Yearly Archives: 2016

Smoking in the former Soviet Union

Cigarettes are dirt cheap all across the former Soviet Union, hence why smoking is so prolific. In Kiev I found cigarette packs for sale between 7 and 30 Ukrainian hryvnia – about US$0.85 to US$3.70! And cigarette displays were in … Continue reading

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Graffitied trains on the Bucharest Metro

When I rode the metro system in the Romanian capital of Bucharest, there was one thing that struck me about the trains – how graffiti covered they are.

Line M4 passengers change for line M1 trains at Basarab station Continue reading

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When bike paths meet a railway level crossing

Recently I asked myself the question – how does a bike path cross a railway? When a road does the same thing, a level crossing has to be built – but I had to look to the Netherlands to see what a level crossing for bikes looks like.

Railway level crossing in the Dutch town of Maastricht (photo by Mark Ahsmann, via Wikimedia Commons) Continue reading

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Building blocks of a Soviet metro station

In cities of the former Soviet Union such as Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Kiev, you will find an metro networks filled with ornately decorated underground stations, none of which look the same. But if you look a little deeper at the strcture of each, you will find that each of these stations actually have a common set of building blocks that they all follow.

Ornate decorations at platform level Continue reading

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Ретропоезд – the heritage trains of Russia

In Russian there is a word for old time trains such as steam engines – «Ретропоезд». It roughly translates to “retro train”, and on my visit to Russia, I saw quite a few of them.

Collection of locomotives at the south end of the museum Continue reading

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Icebreakers on the River Neva, Saint Petersburg

During cold Russian winters the River Neva through Saint Petersburg becomes covered with ice, with icebreakers required to keep the waterway open.

A few more chunks of ice to go Continue reading

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Learner drivers in Russia

A few times in Russia I spotted an odd sticker affixed to car windshields – an exclamation mark inside a yellow box. But what do they indicate?

Exclamation sticker on the windscreen of a Russian carContinue reading

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Freight wagon codes of the Russian Railways

While travelling across Russia I saw plenty of freight trains, each made up of a variety of different rolling stock. So how are each of these freight wagons identified?

The kicked up snow starts to settle Continue reading

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Riding the Nizhny Novgorod cable car

Cable cars are usually something associated with tourist resorts and snowfields, but they can be used for public transport – with the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod being one example.

Looking down ~80 metres to an ice covered Volga River Continue reading

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Churches of Nizhny Novgorod

One thing struck me when exploring the old town of the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod – just how many churches there were to see.

National Unity Square in Nizhny Novgorod Continue reading

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