Russia: 15,000 km by hitchhiking. Part II

December 1, 2016

All indicators are normal, the flight is stable. A load of impressions from Middle Asia was summed up with the first part of the route through Russia, creating the feeling of a super-long trip. But the maps said something else: I am in the middle of Siberia, and there are still thousands of kilometers to St. Petersburg. So that’s why so much time is devoted to the psychological training of cosmonauts!

Okay long finish curve:


The city is large enough, but there was simply nothing to catch here. I walked along the main street for half an hour, and I never saw anything where I would like to go.

Electronic displays are installed, apparently, purely for show.

Cool underground passage to the local arbat – Chokan Valikhanov street.

Here, in principle, there is nothing special either. On the next day, the city installed small interactive stands with information about the city, taken from Wikipedia.

One of the old buildings on Dumskaya Square, miraculously survived the Soviet years.

More colorful ads needed !! 11

During the night it fell a little snow.

Assumption Cathedral. For some reason, the sermon was turned on through the speakers at full volume, so that even bystanders could hear well what horrors are happening in the spiritual life of Russia.

A small old center, the only cool place in Omsk.

I wish the whole city was like this!

Little Lenin stands among the buildings of the Tsarist era. Stands and waits in the wings.


Tyumen pleasantly surprised me.

I expected to see a harsh industrial city, the capital of brutal oil workers, and here it is.

The city is very green, there is a small park or something else around every turn.

Multilevel embankment Tury.

Shopping center “Goodwin”. People in Tyumen live well, they can afford to stock up in boutiques.

Oh, hello!

Park of Culture and Rest.

Government of the Tyumen region. The building was recently renovated and looks great.

A modern art museum lives in a large gray concrete box.


“When I started a religious startup”

In general, it turned out to be an unexpectedly nice little town.


You don’t immediately realize that out of the three drawn branches, in fact, only one exists.

On the platform there are markings indicating where you need to stand in order to be right at the entrance to the carriage by the time the train arrives.

Guided by some incredible motives, historical buildings were massively demolished here.

Now the streets in the city center are some kind of Mexican mix of styles, resulting from infill.

“Make it louder”.

These ducks have very little time left.

Miraculously survived Sevastyanov’s “gingerbread” house. An example of good Russian rococo.

And that’s true.

Pigeon gatherings.

Weiner street, type Yekaterinburg Arbat.

Stylish homes for the Soviet elite.

In fact, from only one side, this building looks like a large, elegant barrel. On the other, there is a flat facade.

There is a lot of graffiti in the city.

Tape art – drawing with scotch tape on the fence.

With the support of the authorities, the Stenography festival is held every year, within the framework of which many interesting street works on a given topic appear. There are murals with meaning.

There are no.

When I first saw how cyclists in Russia are going through the winter, I even tried tried the same.

I don’t understand how you can not love winter parks? This is wonderful.

We wanted to make a beautiful greenhouse, it turned out to be a glass garage.

The men are fishing on the frozen city pond.

Almost Manhattan. : D

Dominos. It seems to me that when the bridge is in disrepair, no one will repair it, just so that you can watch them fall one after another.

Yeltsin Center.

There is a small gallery near the entrance to the museum. Exhibitions are constantly changing, I also got to the thematic one. Soviet response to Andy Warhol.

The museum positions itself as a supplier of insider information about the formation of democracy in Russia. I thought that this is a great opportunity to put the puzzle of my knowledge on this topic into a coherent picture of the events of the 90s. It all starts from afar, with a brief history of the monarchy, then the scoop and smoothly moves to the moment of a systemic crisis.

You get the idea.)

The narrative is divided into “days” – progressive episodes of events.

Before, I was very surprised, trying to figure out how Russia generally managed to survive the 90s, without falling as Yugoslavia. How, in such a difficult situation, they carried out large-scale economic reforms – this is something transcendental. “From the inside” everything turned out to be even more interesting: all this time the country many times found itself literally on the verge of a full-scale civil war.

The exposition dedicated to democracy in Russia ends with the coming to power of Putin, nostalgic for the scoop and his native KGB. By by that time, economic reforms began to give first results. It is a pity that it turned out this way, something good could have turned out.

