Tag Archives: photos

Pictures from Sochi

This is the official countdown to the Olympic Games 2014. It’s hard to see but I think it’s at 983 days here. My friend said they had a huge party when it was 1000 days. It’s right by the Maritime Terminal, which is basically the sea port that has boats going to exciting places like Turkey.



We got to take a fun gondola ride to get into Dendrarii, the Sochi Arboretum. My friend’s friend works there so we got to go in for free. They had lots of interesting trees and paths and pretty fountains, as well as some ostriches and peacocks and some other birds.

Notice the fountain and my clown feet.


This is a tower on the top of a mountain from which you can see really beautiful views of Sochi and the surrounding areas. As you can see it was super foggy, and we could barely see from the top of the tower to the bottom. Soo there were no panoramic views.

Stunning view from the top – can’t you see the Black Sea? No??


Me with a really small waterfall. There are bigger ones but by then it was raining and so we couldn’t really trek onwards.


Photographic Evidence

I finally got the iPhoto situation fixed, by schlepping my computer to Barak’s and taking advantage of the wildly fast wi-fi there.  As promised, some pictures from Moscow.

View from my room on the 19th floor, looking south towards the city center.  The smokestacks, the spires!


This is the bridge we crossed to get to Парк Искусств/Sculpture Park! Look at those cars zooming by!

This is something we passed on the way to Sculpture Park! Unfortunately I didn’t get a single picture of it that had the whole monument but not my breath. I realize that it’s not a photographic masterpiece.  I just thought it was interesting.  And yeah, it was cold enough that in order to get a breath-less picture you had to make a concerted effort not to breathe which I failed to do.

That’s me! I know it’s hard to tell, because it’s too far away to tell that I’m not photogenic, but I promise it’s me.


This is what I woke up to on Saturday – it had snowed and it was snowing!  Of course the first thing I thought of was the song “Snow” from the Christmas classic “White Christmas” (it’s currently my favorite Christmas movie).  If you haven’t heard the song, it’s amazing and completely ridiculous, with lines like “I want to wash my face, my hands, my hair in snow” and “I want to make a great big man entirely made of snow”.  Now that it’s after Thanksgiving I can listen to the “XMAS” playlist on my computer guilt-free.

Of course, the snow made me realize that while I am prepared for cold weather I am not prepared for wintery precipitation.  I need to buy boots, like, tomorrow, because there is more snow on the way, and boots are the only way.  They don’t salt the sidewalks here, so it’s quite a sport to get from one place to another.  It’s going to be a looong winter full of near-slips-and-falls for klutzy me.


Twice a week, when I am on my way to my Russian lessons, I walk through the courtyard of the cathedral in Voronezh.

They just finished a long restoration, which is why it looks so amazing.  Wikipedia tells me it’s the third tallest orthodox cathedral in Russia! Fun fact.


So, dear friends, I have some exciting news.  I have settled into a wonderful flat near the city center.  I feel so happy to be closer to the university and to everything.  My new place is a ten minute walk to the university, a fifteen or twenty minute walk to where I have my Russian classes, and about a 30 or 40 minute ride to the International Relations Department where I teach only two days a week.  My landlady is really cute and nice, and she thinks it’s funny that I’ve never rented an apartment ever in my life and I’m doing it for the first time in Russia.  She brought me at least 3 dozen apples as a housewarming gift, so I’ve been making applesauce and apple butter, which is DELICIOUS.  And time consuming.  But once I decide to do something then I have to do it, so. There you go.

The other things that are good about the flat is that it’s right by the main market in the city – think big indoor farmer’s market with all sorts of meat and fruit and spices, and stands outside where you can buy anything from slippers to shoes – and a really big renovated supermarket is opening across the street in a week.  Not to mention the lack of bugs here.  Although I did enjoy that both my dad and my brother referred to the buggies as my “new friends” it was put into perspective by my good friend who is currently living in the Dominican Republic: he said he woke up a few nights ago with a cockroach (not the baby Russian kind, the big kind) on his face. So none of that. I’m free!

I also gave my presentation today about American values, and it went really well!  I think all of us were happy with how it went and with the turnout.  We didn’t expect very many people to come because we only had a week to advertise it, but the room which serves as our American Center was full!  Around 50 people showed up, mostly students but some adults too.  I’m really looking forward to the next meeting, and talking to more students.  People came up to talk to me afterwards, too, which is always fun.  One guy told me, “That was legit!” which obviously made me happy.  And as always I am happy to answer the random grammar questions that people have.  All in all, a good Monday!  I feel like I’m really starting to settle in and have a real little life.  Speaking of which I have to prepare for my classes tomorrow, but let me leave you with some photos.  I just figured out how to take panoramic pictures so let me have my fun.

Also: for all you creative chefs out there, please give me some recipe ideas!  I need things that are not too difficult and do not have too many ingredients but are delicious and hopefully healthy.  Soups, pasta, chicken recipes, anything.  Please let me know.

can you see how delicious this is? I know the toast is a tiny bit burned but I am getting used to making it on the stove.  Look at the little flecks of cinnamon and how delicious this looks! I am very proud of myself.

yummm. and I still have half the apples left.. I think for them it will just be apple sauce.

sorry I can’t add more photos now, my computer is being slow.


I was walking to my dorm today when some girl who was a promoter handed me a very small bag of chips. ok, I thought, fine. imagine my delight, friends and family especially, when they were BACON flavored chips.

and they were delicious. like bacon-bbq flavored chips. yum yum yum. in case I didn’t already have enough food to eat here that is bad for me.

by the way, bacon is a popular flavor here. one of the first instant-dinner things I got here was bacon-flavored mashed potatoes. instant ramen and mashed potatoes are what’s hot. I guess the student’s life is the same everywhere, yeah?

coins and other random pictures

I was sorting out my coins the other night when I did a double take. I was thinking to myself, why would they make kopecks (cents basically) so darn big? And then I realized that I was looking at a 10 ruble coin! I had never seen one before.

here are some other interesting pictures:

this is a funny picture of the pictures I had to get to apply for my visa prolongation. so meta, I know.

this is how my room Actually Looks. yes, all you people who know me, the first picture was from the first day I got there, that’s why my stuff wasn’t everywhere. it’s a little cleaner now, let’s hope in the future it will be even cleaner.

and finally, the dread box of chocolates. see how many are gone? terrrribleeee