TRAVEL READS – September 2016

So yes, I seem to have skipped right over summer, during which I had managed to pop by London (and Windsor), Paris (first time in 13 years!), Brussels and the Alsace region of France. But most of my free time was spent hopping across the beautiful countryside around Moscow. Please enjoy my IG illustration of those weekend getaways, along with some good reads from the world of travel.

You thought only Russia and the U.S. make fun of each other? Try Sweden and Denmark! These are some awesome international insults.  Take this zinger from Denmark’s official Twitter account: “Did you know that everything that isn’t forbidden in Sweden, is mandatory?” (MentalFloss)

Sometimes people ask me why I am rarely tempted to journey to parts of the world that aren’t Europe, even though I could get a much bigger travel bang for my buck in, say, South East Asia or North Africa. From endless meals outside to flower-covered EVERYTHING, this post by Liz from Young Adventuress lists the many reasons why European vacations – especially in the summer – are so hard to resist (and pretty photos to boot). (Young Adventuress)

So, even though I’m usually pretty happy to go to Europe over and over, the one big temptation that Asia has for me is the food. Seriously, what other part of the world has a better street food scene? This isn’t just hyperbole – in July a Singapore noodle stall made history by becoming the first street food vendor in the world to get a Michelin star! (The Telegraph)

#countryliving #russiancountryside #деревня

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Speaking of food, so far in my experience few places compare to NYC in terms of diversity and innovation. If it’s Instagram-ready treats you want, Jessie has a roundup of what is happening, as the kids say, from rainbow bagels to obnoxious ice cream sundaes with roughly 23 414 547 toppings. Meanwhile, NYMag’s GrubStreet blog profiles the African restaurants on the vastly underrated Harlem food scene.  (Jessie on a Journey & GrubStreet)

A perfect illustration of why I crush on nerds, hard: this UPenn data scientist came up with the most optimal itinerary for a U.S. road trip that takes you through all the National Parks in the Lower 48 states. And he’s cute! (Randal Olson blog)

Greece is a rare European destination that doesn’t particularly appeal to me. However, if you’re in the majority of people who go gaga for the Greek isles, here’s a primer on the most popular spots and picking the right one for you, whether you’re after partying, relaxing, or the most perfect photo-op. (That Backpacker)

Going off the beaten path in Europe shouldn’t be hard, and doesn’t have to involve obscure places whose only appeal is the bragging rights they grant you because nobody’d heard of them (#rantpreview). Here’s a primer on Parma, Cadiz, Helsinki and Hamburg – four towns that most people have heard of, are easy to get to, but haven’t been reduced to travel cliches. (The Guardian)

Of course, were we travelers – and travel bloggers – a few hundred years ago, everything would have been “off the beaten path.” And we would be writing things like this about snakes of prodigious bigness that “hang themselves by the Tail down from the Body of a Tree, expecting Deer, wild Boars, or Men to pass by, to draw them to them with their Breath, and swallow them whole” or smoking weed “One of them Sat himselfe downe Upon the floore, and wept bitterly all the Afternoone; the Other terrified with feare did runne his head into a great Mortavan Jarre, and continued in the Posture 4 hours or more, 4 or 5 of the number lay upon the Carpets (that were Spread in the roome) highly Complimentinge each Other in high termes, each man fancyinge himselfe noe less than an Emperour” and other first encounters of the earthly kind. (Mental Floss)

Russian countryside. Near Moscow.

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We keep hearing about Venice sinking and some other famous sights being endangered by a mix of environmental factors and human activity, but oftentimes it seems like hyperbole that won’t come to pass. Well, here’s a reality check about how quickly and dramatically the face of the Earth can and does change. PS – apparently New York City is sinking as well.  (Cracked & NYMag)

The shroom scene in Russia is fantastic. #мухомор #грибы #mushrooms #russianforest #september

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Lastly, here are some funny and on-point listicles about life and travel in Russia, for example what it’s like to be raised by a Russian (not necessarily Siberian) mother (lots of homemade wool garments and health remedies are involved), proper vodka drinking, what do see and do and what to skip in Moscow and what Russians love to hate (#1 on the list? Russians abroad, which is why I try to always speak English). (Matador Network)

На природе. #russia #abramtsevo #абрамцево

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22 thoughts on “TRAVEL READS – September 2016

  1. The entire collection of pictures is amazing even for a person like me, who knows the Moscow countryside. The last photo is the crown jewel of haunting beauty. It’s better than perfect. It’s mesmerizing.

    • Well, it’s not quite Moscow proper, but everything is within 100 km or so from the city. Which, considering that the Moscow District of Russia is almost the size of Germany, isnt much at all :)))

  2. Wow you did some impressive travelling! Gorgeous photos. And I love the Danish joke… even if it’s a little too close to home for me 😉

  3. Beautiful pictures! I could use a warm, summer day again, especially since the weather has been pretty lame here in Germany since the end of September. Although I assume Russia isn’t much better at the moment…

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