Kazan and the Temple of All Religions

Kazan, Russia

My final stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway before returning to Moscow was Kazan, a city that is as ethnically and religiously diverse as Ulan Ude – perhaps more so. It is the capital of the […]

Thirty Rubles About Russia

If you travel to Russia for a week or two, you’ll certainly be aware of how different it is from your home country. Spending three months in Russia gave me a lot of time to […]

An Excursion to Ganina Yama

Ganina Yama, Yekaterinburg, Russia

As I walked away from the taxi outside of the Yekaterinburg train station, I felt my hope slipping away. My main reason for stopping in the city on my Trans-Siberian journey was to visit Ganina […]

A Winter Hike in Siberia

Stolby Nature Reserve, Krasnoyarsk, Russia

  I have to admit, I thought about backing out.   As I was wandering around aimlessly searching for my hostel in Krasnoyarsk with the wind whipping against my face, I seriously thought about backing […]

Olkhon Island: Getting There is Half the Fun

Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal, Russia

I stood in the dark outside my apartment building in Irkutsk, already feeling the chill in my legs. The marshrutka (mini-van) I booked through the Baikaler Hostel was scheduled to pick me up at 8:45 […]

Five Favorite Things in Moscow

I have to admit, I did not love Moscow. Unlike St. Petersburg, where I flipped through my guidebook and wanted to see just about everything, very little stood out to me as “must-sees” when it […]

Taking a Break in Irkutsk

Irkutsk, Russia

  Most people barely spend two days in Irkutsk, much less two weeks.   I initially planned a short stop as well, but when I heard about an opportunity to volunteer with the Great Baikal […]

Discovering Buddhism & Buryatia in Ulan Ude

Ulan Ude, Russia

I stared out of the dusty train window at rows and rows of wooden houses. They seemed to go on for miles and, as the train slowed down, I assumed we must be nearing the […]