The Cats of Russia and Ukraine

The Cats of Russia and Ukraine

          Cats and people are the same the world over.  Here are a few of the cats I came across in the cities of Rostov on Don, Russia and Yalta in the Crimea, Ukraine.

Lazy Cat in Rostov on Don, Russia

Lazy Cat in Rostov on Don, Russia

Sidewalk Kitty in Rostov on Don, Russia

Sidewalk Kitty in Rostov on Don, Russia

Cat on a Window Ledge, Rostov on Don, Russia

Cat on a Window Ledge, Rostov on Don, Russia

Cat in the Box, Yalta, Ukraine

Cat in the Box, Yalta, Ukraine

Cat in Yalta, Ukraine

Cat in Yalta, Ukraine

Cat on a Ledge in Yalta, Ukraine

Cat on a Ledge in Yalta, Ukraine

British Isles Destinations

Must See Destinations in the British Isles

If you’re planning a trip to the British Isles, be sure to include theses destinations on your itinerary.  These are some of my favorite cities in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.  Click on the heading for more details and photos.

Shrewsbury, England:  A picturesque river city in Shropshire with a medieval past.

Shrewsbury School Across the River Severn

Shrewsbury School Across the River Severn

Conwy, Wales:  A beautiful little coastal town in Northern Wales with an awesome castle.

Conwy Castle on the North Coast of Wales

Conwy Castle on the North Coast of Wales

Inverness, Scotland:  A city in the Scottish Highlands near Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle.

Inverness Castle, Inverness, Scotland

Inverness Castle, Inverness, Scotland

Galway, Ireland:  This eclectic city on the west coast of Ireland is the gateway to Clifden and Connemara.

Galway Cathedral on the River Corrib

Galway Cathedral on the River Corrib

 

Children of Mongolia

Children Playing in Mongolia

          Children are much the same all over the world.  They just have different toys.  While the children of Mongolia may not have all the fancy toys that Western children have, they sure look like they’re having fun out on the Gobi Desert.

Fun on the Gobi Desert

 

The Children of Mongolia

Russian Rainbow

The Pot of Gold at the End of the Russian Rainbow

          I caught this interesting photo in Vladimir, one of the medieval capitals of Russia just 120 miles from Moscow.  Vladimir is the first stop on the Trans-Siberian Railroad and the gateway to the stunning little village of Suzdal about a 20 mile bus ride north.  It was a rainy day as I explored the town of Vladimir with its many cathedrals and while looking out over the beautiful Oka River Valley, I spotted this rainbow that looks like it is coming right out or the power plant.

Russian Rainbow

Russian Rainbow

 

 

Blue Orb Travel ‘Best Pick’ Destinations

Add These Often Overlooked Travel Gems to Your Itinerary This Year

          Check out some of John’s favorite places by visiting these Blue Orb ‘Best Picks’ when you travel this summer.  By clicking on the link it will take you to our full article on each travel destination.

Shrewsbury, England

          A charming little town straddling the River Severn near the border with Wales.  Located in County Shropshire, England Shrewsbury is only 170 miles from London.

The River Severn, Shrewsbury, England

The River Severn, Shrewsbury, England

Konigssee, Germany

          This hidden gem of Bavaria is one point on a small tourist triangle that also includes Berchtesgaden with it’s Eagle’s Nest and Salzburg, Austria.  Just 100 miles from Munich, Konigssee is easily accessible by train and you can walk to the lake from the train station.

The Konigssee Lake in Bavaria, Germany

The Konigssee Lake in Bavaria, Germany

Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

          This shining gem just outside the Golden Ring is 260 miles from Moscow and one of the first stops on the Trans Siberian Railway.  Located at the confluence of the Volga and Oka Rivers, Nizhny Novgorod is the third largest city in Russia and is home to a fabulous Kremlin and many splendid cathedrals.

Kremlin at Nizhny Novgorod

Kremlin at Nizhny Novgorod

Luang Prabang, Laos

          Located off the beaten path in the hill country of Laos and accessible only by bus or plane, Luang Prabang is well worth the trip!  This French colonial town on the Mekong River is full of old world charm, wonderful restaurants, great shopping and inexpensive hotels.

The Cathedrals of Russia

The Cathedrals of Russia

          It is exciting to think that the Russian Federation may soon have closer and more friendly ties with the rest of the world, particularly the western world and most particularly with the United States.  Having traveled Russia from north to south and west to east, I’ve had the opportunity to interact and meet with many folks throughout Russia and I can tell you, they are friendly, welcoming and anxious to get to know us.  I also noticed an awful lot of capitalism going on in Russia as well as a vibrant culture of Christian faith, both of which would have been impossible during ‘soviet times’.

St. Basil's Cathedral in Red Square, Moscow, Russia

St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square, Moscow, Russia

          Perhaps the most iconic landmark in all of Russia is Moscow’s onion domed St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square.  But did you know that the adjacent Kremlin, the seat of the Russian government, contains four beautiful cathedrals?  Quite often, the most important landmarks for tourists to visit in each Russian city are the cathedrals.  These cathedrals are open and free for anyone to visit and are usually packed with parishioners who stand rather than sit in pews.  It is a moving experience to rub shoulders with other Christians amid the splendor of magnificent artwork while the beautiful music of live choirs echoes throughout these architectural treasures.

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg, Russia

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg, Russia

          Other than the few remaining busts of Lenin, usually splattered with pigeon droppings, there are few vestiges of Russia’s sad dalliance with the Bolsheviks.  Even the mortal remains of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, who were brutally murdered in Ekaterinburg on July 17, 1918, enjoy a renewed reverence in Russia.  Their mortal remains were removed and interred in the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg eighty years to the day after their murder.  A visit to Russia should be on everyone’s bucket list and the cathedrals throughout this beautiful country are a must see. 

St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

 A Glimpse Inside Russian Cathedrals