Russia’s Pocket In the heartland of Russia, Nizhny Novgorod is the fifth largest city after Moscow and St. Petersburg with approximately 1.25 million people. It’s early history begins in the 13th century supporting the Makaryev Fair which became the commercial hub for exporting Russian goods. During soviet times the city was closed to foreign visitors in order … More A Reason to Visit Russia – Niztniy Novgorod – Russia’s Pocket
Life on Reunion Island It is the people of Réunion who add a living soul to the ‘intense isle’. It is a true melting pot and a ‘rainbow nation’ far exceeding that of South Africa. After spending some time communing with nature in the mountains or amongst the coral, take time to experience a culture … More Mirror Reflections – Reunion Island & Russia
The first glimpse of the Island is a beautiful sight. It hard to conceive that the materials for this small town started 885 kilometers (550 miles) away in the Uglich forest not far from a city with the same name. It took a full winter to cut down and prepare all the materials, at the … More In the mind of a Tsar – A town is Born – Part II
After an eleven day siege on the Kazan Kremlin Ivan Grozny (Ivan the Terrible) was forced to retreat. The retreat itself took place on February 12, 1550. Grozny (which means inspiring fear or terror) more than likely wasn’t pleased that he was put into the position of having to back down regrouped his troops a … More In the mind of a Tsar – A town is Born
Sviyazhsk Island Sviyazhsk Island has some very interesting history, which I would like to share with you. We just got back from this little island in the middle of the Volga River. But the night is getting late and I must do the research before I post the rest of the pictures along … More Church on Sviyazhsk Island
This is a very special Mirror Reflections After 130 countries to visit my blog, China came to visit. Something honestly I wasn’t sure could even happen with how things are regulated there. Welcome to “Life in Russia” Life in China First day in China We left Raleigh this morning right before 8am, had a brief … More Mirror Reflections – China & Russia
On Lake Qaban Yesterday we were down in the middle of town where we have 3 different lakes. I never thought that taking a picture of a “duck” would be interesting but the reflection of the water caught me by surprise. I hope that you like it. History of the Lakes Lakes Kaban, the system of … More Picture of the day
The city, Itil, was the capital of the Khazars, a powerful nation that adopted Judaism as its official religion more than 1,000 years ago, only to disappear, leaving little trace of its culture. It was mentioned in medieval travellers’ accounts but Soviet dictator Josef Stalin banned any research into the city and the Khazars, fearing … More Itil a Jewish City rediscovered in Russia – Once feared by Stalin
This is a view of the Kremlin from across the Volga River. You can see the Kul Sharif Mosque, the Leaning Suyumbike Tower and much more from this vantage point.
This shot captures both the mill and windmill. I had seen several windmills in other place within Tatarstan, but this is the first I have photographed. At first I thought it a bit unusual but realized the building of these windmill could have been influenced by other cultures or maybe even the other way around. … More The Windmill
This is a reconstructed mill with in the Museum of Bread complex. The structures themselves reminded me of cabins that are built in different parts of the States.
The Museum of Bread is an interactive complex that reconstructs the whole agricultural cycle from crop cultivation to baking, demonstrating peculiarities of the Tatars and Bolgars ways of living.
Inside the Uspenskaya Church there was a collection of Tea Servers. We love our tea here in Russia.
This was from inside the East mausoleum looking towards the Healer’s Home.
I think I walked around the grounds of this ancient city looking for the right place to get this shot. It captures most of them.
According legend, The Black House was the court building. The decisions of the court were carried out by the Khan at the time along with three judges. The Khan always entered the building from the west and the others entered through their own special doors. However, there is another thought about the function of the … More The Black Chamber
I learned after taking this picture that the builders of this ancient city would cross the Volga River to quarry stone and return to build the magnificent buildings they built throughout the city. What amazed me was the color of the stone. In my travels across the U.S. there are many areas that have this … More Stone Quarry across the Volga River
As you walk by the colonnade of columns which holds up the roof to the Museum of the Healer’s house and Handicraft workshops, you will cross over and under the beautiful glass roof that acts as a canopy for the Khan’s Palace. When you are under this canopy looking north you will see the cliffs … More Looking north toward Khan’s Palace
Deep in the cradle of Islam, an Orthodox Church was also built, it’s foundation was constructed from the grave stones taken from the ancient Bolgar monuments and tombs.
I took a bit of license with this photo. I wanted to capture what it might have felt like in years gone past. Here’s a bit of information on both. According to legend, the minor minaret was built in the burial place of the “Bolgar Saints”. The upper platform of the minaret contains a spiral … More The Minor Minaret & The Khan’s Mausoleum
When you are standing in the area where the Congregational Mosque was once built every building could be seen from this platform, the East Mausoleum being one of them. This mausoleum contains a tomb of Bolgar nobility, crowned by a traditional Eastern tent style roof. Inside the 700 year old building is an exhibit displaying … More The East Mausoleum (Church of St. Nicholas)
When I stepped into the church and looked up into the dome area. Seeing the windows and the light coming through I wanted to capture the beauty of the simplicity of the window itself.