Summer Travels: Russia Part 1 / by Gleb Lapham

A lot of people like to take a trip during the summer, from college students on their summer breaks to families who's children are finally out of school for the summer. Summer is the time of travel for many. I was no exception. 

Over the summer I went back and visited my hometown of Cheboksary, Russia.

The downtown Bay (Zaliv) of my hometown, Cheboksary.

Its a decent sized town nested on the Volga river about 600 miles south east of Moscow. This is where I am from and its also where I have a lot of family. Visiting family was the primary reason for my trip, however it was also an amazing opportunity to go out and capture some awesome pictures and I took full advantage of that!

Since I was there for a month and a half, I wasn't too pressed for time. I was eager to take go out and take pictures, but didn't rush myself. I took a few days to get over the jet lag, hangout with family members and friends, and just get situated. 

I took a lot of pictures while in Russia, both personal ones for family and friends and ones to share with all you wonderful people. In this post I won't go over every single aspect of my trip, so I narrowed it down to what I think are the most interesting things to write about. 

First I'll start off with locations from my hometown and its surrounding area. One of the first places I went to was called the South Bazaar half of which is a flea market and the other a farmers market. (They are separated enough so don't get too grossed out). I've always liked this market and I remember visiting it as a kid. There are always interesting things to see and buy (if you're interested). This Bazaar is also a prime location to capture some awesome photos! 

By far my favorite picture form the bazaar was of this one old guys stall. I mean look at it, this guy has got to be the master of tetris or something because he knows how to stack sh*t up! I love it, seeing all the different items, big and small, all crammed together so well! Who knows whats in there?! The entire bazaar is full of many interesting things and interesting people and if you're big into street photography, this is just the place for you!

For the next location, I'll take you away from the city and into the Russian countryside. Where I visited a small Lone Village where I would spend a lot of my summers as a kid. 

 The only paved street in the village.

The only paved street in the village.

Many people in Russia have houses outside of the city that have been passed down from family member to family member. Some of these villages even predate the Soviet Union. This is my village, it's called (Kumak Kasi). When I was little my grandma and I would always go there in the summer. That's where I would play outside with my cousins and friends, help my grandma with the garden, or get in trouble with some old babushka's. 

An old clubhouse (the building in the back) and a granary (building in the foreground).

Things are definitely not as lively in the village now as they were when I was a kid. Most people have left and a lot it just seems forgotten and stuck in the past. Some folks however, still live there year round. After all, not everyone likes the rumble of a city. The village does offer an interesting glimpse of the lives of some Russians.

A sunset over a rural Russian road. This road leads to a bigger village nearby called Sovetskaya.

Like I mentioned earlier, I was staying in Russia for a month and a half and I had the opportunity to see many different things. I could just flop down all the pictures and you could just look through them, but then again that's what Instagram or Flickr is for. Here I want to provide more context and talk about my own personal story and experience. With that said I hope you come back again next week and check out Part 2 of my Summer Travels.

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