“I’m a simple person: I see some game – I take pictures with it”

Everything turned out a little crumpled, but in general Yekaterinburg leaves a very pleasant impression after itself. Quite lively and interesting city, it is worth stopping by if possible.


Just a sad industrial city.

It is not clear why the Philharmonic in Chelyabinsk bears the name of Sergei Prokofiev, but the world-famous composer must be nervously turning over in his grave, because some gopniks are singing in it “And in our yard …”

Chelyabinsk Arbat.

Well, you get the idea.

Well, really, why buy textbooks on the Internet with delivery, if you can go in cold weather to look for them by single points scattered everywhere?

Revolution square. By the standards of Chelyabinsk, quite a beautiful place.

The opera house, some kind of survival ministry and city administration.

Severe Chelyabinsk branding.

There is simply nothing to watch outside the center. Dirt, Khrushchev and factories.

We cross the Ural. It always seemed to me that these were relatively high mountains, and I was a little disappointed when I saw that Europe was separated from Asia by simply some hillocks.


The Bashkirs have a cool language.

After Chelyabinsk, it was as if I got to another country.

In part, of course, it is so: Ufa is the capital of Bashkortostan, one of the republics within Russia.

Tellingly, the living standards of these two cities are approximately the same.

So the question is more in relation to the place where you live, and not in money.

Guys, you just haven’t seen my apartment. : D

Are they learning to cut budgets?

Suddenly at the entrance of an apartment building there is a signboard “Museum of Contemporary Art”.

The museum is in the basement, there is nowhere more underground. Unfortunately, the door was locked. It’s a pity, I’m already seriously preparing to yell from their exhibits.

Another scumbag cyclist.

The new building of the Bashkir gallery. Not bad.

Unfinished first version “Visions to the youth Bartholomew” by Mikhail Nesterov, who founded this gallery. The bottom line is that I saw the second, complete version at the Tretyakov Gallery, and it was purchased personally by Pavel Tretyakov.

Susanin leads the Poles, eager to insidiously kill the young Tsar.

There are many pedestrian squares, so people not only run from one place to another, but also just walk. Such things are precisely and form the atmosphere of the city.

A smart city theater. An unexpected fact was that it was built already under the USSR, they just somehow managed to finish construction before the beginning of the era of gloomy socialist realism.

Ufa Cathedral Mosque. By the way, Bashkir Islamic hangouts are over 1000 years old.

White river. There, around the bend, the Ufa River flows into it, which gave its name to the city.

Some clever guy decided to put the Ferris wheel in the middle of a sleeping block.

Exhibition of works by outstanding graphic artists of the 18-19th centuries in the Center for Contemporary Art “Clouds”. Impressive, even now the complexity of creating such illustrations seems unrealistic.

I’m going to the Tatars.

Naberezhnye Chelny

By evening, the weather deteriorated to just hellish: it was raining, but the water immediately froze, turning everything around into a solid ice rink. Hundreds of accidents, canceled all buses, trains and planes. I decided not to risk it, and instead of continuing my journey to Kazan, I stopped for the night in a city with a name that is very difficult to read correctly the first time – Naberezhnye Chelny. The original Tatar, “Yar Chaly”, is read normally at the same time.


During the night, the Ministry of Emergency Situations treated the roads with a reagent, so that by morning it became possible at least to drive along them. The unpleasant news was that in Tatarstan the time is the same as in Moscow, so in winter it gets dark here at 3 o’clock (and in summer it starts to dawn at 2 am, lol).

A good example of the fact that the white Kremlin looks cooler than red.

Inside there are various museums and administrative offices.

There are even special venues for different events.

For many years, the guys wondered why there is a church in the Tatar Kremlin, but no mosque. And then they took it, threw in a crowd and in 2005 built it, called “Kul-Sharif” Since geographically Asia ends beyond the Urals, the mosque has become one of the largest in Europe.

The interior of the mosque. Below, the Muslims hammer their heads on the floor for the glory of Allah.

The Koran says that we are all descendants of Adam and some kind of female man, and the Prophet Muhammad is actually a many-cousin brother of Jesus Christ.

