Blogs from Russia, Europe


Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow May 23rd 2020

The USSR was the first to send a satellite into orbit around the Earth on 4 October, 1957 with Sputnik 1 followed by Sputnik 2 on 3 November 1957 with Laika the dog onboard. So marked the start of the Space Age and the USA-USSR Space Race. The Americans were upstaged...their Vanguard satellite still in development...yikes...does that mean the Russians could carry a ballistic payload? On 31 January, 1958, the United States entered the Space Race when they launched their satellite Explorer I which discovered the magnetic radiation belts around the Earth. In July 1958, Congress passed the Space Act and on 1 October 1958 NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) was born . The USSR was first to send a man into space in 1961...pipped the U.S.A by about 3 weeks..."So close, yet so far" ... read more
Yuri Gagarin
Yuri Gagarin's 1961 Spacepod

Europe » Russia » Far East » Vladivostok May 4th 2020

What do we really know about US time zones? When you run a railroad, you need to maintain a schedule, and that works a whole lot better when everyone agrees on what time it is — including stations in far-flung locations and, crucially, other railroad companies that are making schedules for trains on the same tracks you're using. That's why railroads led the charge when Britain got its towns and cities on the same clock by the 1840s, and it's why the same thing happened in the United States about 40 years later. U.S. railroads got together in the 1880s and came up with a plan to divide the country into time zones and synchronize official clocks according to those divisions. The plan created the Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific time zones that we still ... read more
Eleven Time zones
How many clocks?

Europe » Russia » Centre » Vladimir May 4th 2020

url= So, its 04 May and we are at Yaroslavl after a lazy breakfast, we take the bus to Uglich but get off at Rostov . The journey is picturusque but quite short.Less than an hour later we alight in one of the oldest towns in Russia. It dates back to 862 , now a quaint peaceful village with four monasteries, churches and the tranquil Lake Nero, the Kremlin( a citadel) is worth a walk around to feel the history. During the Tatar-Mongol Invasion the city was almost totally destroyed but today the perfectly proportioned towers, the immaculately laid out gardens and the white stoned churches make it a charming town. .It is one of the golden ring town,serene and beautiful. We let t... read more

Europe » Russia » Centre » Vladimir April 28th 2020

If it was not for Corona we were booked for our annual holiday starting today. The trip that could have been! Virtual is the new world, so I thought I would travel virtual and take the readers on this holiday with me. 28 Apr – Flight from New Delhi in the morning and here we are in Moscow at 5.25 am . First things first- Bought a SIM card From Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) took the airport train to Kursky Station and then a train from the left side of the station to Vladimir . We plan to do the golden triangle before doing Moscow. Checked into the hotel and by 12 noon we were good to go! Took a taxi to go around the main sights in Vladimir . The Golden Gates built in 1164 ... read more

Europe » Russia » Centre » Uglich April 25th 2020

Russia's first Tsar, Ivan the Terrible had 7 wives...3 died resulting in his remarriage following their demise and 3 were sent to a monastery. G. Manaev in an Article "The madness of 3 Russian Tsars, and the truth behind it" says 3 wives that died were poisoned, presumably by his enemies or the royal families, who wanted to promote daughters to be tsar's brides. Ivan the Terrible had 8 children of which 4 were sons. The first son Dmitri died in infancy...the second son Ivan was purportedly killed by his father in 1581...the third son Feodor succeeded him as Tsar and the fourth son another Dmitri was killed in dubious circumstances in 1591 at age 8 years following his father's death. The deaths of the killed sons Ivan and Dmitri are steeped in infamy and intrigue. ... read more
Church of Dmitry on the Blood

Europe » Russia » South » Bashkortostan » Ufa April 5th 2020

Icy gusts rush over the great steppe; snow laden, barren, endless. The moon having never risen gives the stars their meagre chance to light the blanched plains. A man is running seemingly from nowhere. His pace slows as he runs out of breath. Panting and now walking, eventually his energy is depleted and he collapses. Within an hour his skin is frozen solid, paused in time at his final solitary moment. Then as the long night wears on, drifts of snow build up, first against him, then over him shrouding his corpse. His footprints are filled. The final flake of snow floats gently downwards and no trace is left. The sun casts a furtive beam of light over the horizon. A technicolour display that no living creature will observe. This is the story of many men ... read more
Entering Chishmy
Blue and Green
Mosque and Church

Europe » Russia » Centre » Yaroslavl April 5th 2020

On our wedding day Denise & I exchanged gold rings. I was then told I could kiss my bride. I moved in and picked her up which brought gasps and squeals of delight. We then kissed long and hard. The minister said he had never seen that before. I thought he was referring to lifting her off her feet and swinging her around...maybe it was the length of the kiss. Denise also might have been surprised but I picked her up before I kissed her to ensure our kiss was not awkward or distract and relax before we did the deed you might say. Those in attendance described it as a "Jazz Wedding"...'cos we had a hot band instead of an organist. We had attended a massive rock concert with heaps of bands the day ... read more
Cathedral of the Assumption
St Elijah the Prophet
Yaroslavl old town

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg March 30th 2020

It's been a long while since my last entry here on this travel blog website. Due to a couple of reasons I lost the desire to write blogs, though I have visited new interesting places since November 2015 (the date of my last blog entry here). Now I decided to share at least something. Okay, this will be just a very short story about a cycling ride in Saint Petersburg outskirts on March 28, 2020. May be someone will get interested and will probably join me on my cycling rides in Russia (please get in touch via this website). There's the annoying thing worldwide about this virus, so people are advised to stay indoors. But the weather was very good, so I just could not stay indoors. Usually, for an interesting cycle ride I take a ... read more
Chernaya River
Bicycle and Forest
Lastochka commuter train at Shuvalovo Station

Europe » Russia » Centre » Vologda Oblast March 23rd 2020

My Great Uncle Cyril stowed on a ship as a lad...discovered and made cabin boy...arrived in Canada and spawned. Met him on a visit to Australia where he enchanted me with the way he said "Hi"...or was it his 17 year old granddaughter that caught my eye? One of his daughters represented Canada in the Winter Olympics in Curling..."What's that?" I remember asking. He smoked a pipe so I made him a pottery ashtray. Years later I heard he had become blind and was responsible for burning down his retirement home in Canada...some mishap with his pipe in bed...or was it 'cos of my ashtray? As we cruise the Volga-Baltic Waterway in Vologda Oblast of northern Russia...crossing Beloye Lake (White Lake) where the Sheksna River joins the flow...another Cyril is about to enter my life...St Cyril ... read more
Lake Beloye...White Lake
John the Baptist

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Lake Baikal March 3rd 2020

Imagine my shock when an executive editor of Conde Nast Magazine says that she hates traveling solo. Trying to make sense of her comments, I realize that she has a family, obviously a female, and a seasoned traveler. Much of her anxiety seems to stem from making well intentioned plans, then backing out as the opportunity presents itself. She does her research, much like you or I might do. She would find the latest "hot" restaurant, must see museum, or hippest neighborhood. Was she dodging empowerment, or simply did not know how to be alone? She goes on to say that it is painful work. Most of you know that I take trips by myself. Probably the most formidable was the Trans Siberian Railway, across all of Russia (from Vladivostok to Moscow). ... read more
Veuve Clicquot in Reims
On the Serengeti with my camp mate

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