Saturday, April 16, 2016

A tour around Rostov-on-Don

Until I was invited to Rostov-on-Don to participate in a Moscow Urban Forum event, I had never heard of it. However, with a population over one million, it is the capital of South Russia and a significant economic and trading centre, by virtue of its location on the River Don.

You can learn about it here. Here are some pictures:
I was surprised by the modest size of the Rostov airport. However, a new airport is under construction in conjunction with FIFA 2018 which will serve Rostov and the surrounding region
An eclectic mix of architectural styles adorn the Rostov-on-Don skyline
as I toured around, I was impressed with the amount of delightful public art
Two architects who attended my talk, Raisa and Victoria, who kindly showed me around for two days

When I asked where the synagogue was, they immediately asked Sasha to take me there.
I had a lot of excellent meals, including some that were more memorable than excellent, such as this Cossack-style carp.
The food was very reasonable by Vancouver standards.....
Nonetheless, I passed on the Salad "Pomegranate" that included cervical cancer along with egg, potatoes....
I enjoyed the best borscht of my life with Alexei Polyansky and his family who took me to a remarkable and lively traditional restaurant on Saturday night.
The Chief architect of the region, he is planning a major new town around the site of the new stadium being constructed for FIFA 2018
It's not often that I have my photo taken on a Saturday afternoon in front of a Russian missile....
It's not often I play on tanks with two attractive Russian architects on a Saturday afternoon!

Victoria and Sasha who showed me sights I would never have discovered on my own!
These coffee trucks are a popular site throughout Russia and Ukraine. Note the English's on the coffee cups too.
When I wanted to go shopping, I was directed to new interior malls, like this development near my hotel
While some Russian supermarkets in Moscow and St. Petersburg rival Whole Foods for elegance and price, this supermarket could learn from North American marketing!
Large advertising banners are quite common in Russia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.
However, along the main street there are lots of shops and restaurants, and places for resting dogs!
One of the many pieces of public art celebrating Russian writers, artists, and other cultural figures
While Rostov has limited tourist infrastructure, much is planned in preparation of onslaught of visitors coming for FIFA2018

One of the many Southern Federal University buildings around the city
In addition to the number of university buildings, I was surprised by the number of banks, like this head office
I could not get over the manner in which balconies have been enclosed....there appear to be no strata bylaws!
Every once in a while I discovered I can read Russian. Fortunately my Google Translate came in most helpful
On a tour to a Cossack village, Sasha invited me to try on a traditional Cossack outfit. Somehow I wasn't comfortable doing this, especially after what the Cossacks did to my forefathers!
Inside the museum...Sasha and Victoria
In many Russian restaurants there are three glasses....water, wine and vodka!
One of many churches I have visited in Russia

One disappointment was Siberian S7 Airlines which cancelled my reservation after I missed their first flight. I have subsequently learned that this is common policy, so if you ever miss a flight, notify the airline immediately, otherwise they cancel the rest of your journey. Not only did this airline charge me a significant price for a new ticket, I also had to pay a penalty for missing their flight. Fortunately Lufthansa Airlines has offered to reimburse me. Now would Air Canada do that? I don't think so!

1 comment:

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