Many Muslims love to hang cute quotes from the Koran on the wall at home.

In general, Kazan is a very beautiful city.

After so many depressed cities, I didn’t even expect to see something like this until Moscow itself.

In some places, there are old destroyed houses. Why nothing is done about it is a mystery.

We put the case on the conveyor belt.

A button to call for help if you cannot drive the wheelchair along a ramp with an angle of rise of almost 45 °.

Kazan Arbat. It was Monday morning, so there are so few people, but in general there are many cool cafes, bars, shops and other places of attraction around, so usually there are enough people walking.

Graffiti in front of the Cuba Libre bar.

Souvenir shop. A choice for every taste.

Bell tower of the Epiphany Cathedral. If at least someone else tells me that “Russian Gothic” is a myth, I will poke this photo in his nose.

Arbat ends not with rectangular houses, but gently widens and passes into the next street. Like river delta.

Panda. : 3

– Infertility, welcome, can you hear me?

We’ve gotten to the point where you have to eat chestnuts.)

Cycle path leading to the fence.

Lake Kaban.

Kazan City Hall.

Mutually exclusive paragraphs: there is a monument to Lenin on Freedom Square.

Deserted Leninsky Garden.

The Center for Contemporary Art “Smena” showed a sensational documentary by Werner Herzog “Oh, the Internet! Dreams of the digital world ”. I was just about to watch it soon, so I could not pass by. Looking ahead, the film showed the Network from a completely unexpected point of view for me, I highly recommend watching.

As a bonus, there was also an exhibition of an urbanist who, in an attempt to understand the depth of the depressiveness of our sleeping areas, decided to draw them as renders from some kind of matrix, conveying a sense of unreality through a glitch effect. It turned out funny.


Yoshkar-Ola is the capital of the small republic of Mari El. A very interesting large-scale experiment is being performed here, changing the face of the city literally before our eyes.

New buildings in the city look like this place is located somewhere outside of Russia.

But that was only the beginning.

There is a whole block here, built in some kind of bizarre mixture of Russian and Flemish styles.

To say that I was surprised by what I saw is to say nothing.

If it were not for some moments like Orthodox churches, then I would, perhaps, completely detach from reality.

It’s hard to believe that a Russian provincial town could look like this.

Although, at the same time, various national elements are present here in large numbers, so this cannot be called pure kitsch either.

Everything is in dynamics, the large embankment is just being completed. But when the locals say “center”, they don’t hesitate to mean this very quarter.

In general, there is a lot of controversy on social networks about the unnaturalness of such an architecture. At the same time, if you ask such comrades where they would like to live, in pseudo-Flemish “gingerbread” houses in the foreground or Soviet boxes in the background, then the choice will not even stand.

I specifically searched and appreciated pictures of how this embankment looked before, and it really was tin. So I don’t understand at all what these people are arguing about at all.

Well, as Karl Marx said, “being determines consciousness.” It will be very interesting to see what all this will eventually lead to.

Speaking of Marx and his Russian fans. It’s time to compare everything you saw with the Soviet part of the city.

Discuss, for example, its tourist appeal.

Resting places.



Finally, architecture.

There is also a rather specific social advertisement, which is literally replete with stubborn slogans.

Suddenly a monument to the victims of radiation. What did you say there, “It’s fashionable to glow”? 🙂

I fit in in the center, so when I had to go to the station in the morning, I did not fail to take the opportunity to once again walk along the wonderful embankment.

It seems to me that people who grow up among this will no longer adequately perceive the Khrushchevs and other survival.

And the remaining here from the era of the Soviet Union for them will be just remnants of some cave past.


Let’s go back to our beloved socialist realism.

City center.

By the way, Cheboksary is the capital of another republic. Here lives a mixture of the Finno-Ugric Mari and the Turkic Bulgars, who are called “Chuvash”, and their republic, respectively, Chuvashia.

It will always remain a mystery to me why so many people continue to prefer cuisine, in which dishes are shaped not by someone’s tastes, but by a lack of ingredients.

Advertising of the Chuvash pagan performance.

Cheboksary arbat.

Meanwhile, in a parallel reality.

Footbridge across a small bay.

