Saturday, 27 August 2011

Altai. Multa (Multinskiye) Lakes

This summer we went to Altai Mountains again. I can never get bored of Altai, it's a fascinating, fantastic, wonderful region with so many attractions, that one can spend a life and don't see them all.

I was dreaming about visiting Multa Lakes for many years. The lakes are located in Ust-Koksa district of Altai Republic. This district is a near-border area, and one has to obtain a permit to enter it. This is not difficult at all, and takes only about an hour, but if you are a non-Russian citizen, you have to apply for the permit in about two months.

I didn't manage to visit the lakes in my youth, and it's still difficult for me, as my kids are not big enough to go on a many-days hiking tour. But fortunately, one doesn't have to make a long hiking tour to get there, it's possible to drive there, though not by every car. Not even all off-road cars can get there. The most typical vehicle delivering lazy tourists is of this kind:

Friday, 5 August 2011

Interesting places in Novosibirsk Region. Iskitim marble pit

Though the summer has been busy for me, I could always find some time for a small travel.
I've lived in Novosibirsk all my life, but I never knew there are so many interesting places there. It just never occurred to me to start exploring them earlier, but now when I'm a tour guide and eager to show my tourists the most curious and interesting places in my city and around it, I feel I just have to go and see them myself first.

A deserted marble pit by the town of Iskitim, which is about 50 km away from Novosibirsk, is one of the most amazing places I have ever seen.

A phenomenon of Russian datcha

A datcha is something all Russians know. Some hate it, some love it, some don't have it, but everyone has at least some experience with it. Mine is positive.
A datcha is a country house with a vegetable garden (for those who don't know), and what distinguishes it is that for many Russians it's a good additional income in the natural form. For some people in money form too, as many elderly ladies, suffering from low pensions and wishing to do something about it, sell many things they grow there, like cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, potatoes, raspberries, strawberries and a lot more.
For me and for my while family is much more than that, though having our own ecologically clean fruit, berries and vegetables alone is something, which makes all those troubles worth it.
For us datcha is also an opportunity to be in open air, at a distance from the city, and it's just a priceless opportunity for children to be in the nature the whole day, to go around bare-foot, to eat healthy things, to swin in the river and to enjoy themselves.
What is more, our datcha is on an island. The island is pretty big, and people started to build datchas there about 50 years ago. Our datcha was built by my granddad, and it's the best memory we have of him.
You can come to the island by boat only. Now many have modern boats with high-capacity motors, but many still have something like that: