At 7am the streets of Yoshkar-Ola were dark and empty. As I shuffled over dirty snow and treacherous black ice, the only sound was the bickering of ravens overhead. The shops on ulitsa Kremlyovskaya – Apteka No. 67; Evroset; Moda 21 vek – told me that I had arrived in provincial Russia. Except that ul. Kremlyovskaya is also Kreml urem: street signs and building plaques are written in Russian and Meadow Mari, the most widely spoken of the four Mari dialects.
I made a beeline for the peculiar buildings in the distance.
Expedia Sweden got in touch with me this week for an interview about my travels. The post appears in the Möt en resenär (‘Meet a traveller’) section of their blog at expedia.se – the English version comes after the Swedish, on the same page.
“The adrenaline fizzing in my blood dulls my judgement. I am not as scared of the man in the ugly green uniform as I should be. But I don’t bother him: it’s pointless to look for thieves after dark in a labyrinth of creepy housing blocks like Kryukovo.
Follow the link to read my article “Animals in space: What does it take to be tasked with exploring the Universe before humans?” for Russia Beyond The Headlines
Follow the link to read an article I wrote about travel technologies – apps, online communities and resources – for Russia Beyond The Headlines
South Korean figure skater Yuna Kim, a superstar in her homeland, will be competing for the last time at the age of 23. Contenders at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games come mainly from the traditional medal-hungry nations – Canada, Germany, the USA, Norway, South Korea and Switzerland topped the table in 2010 – but athletes from some snow-starved parts of the world are also making their way to Sochi. This year there will be competitors from Brazil, Cyprus, the Philippines… and even the tiny kingdom of Tonga.