The Chuvash answer to the Brazilian statue Christ the Redeemer – monument of the Protecting Mother.

Let’s go further.

Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhniy turned out to be another really live city outside the Moscow Ring Road. True, here they invest clearly less money in restoration and modernization than in Kazan, for example.

The long pedestrian street Pokrovka runs through the entire center.

Many monuments architecture and simply significant places are concentrated here.

For the first time in Russia I discovered real falafel.

Here, every second building has a big history. For example, this building in the French Baroque style was both a tenement house, and a city duma, and a house of trade unions, and even a theater, and it also has three addresses at the same time, for different parts of the building.

The old policeman and his modern partner look at the local Kremlin.

With the advice, for some reason they brought here equipment from the Second World War.

On the territory there are many administrative buildings.

The fortification stands at the very edge of the hill, so a gorgeous view of the Volga opens from here.

Even on the territory of the Kremlin, in the building of the old arsenal, they made a center of contemporary art.

As planned, there should be interesting exhibitions here.

In practice, however, mostly some kind of trash.

I was pleased with the curves mirrors of some Korean, grotesquely demonstrating how people with impaired perception of their bodies feel.

Crooked legs are a special scourge of Koreans, because they cannot be simply corrected with plastic surgery, as is done with the face. The funny thing is that the Japanese at the same time just declared it natural and even attractive, so they don’t bother about it at all.

Super realistic sculpture by Suan Choi. It’s hard to see here, but they even have wreaths under their skin. And there is a lot of this quite a lot.

It must have been hard to storm the city from the side of the river.

Chkalovskaya staircase, 560 steps.

Who doesn’t love deer?

Nizhny Novgorod lower town, forgive the pun. Reminds of Kiev Podil.

Here is an extremely peculiar street navigation.

Taking advantage of the Kiev experience, I decided to look into the courtyards. Art trash, everything is like in Podil.

The state of everything around creates an atmosphere of hippie.

In one of the courtyards near the intercom I found a sign that on the upper floors there is a gallery with a funny name “Blinovka”. Dialing the indicated apartment number and going up to the sixth floor, I discovered something completely underground.

Not only was it amazing what an atmospheric place, but also many of the pictures here were just amazing.

“Electric vitamins”, sailors, river station. I will not undertake to explain what is happening here at all.

At the intersection of streets with the symbolic names Suetinskaya and Rozhdestvenskaya, a beautiful Church of the Cathedral of the Most Holy Theotokos with colorful domes was discovered.


On the other side of the river there are mostly sleeping areas.

Monument to Jules Verne.

Pedestrian bridge over the Bustle Ravine. I like this symbolism.

What’s going on here?)

And also, it seems, I finally found myself a street to my liking.


I visit this city too often to be able to look at it in a new way. So I just walked around a couple of my favorite spots.

I fit in in the Izmailovo area, so I decided to take the opportunity and go to look at the publicized “Izmailovo Kremlin”, which I never thought of visiting.

In short, they turned out to be a dull pile of buildings in the style of the Kolomna Palace. An absolutely stupid attempt to make some kind of Old Russian trade center on the site of a historical building.

A session of collective self-irony.

“Let’s call a spade a spade.”

I went to say hello to my friends at Artplay.

Every time I find something new for myself here.

Krymsky Val sprinkles with snow.

“Safety rules are designed to be broken.”

Yin Xiuzhen’s giant pill at the Garage.

Year after year, Moscow is more and more captured by Japanese vending machines.

“Making great posters in Paint, cheap and cheerful.”

Constructivism doesn’t have to be ugly. This seems to be the TASS office.

Finally checked out the Crabs Are Coming cafe. Everything that I was told about her turned out to be absolutely true, really very tasty and a lot, a lot of crab meat in all dishes.

I love these cozy streets hidden from the round-the-clock noise of highways.

Arbat ™.

By the way, if it is interesting to read a little more about Moscow, exactly a year ago I was here with a friend, stuck to the bright decorations and then wrote down a photo report about it – Christmas Moscow.

Then my route lay in St. Petersburg, but along the way I got another varicose – to cross with a friend from Yakutia in Minsk, where she was on tour of their theater. This option was also cool in that I would not have to go back on the same path later.


