Transnistria may not be recognized internationally, but many will recognize the castle that sits amidst it’s borders. The Bender Fortress, which looms above the Dniester not far from Tiraspol, is one of Transnistria’s primary tourist attractions. Sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine in eastern Europe, the tiny region of Transnistria remains unknown to most of the … More Castles, Cognac, and Communism – A Tale about Transnistria
Tensions between Washington and Russia Currently the West and Russia can’t seem to get over their differences, with the tensions between the Washington and Kremlin changing the stakes for the world. How far would this confrontation go? Is there another Cold War coming? And finally, will the world once again know the horror of a … More Is Nuclear War Looming over Humanity?
Kupala Night Kupala Night is one of the most joyous Slavic traditions in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, and other Slavic countries. It’s a celebration of fire, water, the Sun and the Moon. It’s a time of bumper crops, fertility, and love for all who join in the festivities. They began as pagan celebrations that date back … More Night of a Thousand Lights – Kupala
Thoughts of an Expat When I do my research for each post that I create for Mirror Reflections I always discover something new, something different. This time was no different. In both countries there is a history that is quite disturbing, unsettling, tragic about their pasts. In Rwanda the deaths were uncountably horrifying, seeing the … More Mirror Reflections – Rwanda & Russia
Life in Nambia Fighting for a life in freedom They hold an irresistible fascination: the Wild Horses of the Namib in south-western Namibia. For centuries their origin was shrouded in mystery. Their habitat, the barren plains around Garub on the eastern fringe of the Namib Desert, is no paradise; nevertheless they have managed to adapt … More Mirror Reflections – Nambia & Russia
Mirror Reflections I see this Mirror Reflection as probably one of the most important ones that I’ve done. As I did my research I was hoping that I would find what I found. They really are like brother and sister, it becomes very obvious when you start looking at their histories. I thought it would … More Mirror Reflections – Ukraine & Russia
Life in Belarus The Potato Eaters Belarusians adore potatoes – particularly served as draniki. In fact, they eat so many spuds (around 170kg per person annually) that their neighbours have nicknamed them Bulbashi: potato-eaters. Potatoes are such a staple that it’s hard to imagine any meal without them. According to the UN Food and Agriculture … More Mirror Reflections – Belarus & Russia
Thoughts of an Expat in Russia I don’t know that I ever thought I’d make my permanent home Russia, but now that I’ve been here for almost two years I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Trust me it’s not because I don’t see the problems here, that would be foolish. Despite the cold, the hardships, … More Why I won’t live in America? – Answer to a Rottin Corpse
Object “221” Another Secret Base Found In course of recent events, another secret base of the former Soviet Union comes to light. In Crimea near Balaklava where a top-secret submarine base is already located this second site “Object 221” has been discovered. This second bunker was planned to protect the upper élite of Black Sea … More Top Secret Abandoned Submarine Base in the Ukraine – Part II
Fort Alexander St. Petersburg, Russia In the gulf of Finland rests a former military installation that has some very interesting history. Designed in an oval shape with an open court in the middle gave it great military advantage with it’s 103 cannon ports. The roofs of the fort were built to support another 34 large … More From “Fort” to “Plague Research Base” to “Rave Parties”
Life in Bucovina The Painted Monasteries of Bucovina From Maramureș I took another bone rattling journey across the north of the country to Suceava. I wanted to see the painted monasteries of Bucovina, which I had heard are very beautiful. I took a minibus from Sighet to Gura Humorului, and then a train from there to … More Mirror Reflections – Moldova & Crimea
Life in Montenegro Secret Walled Garden Arriving in Montenegro for the first time is like entering one of those secret walled gardens. You feel a real sense of adventure as your adrenaline perks up. The land feels like it has not quite yet been discovered; there are no eight lane highways like the French Riviera … More Mirror Reflections – Montenegro & Crimea
The Horrors of War Nobody knows the horrors of war better then Russia. It was only after I first arrived in Russia that I began to understand the magnitude of how World War II effected Russia. It seemed at that time everyone I spoke to had at least one member if not multiple family members … More Why “War” isn’t the answer. It’s better to bring a “Gift” not a gun.
Life in Bailiwick of Guernsey The Islands’ unique geographical position sets the scene for a fascinating heritage. With evidence dating from Neolithic times, the island has been pivotal in battles between the UK and France as well as being an important port for international imports into the UK. Guernsey’s recent history saw its unique position … More Mirror Reflections – Bailiwick of Guernsey & Sevastopol, Ukraine
Life in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Caribbean Literature What is Caribbean Literature? What gives it its “Caribbean-ness” and distinguishes it from other literatures? I imagine that these questions have been discussed, quietly contemplated, and even bitterly argued during the last 50 years or so, particularly around the time of the emergences of literature from … More Mirror Reflections – Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
So you think Halloween is scary do ya. There is a festival that takes place in the frozen north, called Malanka, which means ‘generous eve’. Apparently Malanka is a new years eve type thing celebrated in Russia, the Ukraine and Belarus. It takes place on January 13th. The American version of Halloween is a nothing … More Picture of the day – Dec. 14
Life in Myanmar Well I’ve been living in Yangon for close to 3 months now and it well and truly feels like home. I’ve made some fabulous friends already and have met lots of wonderful people. Many are here with NGO’s doing humanitarian type work, as the private sector is almost non-existant…at the moment. Many … More Mirror Reflections – Myanmar & Ukraine
Thoughts about Slovakian Castles You can see Šariš Castle sitting atop an almost volcanic looking flat-topped mountain from miles away. From a distance, the silhouette of the castle perched above Veľký Šariš was none too impressive. However, after hiking an hour or so from the village center, up a path winding around the mountain, it … More Mirror Reflections – Slovakia & Russia
1. Underground Passages – where you cross the street without stoplights or the dangers of traffic. Most of them are lined with kiosks selling flowers, food, shoes, tickets to cultural shows, books, and other necessities. These “переходи” are especially useful during the brutal winters. Some are simple passageways, others are grand labyrinthine shopping malls. The … More Ten things Russians want you to know about real life in Russia.
Cappadocia, Turkey Balloon Tours, the symbol of Cappadocia, are the most convenient way to see the unmatched beauties of the region. ShoeString will organise your balloon tour with a flight time duration of around one and a half hours and you’ll get to see the farthest points of Cappadocian civilization inaccessible by road.Balloon tours operate … More Mirror Reflections – Turkey & Russia
One of the most top secret places in USSR can be remembered for it’s extremely famous Nuclear Submarine Base. One these bases happened to be located in Balaklava, Ukraine. This city became the home of a huge underground submarine base which housed amazing docks and was functional up until 1996 when the last Russian submarine … More Top-Secret Abandoned Submarine Base in the Ukraine
Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral The Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral was built in 1722. It is truly one of the most valuable architectural monuments and one of the most spiritual symbols of Kazan (see an earlier post of my wife and I inside this church). It’s considered one of the most famous churches in … More Saint Peter & Saint Paul Cathedral