MOSCOW DAY TRIPS: Russian Nature in All Its Glory at POLENOVO

Nothing compares to the beauty of Russian countryside, with its white birch groves, tall red pines, rainbow-colored flower meadows and sparkle of the Golden Autumn. No wonder, then, that odes to Russian Nature have been sung by many a writer, poet and artist. And nothing encapsulates the classic Russian countryside quite like the Oka River…

DEREVENSKOYE ZODCHESTVO OF SUZDAL (say what??)

Suzdal is ALSO famous for its zodchestvo — Russia’s traditional wooden architecture. Village (deryevenskiye) houses are decorated with ornate wood carvings, particularly around the windows, and painted in bright, sometimes clashing color combinations. They are a delight to look at in any season, but they really stand out in the winter, against white snow and grayish…

ROADLESS ROAD TRIP

What does a Russian country road look like? Something like this: Yesterday I drove out to a Small Village about 150 km outside of Moscow, to check out a potential dacha spot. After about 100 km on a highway, I reached my turn-off point — a small Town of Petushki (“Cockerels”) — — and called…

SUMMER CAMP

I have never been to a Russian summer camp. I was the spoiled brat with a rented dacha, but I would see the camp kids — there was a Young Pioneer Camp at the edge of the village where I spent my summers — and seethe with jealousy: of freedom from grandparental supervision, of bonding…