Golitsyno is one of the many satellite cities of Moscow. Usually there is no local activity in such places, so I was especially surprised to find beautiful graffiti here.

And it brought me here because it’s almost impossible to hitchhike from Moscow directly, and if you don’t want to hang around the city for many hours, then it’s much easier to drive a couple of tens of kilometers by train in the right direction. And here I am, walking along the “short road” navigator to the highway leading to Belarus.

The track here is high-speed, you have to carefully plan possible transfers, determining the places where traffic slows down (traffic lights, police posts, etc.), so that you don’t have to spend the night somewhere in the middle of the forest. Still, thousands of kilometers of foot are already behind me, some skills have appeared.

When I was already hoping that I might have to stop for the night in a city near the border, luck joined my skills: I was picked up by a trucker who was traveling to Poland on a night flight just through Minsk.


As in my last visit, the city was impressive with its desolation, despite the fact that it is a day off.

Walking around the Old Town, we came across some cool gallery.

The exhibition titled “The Mystery” justified its name: sometimes it took a little headache to understand the meaning.

After Napoleon bulldozed here, the Russian Empire had to rebuild the city. Then the bulldozer was already from Hitler, and rebuilt the entire Soviet Union back. As a result, the development here turned out to be thoughtful, very slender and beautiful.

The center is nicely decorated.

And in general, there is order here with night illumination.

But the Belarusian social advertising simply knocks out. Interestingly, developing, they are there in the Ministry of Emergency Situations, too, shouting like we did when we saw her?

And, of course, the ubiquitous scoop.


At first glance, an ordinary village.

But there is something here that greatly distinguishes it from others – the medieval Mir castle.

The general condition shows that the restoration had to be done from a very poor condition.

Inside the castle, a museum was organized, a lot of historical artifacts and information that smoothly leads to the fact that Belarus is an artificial formation, and that in fact it is just a fragment of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which they decided to firmly link with Russia ideologically and thereby guarantee the fragmentation of the former empire … In short, the classic “divide and conquer”.

In one of the towers of the castle, a kitty was unexpectedly found, which showed the height of hospitality, showing us all the nooks and crannies. No, really, she really gave us a tour of her property.

In general, if you are suddenly going to Belarus, then their castles are just a must-see.

Saint Petersburg

Absolutely no options, this is the most beautiful city in Russia.

Every street here is an open-air museum of architecture.

Even Orthodox churches are sticky.

There are so many channels here that it seems as if you got to some Amsterdam from another reality (where the grass is still illegal).

Peter I rides on snakes. By the way, you can’t see this from any of his statues, but he was very tall, under 2 meters tall.

Winter Palace, one of the architectural masterpieces of Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Compared to his previous project, the small Mariinsky Palace in Kiev, the scale of this is really impressive.

Palace Square. If not for the cold season, it would probably have been packed with people.

Without admiration walking along the bridges through these channels, it seems, is simply impossible.

– Guys, here the balcony is unreliable somehow, hold it?

In such places I began to doubt whether I was still in Russia.

Looking into one of the courtyards, I found a hippie cafe Miracle. It was here that I got stuck, drinking coffee and chatting with the barista until the evening.

Night Peter is something unreal.

I forgot that it was freezing outside and where I was going at all. I just walked and looked at everything around me, a little afraid that I might just wake up and it turns out that this is not true.

But this waking dream was really strong.

Once again, traveling and getting into such fabulous places, I ask myself a question: how do those who live here and see this every day feel, just going out?

One of the countless gift shops.

The only difference is that among them there are those here, from the originality of the gifts in which it blows away.)

Faberge Museum. It turns out that the guys did so many cool things!

I couldn’t even imagine such a variety, they did everything they could, and they made it stunningly beautiful and at the same time quite functional.

And the most famous, of course, are their Easter eggs with a surprise inside. It is a pity that the idea was not patented, so once the Italian company Ferrero began to release Kinder Surprise, the quality of toys in which left much to be desired, but still occupied the niche entirely and completely.

In addition to large kinders, there were also small testicles, which were usually given to girls for Easter. They were inexpensive, but over the years, a bright, and most importantly unique, pendant was assembled from them.

