It wasn’t until I first saw a Lada 1500 (also VAZ 2101, 2103, 2105 and 21073), that I think I actually saw what Jenkins was referring to. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but somehow, sharkmobile seems to fit the Lada 1500 and its just one Russian automotive design that remains unique and confined to this part of the world.
окрошка is a Russian cold soup with a nice little tang to it and it is the perfect refreshing snack or meal on a hot summer day.
When you first think of Russian architecture, images of the great cathedrals that grace the skylines of cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg and their distinctive onion shaped roofs might come to mind. You may also think of the magnificent public halls, museums, schools and government buildings; the Spasskava Tower in the Moscow Kremlin, the Iberian Gate, Red Square, or the GUM department store.
Many city dwelling Russians, and residents of countries that once made up the Soviet Union (Ukraine, Belarus, etc.) have a dacha, and with it, a green thumb and they take great pride in the quality and composition of their gardens. The shelves of many a dacha are filled with books on horticulture and when the flowers are blooming, you can bet most Russians are eager to have a portrait photo taken in the midst of the blooms. As such, many Russians who have dachas grow their own fruits and vegetables and prefer it that way.
Traveling always gives you an interesting insight into the culture of another country, but an additional benefit of traveling is the ability to reflect back on your own culture and to see it from a different perspective. The observance of holidays, and more specifically the importance placed on some celebrations by the community and society as a whole, is just one of the interesting comparisons you can make after having traveled abroad.
I recently returned from a two week trip to Russia. Compared to the expedition and some other post expedition travels, two weeks really wasn’t very long… at least it didn’t seem very long as it flew by incredibly fast, but then again, the expedition flew by like a blur as well. Needless to say, I packed in as much as I could into those two weeks: from Russian language lessons and Moscow sightseeing, to countryside barbeques and a gigantic celebration of Russian war veterans. I also packed in as much as I could into my luggage. In Colorado, May is a tricky month weather wise. It can be snowing one day and sunny and hot the next. Case in point, the Saturday before I left for Russia, the mercury hit over 80 degrees and a few days later, Denver received 10 inches of snow. This left me scratching my head as to how to pack. My friend Elena said spring in Russia can be equally unpredictable, and considering how far north I was going to be, I decided I had better be prepared for it all.
As everyone is certainly well aware, there was a bombing last week at the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. With no know terrorists organizations claiming immediate responsibility, an anxious public desperately searched for clues and eagerly waited for answers into the identity of the suspect(s). Wild speculation was the order of the day and pundits “in the know” even went as far as to incorrectly and absurdly spew theories about who did it, such as Fox News contributor and overall hack Erik Rush, who claimed “Muslims are evil. Let’s kill them all,” and that it was the Saudi’s who were to blame. A Saudi man was initially questioned by Boston Police but released shortly thereafter.
First of all, it goes without saying that you should not try this at home, and that the activity shown here is extremely dangerous and potentially fatal. I guess you could say that this should be left to certified professionals, but since I don’t know what might qualify someone as a professional in this instance, other than being certifiable, just use your head. With the qualifier out of the way, this is freaking awesome. We here at The World by Road have always been fascinated with Russians and the latest trend out of Mother Russia has us salivating a bit and drooling over some amazing and equally dizzying photos stemming from the latest boredom killing pastime for those who are not in the slightest bit faint of heart. It’s called skywalking or sky hacking and calling it crazy is an understatement.
Muammar Gaddafi waves goodbye (photo from PressTV)
2011 was a year of unprecedented change around the world. Grassroots protests topped longstanding dictatorships while others succumbed to natural causes. Time magazine selected The Protester as its person of the year for 2011 and with all the change protesters helped bring about in the world in 2011, 2012 is shaping up to be a year for travelers. In 2008, The World by Road was stopped dead in its tracks; barred entry to Libya because we were Americans. Three years later, the Arab Spring saw the forced resignations of long serving authoritarians in Tunisia and Egypt. Libya’s Col. Muammar Gaddafi didn’t go as willingly and was later captured and killed by rebel forces ending a bloody six month civil war. Protests have also gained momentum in Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, and most recently Russia, and if the events of North Africa are any indication, change is on the horizon in those countries as well.