So finally I have made it to Russia! I’m currently in Novosibirsk, the capital of Siberia, where Katya is from. My journey here took me to Riga in Latvia & to St Petersburg before I made it to Siberia.

Pringles in Russia 😉

In St Petersburg Katya’s sister Toma and husband Andrey showed me around the City on a boat tour, is quite unusual as the rivers channels go in and around most of the Old City so on the tour you actually get quite close to a lot of the main buildings and monuments.

St Petersburg Boat Tour

View from the top of Isaakievskiy Cathedral

My favourite of the places I saw was the Isaakievskiy Cathedral. It was built 3 times on the same location in different forms. The front pillars have marks on them from a World War 2 bomb and goes to show a little of how much the city suffered during World War 2. The building has many fine sculptures and paintings on the walls & ceiling that have incredible detail & colour. The mosaic paintings alone took 65 years to be created by a team of top artists. The structures inside were also created using state of the art technologies. I don’t think you get this kind of dedication to details & elaborateness in the modern World.

Looking at the marks on the outside from the bomb, I found out some more about World War 2. In the whole of the USSR over 25 million Russian military & civilians were killed in the War, 13% of its population!!! This was a surprise for me as in school I’m sure we weren’t told of this. I looked it up and Great Britain lost 450,900 people 0.94% of its population in total to put it into perspective.

In Novosibirsk I got to meet Katya’s whole family together for the first time and felt so easy to meet and get along with. Their relationship is much closer than British families I would say, actually I would say this about all relationships I have seen here even between friends the bonds seem much closer. Russians are very willing to help and do what they can for each other and even people they’ve just met.

Me with Katya’s Mum, Dad & Bothers Family

Katya has also shown me around the city centre, where she went to school, her old homes, the Zoo… is nice to have an idea now of where she grew up.

I really like the variety of fruits the shops sell here, we are quite close to Asia so you get some very good fruit and dried fruit, many varieties and in all sorts of odd shapes and sizes not like in the UK supermarkets.

One surprise for me is that now I’ve been here for about a week I can guess quite often what conversations are about and am recognising more and more words. Although pronouncing what I hear is still a big challenge for me 😉

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До следующей встречи из России,



About James Bebbington

2011 ICF World Freestyle Kayak Champion & 2011 ICF World Cup Freestyle Kayak Champion Passionate about Kayaking, Travel, Nature, Dreams, Raw Food & the Beauty of Life. Don't give up on your dreams, listen to your heart!
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4 Responses to Russia!

  1. pavel says:

    your friend to see glad you to write still

  2. Tomik says:

    Your friend Pavel is glad to see your writing about Russia! Lets meet him, and practice in speaking Russian :))

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