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The republic of North Ossetia–Alania

Have you ever heard of the republic of North Ossetia–Alania? It’s a Russian region with the most spectacular scenery in the heart of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. The area of Ossetia is nearly 12,000 square kilometers.
Here are the most amazing places you can visit in a single day.

  • An ancient Ossetian epic mentions the heroic horseman - the patron of soldiers and men. Later, under the influence of Orthodoxy, the image of that rider joined with the image of St. George, who has a special significance for the Ossetians. The Monument of  St. George in Ossetia is the highest equestrian statue in the world. It seems as if the holy warrior escaped from the rock and congealed for a moment  above the road.

These majestic statues were sculpted by Nikolai Hodov, a well-known Ossetian  sculptor. It’s interesting that this talented man has learned to create beautiful sculptures on his own, without formal schooling.

  • Next, you should see the rock fortress of the 13th century in Dzivgis, which seats more than 100 soldiers. The fortress merges with the rocks and is invisible to the uninitiated. There are many similar structures in the Caucasus, but this is the largest one.

  • And finally you must visit the City of the dead in Dargavs. Since the 14th century, this mystical place has been the last refuge for the nearby mountain nation. The town has more than 90 stone crypts of different sizes, but with a similar architecture (which, by the way, is reminiscent of the temple towers in Cambodia!).

In these tombs people buried their dead. A body was brought into a tomb through a window, which was closed afterwards with a wooden shield. Another amazing fact is that the dead were placed in hollowed wooden boats!

Just remember the mythical river of the underworld of the dead, the river of time.


The Holy Land

Israel is truly called the 5th Gospel. Here Bible pictures come to life, and each stone can tell a story.
Tel Aviv

The Jewish cemetery



About these stones – Jerusalem is a surprisingly cozy and warm city, thanks to sand-colored stones from which houses are made and streets are paved. I already saw narrow small streets in Europe, but for the first time I saw such extreme roads. It takes your breath away when you see these insteps, but, especially, descents.



For the first time I arrived during the transition from winter to spring and therefore I didn't miss the opportunity to take a photo with each floret.



Israel is absolutely tiny in comparison with Russia, but  nature here is unusually rich. For some days I saw the sea, mountains, picturesque valleys, fine gardens and the lifeless desert.

The Mediterranean Sea. I love this terrific colour!


Somewhere near Dead sea


Armageddon - the site of gathering of armies for a battle during the end times


The Sea of Galilee
Contrary to my impressions  of deserts there were no sandy barkhans. The Judaic desert looks otherwise.


In Israel you seldom meet dogs – generally only in Christian settlements because Jews and Muslims consider them  to be dirty animals and don't let  them in the house. But those we met were incredibly sweet and friendly.


He is very old, but looks like a puppy=)

A real cute puppy...


...who protects this birdie!


But, unfortunately, not all of them were happy to see us...)
I won't describe those inexpressible feelings which I had every minute staying there - it's too personal.


Russian churches are the most beautiful!=)

But I  know very well that even if I never ever go anywhere else, I've already made the most important  trip in my life.


    Have you ever heard about The Golden Ring of Russia?
It's the name of a chain of very old towns northeast of Moscow that formed the political and cultural heart of Russia.
   Russian towns of the Golden Ring are renowned for their architectural masterpieces, unique landscapes and unspoiled beauty that gives one an idea of the peaceful country life enjoyed by the Russians before urbanization.
  Suzdal is one of my favorite cities and has an amazing history. Founded in 1024, the town has experienced many changes in fortune, but has managed to maintain its exceptional appearance right up to the present day.
Over the centuries, Suzdal was the capital of a princedom and a calm provincial town all in one.
This city is a real open-air museum.



Because the city’s rules prohibit building structures taller than two-stories, visually the city has changed very little in the past two centuries.
In Suzdal there are 5 ancient monasteries and more than 30 churches - the domes are visible from everywhere.
The town has almost 200 architectural monuments from the last millennium.
Thousands of tourists come to see Suzdal every year.
The town is overflowing with craft shops of traditional handiwork, as well as the famous medovukha (mead), a mildly alcoholic Russian drink often mentioned in fairy tales and poetic stories.
In the territory there aren't factories or plants, therefore the air is surprisingly pure.
It is possible to walk around for hours in this cozy small town feeling like time has stopped.

