Russia is often wrongly stereotyped as a depressing land devoid of color and life. Although the Russian winter is long and there are definitely periods where the dominant colors are white, brown, and grey, I have found Russia to possess an understated beauty that continues to stun me when I least expect it. I’ve selected fourteen of my favorite photos I have taken since I arrived in September, and if you have never been to Russia, I hope that they will give you a broader picture of the beauty and character this country has to offer! Note: many of these photos have been filtered, i.e. Instagram, but I really haven’t altered them that significantly.
1. Moscow night, September 2013.
I took this photo from the corner of Red Square to capture the contrast of the jewel-toned sky and church. The building to the far left with the red star on top is the Kremlin.
2. Feeding swans in Gorkiy Park, Moscow. September 2013.
3. View from my dormitory porch, Elabuga. October 2013.
4. Wisdom from a Student, Elabuga. October 2013.
I asked my students to write an essay about the differences between higher education in the United States and in Russia. After praising the United States’ use of syllabuses (which my students had never heard of), she contrasted it to the Russian system with the following statement that sums up my 10 year history with this place:
5. Elabuga Institute, Fall 2013.
Built in 1903 complete with a nifty onion dome, this building is arguably one of the coolest looking places to work on earth.
6. Sunset on Kazanskaya Street, Elabuga. Fall 2013.
7. Children playing by the Marina Tsvetaeva monument, Elabuga. Winter 2013.
I took this picture on the morning after one of the first snows, and I loved the excitement and energy that these children exuded.
8. Jumbo snowman outside my dorm, Elabuga. Winter 2013.
9. The Irony of Fate, Elabuga. Winter 2013.
The sign reads “The pharmacy is temporarily closed due to one of the employees being sick.”
10. Winter sunset, Elabuga, 2013.
11. Caviar and Tea, Naberezhniye Chelny. Winter 2014.
12. View from Pushkin Park, Vladimir. Winter 2014.
13. Shooting the breeze, Elabuga. February 2014.
14. “Nyet,” Naberezhniye Chelny. February 2014.
I saw a little boy scribble нет on the frosty window of the bus from Elabuga to Naberezhniye Chelny.