Drove in to see how Etazhi is doing there.

Here, as always, life is raging: everywhere they do something cool, organize something, new creative guys appear with new ideas, ready to make their contribution to this big world.

“I’m on floor 1.4, come on, I’m waiting for you.”

Upstairs there was an exhibition of various paintings and just cool drawings, which, of course, I could not miss.

Got hosted by a girl who works as a producer at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Rather, by she and her hyperactive dog. 🙂

A couple of months ago, Hay Square was cleaned of weird stalls and other shit, now it has become surprisingly free here and you no longer want to run away somewhere farther.

House, do not hurt!

The huge colonnade of the Kazan Cathedral gives off something Italian.

Hall of the Russian Museum.

Catherine II looks truly epic here.

Schoolchildren listen to the guide’s lecture.

“The Price of Victory”.

In general, there are a lot of famous works here, it was fun to see them live.

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood with branded domes.

Bastion of the Peter and Paul Fortress. From here St. Petersburg began.

The entrance to the Gorkovskaya metro station. “Caution, the doors are closing. The next stop is the Betelgeuse star system. “

Remembering my impressions of miniature cities in Hamburg, I could not miss the recently opened analogue called “Grand Model Russia”.

I have to admit I was impressed. Made at a high level, besides, it’s fun to recognize some places. There are all sorts of Sochi.

Mountain serpentines of Dagestan and the remains of fortresses destroyed in the victorious Russian-Persian wars for the Caucasus.

The lighting changes smoothly, the sunset begins and then the miniature cities plunge into the night. At the same time, megalopolises continue to live their own lives, cars drive, enterprises operate.

In provincial cities, a completely different way of life.

A lot of attention is paid to little things. Personally, this approach traditionally delights me.

A huge country – a great layout. Nevertheless, every corner is worked out in detail, there is some kind of plot everywhere, everything is very interesting to consider and study.

Not without cool national Easter eggs like Baba Yaga’s walking trailer.

Deep dive.

The magic of snowy winter towns.

Petya the little pig starts up his caterpillar Ural, removes the house from the piles and knocks it out of the fucking permafrost area.

Voyage au Syrie. Preparation.

The result was such a huge pile of impressions that I wanted to sit somewhere and digest. But it’s me, it was impossible to find something ordinary, it was necessary to find a Japanese cafe where they make real tayaki.

If anything, taiyaki are such cookies in the shape of fish, they are filled with various sweets. There was even a sweet adzuki bean paste, although the nutella-banana combination was the best.

And again into space.

In general, the next day I was supposed to leave, but when I told the host that I had not had time to go to the Hermitage, she offered to stay another day. Not only did I go there, but with the student one, the entrance was completely free!

“Like a dog without a bone, an actor out on loan …”

“… riders on the storm”

And once upon a time there were magnificent balls, palace intrigues and the like.

Lots of cool exhibits, lots of foreigners.

In some pictures you just fall headlong.

“You will have nothing, because you are the son of an almighty god,” they said …

Sometimes in life there are situations that you have to pray to heaven for the toilet to be emptied as soon as possible.

Full-scale replica of Raphael’s Vatican Loggias. You feel like you are walking down the hallway of Hogwarts.

Of all the temporary exhibitions that are in the habit of periodically taking place in the Hermitage, I was impressed by only one where there were artistically processed knightly equipment.

It’s a shame that these are all modern crafts.

Large clock with mechanical show. Now you won’t surprise anyone with this, but a couple of centuries ago it was something unrealistically cool.

Throne room.

Need more gold!

Cozy library of Nicholas II.

Even a small church inside the palace, in case it’s really hot to urgently confess or pray.

And thanks to my host, I got into the stalls of the Mikhailovsky Theater for a symbolic 100 rubles. It’s cool when you have friends who can help with an invite.


The city on the island of Kotlin was originally founded as a port and fortress for the defense of Petrograd from the sea. The implementation exceeded all expectations: from the moment of foundation in 1703 and up to the present day not a single enemy ship could pass to Petrograd / Leningrad / St. Petersburg.

At the same time, until 1996, Kronstadt was a closed city, and lived in the regime of an isolated fortress island.