A typical house for a peasant family of moderate means. The faсade is decorated with wood-carving.



Well with a Wheel (19th century)
Wells of this type were called “stupalny” (from the Russian word which means “to tread”). A person got into the wheel with wooden stairs inside and treading on them, rotated the wheel for lifting water. Two large buckets descended alternately into the well.


The Museum of wood architecture and Peasant’s Life was created in the 1960s and 1970s. It consists of the churches, dwelling houses and domestic outbuildings dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. All the structures were brought here from different villages situated in the Vladimir region.


Windmills (18th century)





ps and cats everywhere!=)



How I fell in love with Russian nature

I lived  most of my life in the south of Russia. For 15 years, I didn't see the real wood, didn't pick berries, and didn't swim in the rivers.
Here, I arrived at Karelia.





The pine woods were replaced by bogs, deserts, and freakish rocks. And, of course, uncountable lakes  which  had no end were around. I think, if you looked at Karelia from space, it would be possible to see a green carpet on which dew drops glitter.



The Lake Onega



The best time for travelling to Karelia is from the middle of July to the middle of August. At this time, it is very  warm. It is possible to swim in lakes and the glades are carpeted with berries.
Perhaps, the only trouble is mosquitoes. Generally, they trap travelers in the wood.


The perfect mirrors are everywhere!





It's terrific every season.





Photos, unfortunately, don't transfer all of the magic of this wonderful place. But I just say that having been there once, you will fall in love with Karelia forever.

The hands of Chopin

       At 19 years of age, he was diagnosed with an acute form of tuberculosis. Doctors predicted 1-1,5 years of life. He lived 20 more years.
      It is possible to tell a lot about this amazing Polish composer. Let's just imagine this man – with a height of 176 cm he weighed only 46-48 kg! That wasn't a physical body! Only hair, eyes and long fingers. The gypsum mould of his hand is stored in a museum in Krakow.
     All life of Chopin was a fight against the illness. He didn't cough when he was composing music, it helped him. Image the Friederich is possible to see in his waltz. As if the lonely small paper ship fights against waves, comes up and again promptly flies down.
   Chopin were living and composing the music in France, but grieved for native Poland and bequeathed to bury his heart in Poland. The composer was buried in Paris, and his heart took and was buried in Warsaw. Because where is a heart, there is a soul.



"Against the torrent"

   I have a friend who is a photographer.Once, she invited me to participate   in one of her projects called "Against the torrent". The work consists of the following: a girl walking down the street and the photographer catches the reaction of passersby.
  "Your mission is to attract attention", Alla said. "I think that is quite simple looking like this", I replied. "Actually the inhabitants of megalopolises get so used to seeing the most bizarre things on the street that they hardly pay attention even if you are wearing ostrich feathers!", she said.
     And it turned out to be true. As soon as I was going deep into crowd, the empty space sprang up around me.
  People moved out of the way and strangers stared at me, thinking that I was featuring in a movie or the filming of an advertisment.The most courageous among them approached me and started conversation. Asking what I was doing and what I had in my basket!
       Usually I don't like the attention of strangers,but this photoshoot helped me to overcome this fear.

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Yeah! I've done it!!!))


The condition of modern art

  I will tell you about  the condition of modern art) Today I visited a very peculiar concert entitled "Universe Vibration".
  The first part consisted of a 40-minute performance called "Inside and outside". In public view a man had swallowed a video camera (a little one, don't be frightened) and washed it down with a water. The live broadcast from his stomach was projecting on a big drum. Then Vlasov began to turn and spin, showing us all the rich inner world (frankly speaking, nothing interesting: pink folds and gastric juice).
   Turning from the camera inside himself, Vlasov got tubes with paints and began to paint himself, showing where he has lungs, a liver, a stomach, etc. Such an evident lecture on anatomy turned out. After the lecture, madness started increasing, the actor made strange sounds: probably, he tried to spit out the camera.
   To tell the truth, from time to time I was affected by wild laughter, and then I tried to concentrate on the stomach folds so as not to burst out laughing in the first row.
    The second part was not so "colourful", but no less fabulous. The modern composition performed by a chorus consisted of incoherent Russian and the German words, whistles, hissing, and other sounds (I don't represent how they understood music scores).
   After seeing everything I once again understood how much I loved classical music and the academic theater.
And what do you think about the modern art?

