post-siberian syndrome

pss //

the trouble with blog posts after such incredible trips is that i never know where to start.
the beginning? how cliché.
the end? everyone who wants to avoid the beginning does that.

enfin on y se trouve au milieu // saltando por un lado al otro

i can say three things for certain after travelling across siberia, through russia and recuperating in st. petersburg for almost a week.

one - russia is not at all what i expected (duh). what i do expect is that you cannot even get a glimpse at this country unless you've been there. soviet architecture is big enough to make anyone feel small. the enchanting wooden houses of siberia feel like a world away from the dominating concrete blocks of moscow. find your way into a bar and you'll meet (very quickly) some of the most open and kind hearted people in the world. i think the only reason that russians have a cold exterior is because their face is frozen into a frown. get a couple of drinks in them and you'll be hearing life stories in both your ears.

two - i thought canada was big, until i travelled by train all the way across russia. we boarded the first train in vladivostok, a short jump away from north korea on the japanese sea. the last train i took was from moscow to st. petersburg. whichever way you look at it, that's more than 10,000km. while i have travelled across canada by car, it didn't feel nearly as expansive as russia did. endless birch forests, endless fields of snow, mountains, frozen rivers, scattered small villages of wooden houses, chimneys smoking.

three - cognac can keep you alive. this is far different from you can live on cognac. the day we trekked out to lake baikal i was over-exhausted, cold and hadn't eaten much that morning. we were standing outside, many of our group were jumping into the lake. at some point, all i could see where white sparkles in my vision and i totally "blacked" out (more like whited out) and i woke up in a snowbank a second later. a few minutes in a warm bus and a few swigs of cognac did the trick.


  1. I am so envious of your travels throughout Russia! These photographs are great. I'd love to see Lake Baikal and St Petersburg.

    1. hi michelle!
      so nice to get a comment from you (love your last snowy london shots by the way). my two favourite stops on my trip were irkutsk, the city near lake baikal, and st. petersburg. and while i froze, i think there is no more magical time to visit than in winter. everything looks better when covered in snow, but i hear petersburg explodes in music and street festivals come summer when the days last for almost 24 hours!

  2. Anonymous16:34

    I was so excited for this first post about your travels in Russia and across Siberia in the winter. What an amazing experience that must have been for you. I'm really looking forward to reading and hearing more about your trip!

    1. thanks! for sure more to come! if anyone wants an epic adventure, they should definitely go to russia. it totally blew all my expectations out of the water.


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