Tag Archives: cities

How copper is made: from the ore to the finished product.

Norilsk walkabout – done. Norilsk borsch – supped, and already yearning for more.

Next up – an inspection of the industrial-technological processes upon which the city of Norilsk grew, and which still produces a broad spectrum of the elements from the periodic table.

Nornickel was kind enough to show us practically the whole process of the production of copper: extraction > fine crushing > preparation > smelting > electrolysis > dispatching. All that, coming up in this post…

First up for us – safety talk, down there on the ground floor (next to that pond in which carp swim!) ->

Read on…

The world’s northernmost city.

Over the last three years I’ve probably visited more cities in Russia than anywhere else. The main reason of course having been the global travel restrictions during covid (which some countries are only just lifting, while others (e.g., China) aren’t even contemplating doing so). Then, this year, international travel for Russians has become a lot more difficult, with multiple connections being now the norm where before there were direct flights. Accordingly, I’ve been doing a lot more domestic travel – for both business trips and adventure-tourism expeditions. And I’ve been visiting plenty of places for the first time too. Just this year I’ve been to the following cities for the first time in my life:

And just the other week I had another +1: Norilsk

Norilsk is no ordinary city, as you either knew before, or now know from the title of this blogpost. Yes, it’s very far north – so, of course, it gets frightfully cold (down to -60°C sometimes!) here in winter. But summer ain’t much better: constant rain. Then there are the strong winds year round. Then there’s the whole ecology… issues – but more on them in a bit…

Read on…

Flickr photostream

  • Japan / Jun 2024
  • Japan / Jun 2024
  • Japan / Jun 2024
  • Japan / Jun 2024

Instagram photostream

Khabarovsk – the city with a bridge fetish.

The city of Khabarovsk, at least in the summer, is a most charming city – perfect for a long stroll. In the winter I imagine it’s not quite as pretty or walkable – all cold and icy and snowy; but then I think back to a wintery (-50°C!) Yakutsk, and realize Khabarovsk might be just as charming in the winter, albeit in a very different way. But we were here in the summer, and, after not having seen much of it over the last few weeks in the Kurils, the sun was out – and staying out ->

Read on-…

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Tianjin – Moscow – Simferopol – Yalta.

Hi all!

Ready. Steady. Go!

The season’s traversing the globe – rather, the northern hemisphere – has begun with gusto.

First up – Tianjin (天津, “Heavenly Passage, Ford”), China, which is approximately 100 kilometers southeast of Beijing en route to the sea. The city (actually, its central district – along the banks of the river) is really impressive to look at – but not in the more traditional Chinese sense of hustle and bustle and lots of folks and bicycles; instead – one of calm, quiet neat-and-tidiness, plus very few folks – and fewer bikes. Some of the parks are almost like those in… er, a much smaller nearby country, which I’d better not mention just now.


Along the riverbanks there’s a kind of fusion of styles going on here. Looking at the new buildings and bridges you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in Paris, a bit later on – London; over there there’s a totally-Tokyo (oops) skyscraper, round the corner there was an Italian quarter… (we didn’t manage to see that, or plenty of other places worth checking as we only had an hour for our walkabout). The river is the Hai (海河) btw, which means “sea-river”.

More: The place where famous pics of FDR, Churchill and Stalin sat together were taken …

A Very Old City.

Jerusalem, the Living City, is older than almost all others that have survived to the present day, older even than Rome, and a couple of millennia older than some of the world’s oldest cities. Only a few others can boast of such a history… the likes of Jericho, Babylon and Yerevan, for instance. But it’s surely true to say that Jerusalem is the oldest among the “big ticket” world cities, and as such it’s one of those places you have to explore at least once in this life. And it’s not just a place for strolling the streets – it’s worth descending underground, since the caves are now open for visitors. I was there recently – these are old sewage tunnels which were discovered not so long ago, enmeshing the whole city like a web. They are more than 2,000 years old!

Jerusalem Tunnels

More: Exploring the history …

Rome On The Run.

It’s years since I’ve had a tourist trip to Rome. I visit the Eternal City on business from time to time, but as a tourist … it’s been five, maybe eight years since I last had the chance. That’s why, having got a free day today, I decided to embark on a whistle-stop tour to stimulate my mind and stir my emotions, without wiping myself out in the process. I’d recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind spending six or eight hours on the go, always on their feet apart from a quick bite for lunch …

More: Rome On The Run.. . .