St. Petersburg when the sun’s come out to play is to me the best city to be in in Europe. And I’m not alone in declaring such a bold sentiment – I’ve heard it from many others from many different countries too. But why ‘in Europe’? That’s just so as to be able to compare meaningfully. It’s difficult comparing Russia’s second city with, say, Hong Kong or Singapore, as they’re just so different on so many levels. But I digress. So, about StP!…
Tag Archives: russia
Do you know where the following pics are taken?
Or, for those who don’t live here – any guesses where this is?
What if I give you three guesses?
There’s a Kamchatkan saying that goes something like: ‘If snow falls in June, then spring will be long and drawn-out’. Well it’s not quite June yet, but Moscow weather right up until last week sure did seem to resemble Kamchatka’s extreme climate…
The ducks have already arrived at the reservoir next to the KL office. They’re circling up above it, peering down at the water (still!) completely covered over in ice, thinking ‘EH?!’!!
I love Russian winters. Everything coated in spotless (at least on my balcony at the office) driven snow, and when the sun comes out, the beauty of the serene scene is multiplied several fold:
But wait. Typo, surely, no? Russian winter? But we’re 16 days into spring already. At least, that’s what I thought. What’s going on here?!!
I really cannot remember a winter in Moscow like this one. A Moscow winter as it should be – frosty, icy, snowy, chilly, splendid, and sometimes even sunny. More often than not it’s a soggy, slushy, sullied affair, but I’m normally on the other side of the planet so it doesn’t really affect me so I’ve nothing to complain about.
Not that I never see snow of a winter. I’ve seen not small quantities of it twice in Antarctica (in 2009/2010 and 2017), in Greenland, and in Sweden-Denmark in February 2011 (oh such a long time ago that was). I’ve been to the typically, famously, thoroughly chilly Iceland and Yakutia, but only in summer, so those don’t count. Ah yes, I’ve skied in the Alps a few times, but I won’t count those either. So, that makes just four times in the last 10 (or even 15) years when I saw serious snow. Therefore, a rare total white-out in Moscow is only to be welcomed! Here are the views out of my office window and from the balcony next to it:
I’ve been getting about quite a bit this fall, and practically every day I’ve been as busy as a bee. It’s that slightly disorienting routine I get into every few months or so: each day something new – starting with the hotel room I wake up in.
But the other day it wasn’t a hotel room. Upon waking, my first question to myself was the usual ‘Where am I?’, but the answer this time came ‘in an Airbus!’ Indeed I was, flying Xi-an – Beijing – Moscow – London – the Bahamas – London over several days.
Such continent hopping in a short time with lots on the work agenda forces my happy-snapping habit into its minimalist regime. This isn’t so bad, as the pics that do manage to get taken are normally very much ‘greatest hits’ and no padding. Thus, this post: ‘Greatest Hits of the Last Several Days’!
First, here’s a masterpiece from Petrovich taken at dawn at Danxia:
Before you ask about the fly, let me make the introductions: please meet our pet fly, whom we carry around the world with us in a jar and sometimes let him out for a walk fly :).
And now for a brief rundown of my recent continent hopping…
My business schedule for this fall looks like it’ll be a full one, as usual. So it’s time to warm up before the long slog so as to ease into it gently and in high spirits… First up – a spot of the industrial…
I’ve shown you pics of the iron-and-steel industry before here – from the Novolipetsk Steel Plant. But today you’re getting photos from another of KL’s respected customers…
Severstal! You no doubt will not have visited the city of Cherepovets :) or the Severstal steel mill here… but that’s just fine: I’ll be showing you around the latter in this here post – from where they turn ore (actually – agglomerate) into crude iron…
One of the most fascinating places along our Upper Yenisei adventure was where the Baliktik-Hem and Kizil-Hem rivers merge. It’s here where the ‘Yenisei’ is first mentioned on the maps (when viewing the rivers going down from the mountains); specifically, that first mention is Maliy Yenisei (Little Yenisei).
Round that corner is the Kizil-Hem, which starts out as a small stream in Mongolia!
Now it’s time for me to tell you about the ‘living quarters’ – the most important part of any expedition through the great outdoors.
Along the Upper Yenisei, there are lots of campsites – they are dry, comfortable, some have excellent river views, and sometimes they are ideal for fishing. There wasn’t a single campsite that our team didn’t like.
Rafting on Balyktyg-Khem and Ka-Khem (aka the Little Yenisei) was pretty chilled – there were no particularly dangerous rapids to speak of. The plan of action was simple: keep paddling along the main part of the river, keep clear of rocks and immediately obey the captain’s orders. The instruction that our crew performed fastest was “Stop!”.
There were only a few rapids, probably five. Apart from that there were sand bars with light riffles, fast sections, two or three standstill sections. For rafters, standstills are an inconvenience – you have to paddle! Thankfully, we always had the wind at our backs, or there was no wind at all.