The Wandering Scot

An occasional travel journal.

Browsing Posts tagged Russia

I’m in Komsomolsk-na-Amure, in the Russian Far East. I was exiting the city’s WWII memorial, when I suddenly spotted a familiar face. It can’t be, can it? Yes it is! Stalin himself. Smiling calmly, without a care in the world. What was most startling is that the bust is quite new, erected just last year.  […]

Moscow: Vostok-1

To my gleeful amazement, I unexpectedly ran across Gagarin’s Vostok-1 capsule yesterday! I was out wandering in Moscow and at the VDNKh exhibition center I discovered a newly opened museum “Cosmos”. It turns out to be a big new Space Technology museum. And sitting in the lobby was the original Gagarin Vostok-1 capsule. Oh wow!  […]

Perm-36 Gulag Museum

Perm-36 is the last surviving Gulag camp, now the “Museum of the History of Political Repression“, about 90km East of Perm. It was abandoned in 1988, became extremely dilapidated, then was reclaimed as a Museum in 1994 and partially restored. So what is visible today is a mix of original buildings and reconstructions. It is […]

Moscow’s Gulag Museum

Moscow’s Gulag History Museum has moved to a new, larger, building with new exhibits and a new narrative. The building’s exterior is deliberately stark and austere, even forbidding. The interior exhibition space has been given a distinctly prison-like style. It is mostly one large multi-level hall, with many side rooms for specific topics.   The […]

Buddhist Elista

I’m in Elista, in South-West Russia, Europe’s largest (only!) Buddhist city.  A Pagoda, a Golden Temple, stupas, a giant golden Buddha statue, assorted Buddhist art.   And amazingly few tourists. Elista is home to the Kalmyks, a western arm of the Mongols, who settled in the plains North of the Caucasus in the 17th century.  They’ve […]

Russia-Azerbaijan Border

The Russian-Azerbaijan border used to be closed to foreigners. But a couple of recent postings over on the Lonely Planet forums had indicated that the Russian regulations have changed to allow non-CIS citizens to cross.  I was in the Caucasus, so I thought I would give it a try, starting from Derbent in Dagestan and […]