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. … More ‘Letter from Yoshkar-Ola (Republic of Mari El, Russia)’ – for The Calvert Journal
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. … More Möt en resenär: Talking travel with Expedia Sweden
“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. … More Escape from Moscow: A night with the Russian militsiya
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 … More Russian animals in space – 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. … More The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games