Friday, October 28, 2016


There's a famous museum here called OMSI, or the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
Have you heard of it?

Cheery stuff!

They actually have a famous submarine parked outside- the USS Blueback, which starred as a Soviet sub in the 90s movie The Hunt for Red October.

Back in the day, 85 men would be packed on the submarine for months at a time. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Stolovaya: the student cafeteria

This post is either going to make you ravenous or revolted, because today we're going back to the столовая, cafeteria. The stolovaya seems to be a love-or-hate affair for most people. Which side are you on?

Stolovaya at Lobachevsky University in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

I'm a lover.

Sure, occasionally comes a day when there's just nothing good out- you're picking at some wilted cabbage and overcooked cutlets- but most of the time, the stolovaya is the best place to eat well + cheap. We never ever said no to a stolovaya in Ukraine (especially the overlooked ones!) and so I was psyched to be eating once a day at Lobachevsky State University's stolovaya in July.

Here's an example of a typical meal in the student cafeteria.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Three fall scenes in Portland

It's disgustingly beautiful around town already. Everywhere! Ugh!

South Park Blocks.

(Also, disgustingly beautiful in autumn but not nearby-
the streets of Kharkiv and this national park near Arkhangelsk.)

If you need a Portland fall adventure list, here are three spots to get you started...

Friday, October 7, 2016

Nizhny Novgorod cable cars

Of all the cable car rides in the world, Kharkiv's cable cars were just named one of the world's ten best cable car rides! I knew you could do it, Kharkiv!! :D

And so, today, let's look at a cable car ride that didn't make the cut...

... the 13-minute ride between the city of Nizhny Novgorod and the suburb of Bor, Russia.

This was another afternoon excursion in our summer language program. I loooooove cable cars solely based on a dozen rides in Kharkiv and one ride on a line in Odessa. The cable car in Nizhny Novgorod looked like a much bigger deal from the get-go. Just take a look at the platforms-

Monday, October 3, 2016

Volga (not Volga) Cruise

Of all the afternoon excursions in the Russian summer school program, the most anticipated one was the 'Boat Trip on the Volga River'. Doesn't that just sound cool? Who wouldn't want to go on a boat trip, and one that might actually be a booze cruise at that? And maybe a little bit educational too, if someone were to point out certain sights?

Well, spoiler alert: I slept through most of the cruise. And there was no drinking on the boat!