17. 05. 09

So finally it’s here – the last week before I set off to Russia! I can’t call it excitement, but there’s definitely a feeling inside of me that doesn’t let me sit still. I’m afraid I have read through all Russian sites/blogs to prepare myself mentally for a trip that I haven’t taken in 5 years, so in my head I am already half-way there.
Hopefully I’ll come back with loads of inspirational images, they might turn out sad and melancholic, but at least inspirational. I’m also curious to find the specifics of the Russian style (and I’m not talking matryoshkas here) – the certain style aesthetics acceptable in one country and not in the other. So far I’m prepared to see a lot of resemblance to Stockholm and Berlin, but on 10 cm heels!
As for the trip to my hometown of Ivanovo, where the scenery is always poignant, and rivers are poisoned – it shall be an utter confrontation with my long-term absence from that part of the world and with the harsh reality that takes its toll on the deteriorating cityscapes. A former city of socialist importance turns to ‘peel’…
So please, don’t take me for a pessimist, but where else would I go biking as a kid through a thin path between an artillery testing field and a cemetery just to get to a popular holiday resort of the Voldayskoe Lake?

(these have nothing to do with Russia - just some sketches I've been making...empty clothing racks and stuffed bags)
EDIT: This made me laugh almost through tears. Here's an excerpt from a web-site that suggests a guided tour through Russia's Golden Ring:
"Ivanovo is still one of the main textile centers of Russia, a big industrial and polluted city. Russians half-jokingly call this place 'the city of brides', because there are more women than men working at the city's textile productions.
Ivanovo is a grey and gloomy city, with relics of the Soviet times on every step. It'll be enough to pass it through by bus going between Vladimir and Kostroma, just keep your eyes wide open: the central noisy and dirty street with grey residential buildings and a big red church in the middle of all the mess; the faded impressive mosaics to glory the Soviet heroes, left here from the 70s; a dirty and noisy bus station with an old man playing accordeon to cheer his fellow babushkas.One of the main streets of the city is F. Engelsa street where you can find a supermarket, a currency exchange, an internet access, and a railway station in the end of the street.Another important street is Lenina street, where there are many restaurants, cafes, and a hotel.In case you're stuck in Ivanovo and feel sad that the trip that was teaching you so much about architecture and history was abruptly paused in this town, you should visit Palekh village, one of the centers of Russian icon-painting, 60 kilometers east of Ivanovo to the direction of Nizhny Novgorod. "

I just love how they basically tell you to get the hell out of there!


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