A Travel & Leisure story this morning caught my eye. “Strange Love? U.S. Tourists Flock to Russia in Record Numbers” is a revelation that’s not surprising to some of us. What the writers at Time Inc. and Affluent Media Group don’t realize is, Americans and Russians don’t despise one another – so boosted tourism is not so “strange” after all. Here’s a photographic look at other reasons for Russia’s touristic value.
Having grown up in an era of overweening ambition, Misha dreamed of nothing else but living in a big city. In 2003 he left his village for Moscow, ready to conquer the world. Years later, he realized that the world is not enough for his Russian soul, so he came back and settled in a quiet Russian village to play his harmonica and raise his three children.
Argophilia’s Anna Novikova, in pursuit of the traditional Maslenitsa and the perfect blini (pancake) in Yaroslavl, Russia.
Anna Novikova with a story about the immortality of the human spirit via Mila Arutyunyan, an Armenian-born Russian shopkeeper.
Yaroslav’s Sergei Pimanov was a physics professor once, but the fates and a bad system abandoned him to a different fate. Today he teaches love and life, selling his magnets and magnetic charm on the streets of the city.
We met the man in the Summer of 2016. We noticed him every time we passed the city center on business. In the evenings he was always there, this good-natured 70-year-old, always, always smiling. On our first meeting I stopped just to say hello, this is when I learned his name is Valentin.