was at a cookout, with about 20 people (all Russians except me and my kids), and a rather heated discussion broke out, with some longing for the days of the Soviet Union, and others glad it was in the past. I just drank apple cider and smiled.
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#7
Palladin Wrote:My favorite is the scene over the Chusovaya and the little Orthodox Church there.

I was told that church was one of the few in the country that functioned even during Stalin's darkest times of the 1930s. It's very remote, even today there's no municiple water in the village. People still go to the well and hand pump water. My guess is that it was so far from civilization during those times that the commies had a difficult time accessing the area and never really got around to shutting it down. Probably they were preoccuppied with the job of collectivizing the peasantry.
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#8
My favorite picture is the one with the thoroughly modern toilet paper dispenser.
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"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#9
How often do you go to Russia?
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#10
looks the same as i remember it from 25 years ago, the people still live in their miserable small wooden huts along muddy streets, just the churches have a fresh paint, that's the priority. i know the river chusovaya, and the town of chusovoy, not far from the western ural. the river has some nice rock faces in places, otherwise is the whole huge area a boring flatland. we always had temperatures around 35 celsius in the summer, interrupted by a thunderstorm or two per month. autumn and spring are two weeks each, the rest of the year is either freezing or too hot.
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#11
John L Wrote:My favorite picture is the one with the thoroughly modern toilet paper dispenser.
It's a great to be able to read Pravda ("The Truth") before wiping. Actually, the local version is Rabochnaya Pravda (The Worker's Truth).


Gunnen4u Wrote:How often do you go to Russia?
My wife and I have 4 year old twins, so this was the first time I went since their birth. She visited relatives and friends several times in the past couple of years, and I stayed home with the twins. I've been to Russia about 12 times, maybe more. I'm not exactly sure, I'd have to count stamps in my passports.

quadrat Wrote:...the people still live in their miserable small wooden huts along muddy streets...
I was under the impression from your past statements you rather liked the S.U.
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#12
Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention one other thing. The painting of Lenin which I photographed and use for my avatar is gone. The side of the building on which Lenin resided was repainted with a solid color. I guess commie art went out of style.

-S
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#13
Stars & Stripes Wrote:
quadrat Wrote:...the people still live in their miserable small wooden huts along muddy streets...
I was under the impression from your past statements you rather liked the S.U.
of course i did. they had nothing, we had almost everything, in particular booze. they drank after shave, it was the time of prohibition in the su. our temporary worker barracks were better places to live in than their houses. an endless supply of pretty russian and tatar girls. i didn't like the country, but the advantages it offered us.
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#14
Actually, Chusovaya river is one of the top-notch rafting places.
The air-conditioning is rather cheap and easy to install in any town right now.
Dress-code is always more European than American, with some specific local traits. Some observers notice slow dissapearence of male fur hats in the winter.
Also I want to note that Soviets planned city-development in their own manner, different from that of Western industrialization period.
"Trolley" is "tram" in reality. S1

P.S. Thanks for the photo filter. Reminds me of this.
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#15
So Russians are becoming *Western* in many aspects?

I do not like this if you ask me.

S&S, you took that photo that is now you're avatar?
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#16
Russia is the largest country in the world and offers a lot of travel experiences, from treks up the slopes of glacier-capped mountains to strolls along the shoreline of Earth’s oldest lake historical sites and cultural activities in the country’s great cities abound as well.
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