These eyes

Simeon is 10 years old.
He is a very kind, sweet, beautiful, very sociable guy. His mistress died.
On 16 June 2012 he went to a new home.
And 09 May 2013 Simeon was turned away because his new mistress got an allergy.
Now he is alone.
I'm rather indifferent to stray cats, but his eyes shook my soul!



My trip to Kazan

  It's so cool when you can come running home after work, throw a few things in a small backpack and wake up in other city the next morning.

    This weekend, I woke up in a city with a thousand-year history - Kazan.

Welcome to Kazan!


Kazan subway

  This city is interesting not only for its antiquity, but also for its eclecticism.

  Muslim mosques peacefully stand next to Christian cathedrals, old wooden houses – to brand new high-rise buildings.




          It is possible to visit the Kremlin free of charge.


DSC_0325       Here our attention is drawn by the well-known leaning tower of Syuyumbika. At present the deviation of its spike from the vertical is 1,98 m.

  Several scholars date its construction to the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, when the tiered towers were exceedingly popular in Russia.

  In one of the legends, the tower was constructed by the queen Syuyumbika in memory of her husband Safa-Girey, who died in 1549.   According to another, it was built on the order of Ivan the Terrible in seven days (symbolizing seven of its circles) after the capture of Kazan in 1552 on the condition that queen Syuyumbika would be dumped from the seventh circle. In one of the versions of this legend, the Russian tsar offered to take her in marriage.

          Though similar legends include some historic facts, they are absolutely far from reality.


  On the main pedestrian street of Bauman, you can see some curious objects: the city symbol – the Kazan cat, street clocks in Arab style where lovers meet, the pigeon fountain, the monument to the carriage of empress Ekaterina II.





   The monument of the Kazan cat was presented in 2009. A proverb has been engraved at the foot of the monument: “Kazan cat has an Astrakhanian brain and Siberian mind”.

Kazan cats were famous for their excellent mouser qualities. As legends state, this cat brings wealth home. Probably because of that in 1745 Elizabeth of Russia issued “A decree to send cats to the Royal Court”. 30 mousers were sent then to Saint Petersburg. When Catherine the Great visited Kazan, the symbol of the richness, Kazan cat, was presented to her also.


Catherine the Great’s carriage on the Bauman street is a replica of the carriage in which the empress travelled around, whilst in Kazan. “The Carriage of Her Majesty has eight horses and each horse has one stableman. In front of the horse four courtler outrunners have been walked and two araps, three on each side" - newspapers wrote.

Astonished Kazan people followed the carriage as it passed by. Catherine admired by the hospitality of the Kazan aristocracy and the city itself. "Undeniably, this city is the first in Russia after Moscow... As seen everywhere, Kazan is a capital of a big kingdom" - she wrote.


27 km from Kazan, there is the monastery, which is already 4 centuries old!


Raifa Virgin monastery

       A very long time ago, the lake near the monastery was occupied by very vociferous and noisy frogs. Every evening, they sang so loudly, that the monks couldn't pray. Then the monks begged God that He calmed the frogs.

  Since then, all frogs on the lake have become silent. And even when brought from other places – here frogs become silent. Now I can confirm that also)


  I described only a small part of everything I have seen. You could study the city for years, and yet never be bored.

Awesome in the morning and at night




  "The most unhappy person in the world is an atheist, he sees a sunset at sea, and he has nobody to tell thanks for this beauty."
Gilbert Chesterton

   "My God, it's so good to stay with You: fragrant air, the mountains stretching to the sky, waters, as the boundless mirrors reflecting gold of beams  and ease of clouds. You brought us into this life, as into a bewitching paradise.  We've seen the sky as a deep blue bowl in which azure birds sing, we heard the pacifying murmur of the forest and the sweet music of waters, we ate sweet fruits and fragrant honey.
    It is so good on Your earth, it is joyful at Your visit.
    All nature is mysteriously whispered to, all is full of caresses, both birds and animals bear the stamp of Your love."
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