In addition, in the 90s there was no time for jokes with defense from a potential enemy, and everything gradually fell into disrepair.

Now the city is occupied again, but it is much more difficult to put it in order, so the process is going very slowly. The population today is even lower than it was 150 years ago.

There are a lot of abandoned buildings, both residential and workers.

But still, the atmosphere was preserved. “Welcome to our bay.”

Today, the abandoned Petrovsky dock at the time of construction was one of the steepest in Europe: a unique design made it possible to drain water in just a day, while the best British and Dutch docks used wind-powered pumps, and pumping out thousands of tons of water in this way took weeks, or even months.

The warships are still based in the Kronstadt port. The officer I met said that in fact the situation with the Navy today is extremely sad: not only is the fleet in its current state generally unable to participate in a full-scale war, even for peacetime most of these ships are already morally and physically outdated, practically each of them is in the queue for repairs (in the sense that the docks are completely clogged) and, worst of all, this data is already practically public, i.e. all potential adversaries of Russia are fully aware of the situation.

The Naval Cathedral is somewhat reminiscent of the Parisian Sacre Coeur Basilica.

The premises of the Kronstadt Marine Plant, the largest repair plant in the Baltic.

Museum of the history of the city. It could be boring if it were not for the uniqueness of such projects for a sharp consolidation in the newly occupied lands, especially as successful as the Russian Empire did.

Formally, there is even a beach here, although swimming has been officially prohibited since 2013. Considering the freezing temperature overboard, I didn’t really want to. But on the horizon from here you can see St. Petersburg.

Veliky Novgorod

A moat has been preserved here since ancient times, surrounding the entire city center along a large radius.

There are many places where archaeologists farm ancient Russian artifacts.

The Novgorod Kremlin looks impressive even now, and it is already a thousand years old!

Of course, all this has already been rebuilt dozens of times, and only at the very foundation of these walls can you see the original stone bookmark.

Sophia Cathedral has been serving Christians since 1050.

In some places they are still raking.

Medieval street art.

Monument to the Millennium of Russia.

At the same time, the city itself looks rather provincial.

A bridge across the Volkhov River connecting the city with Lake Ladoga.

The arcade of the Gostiny Dvor is the only thing left of Yaroslav’s Dvorishch, which passed hundreds of years of turbulent history until modern times, but dismantled into bricks by the decision of the Soviet city committee. Stupid because they were too lazy to restore an architectural complex with almost a thousand-year history, slightly damaged in the Second World War.

I can hardly imagine why one should come here from some Lubeck just because Novgorod had some irregular trade relations with the Hanseatic League.

People from Hanseatic cities can only pump self-esteem here.

Absolutely unexpectedly discovered some kind of creative residence.

I usually look for them, but this time she found me herself.

In principle, it is quite good for a city of this level.

I put my nose (and not only the nose) a little further than the center.

I am joked that the locals are proud of the “beauty” of this cultural center. Everything is relative, right?


Drove to spend the night. Still, Moscow rests on labor migrants: who else could, like this, for a penny, in the heat and any frost, every day at 5 am to put all the streets in order?


We teleport 50 km beyond the Moscow Ring Road and drove off.

The most offensive thing is to see cars with Ukrainian license plates passing by.

On the way, it was covered with snow a little, from which it was not possible to either stop or hitchhike quickly.

For 30 km from the border, instead of a ride, traffic cops stopped in front of me and issued a fine for not wearing reflective elements at night. And I don’t care that I was standing on a well-lit section of the road on the outskirts of the village. Well, okay, I don’t care either, I’m after all in an hour I’ll be in another country.

Finally, around midnight, I crossed the border. On the Ukrainian side, everything turned out to be order better organized, around there was a pack of really comfortable cafes, which after the sad canteens on the other side of the border seemed like a blessing. I decided not to spend the night, but to read a book, sipping coffee, finally not instant shit, but normal shit, cooked on a coffee maker. I was accompanied by some irrepressible kitten, longing for tenderness and absolute power over my backpack.

The morning turned out to be frosty, in 20 minutes of hitchhiking my buff was covered with inium. In this form, I was picked up by a group of guys returning home… to Kyiv!