Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Traveling With Nailya Safina to Dubrovitsy

My next guest post comes from Nailya Safina who blogs at Oh My Blog. She's a Russian blogger I met through a Facebook blogging group. I saw that she said her blog was in Russian, and I thought, "Hey! I've live there!" She is actually from a place near Kazan, one of my favorite cities in Russia. I was so excited she offered to talk about a Russian city, especially one that isn't so popular to foreigners. She also stressed that the city is much prettier in the summer and was hesitant on giving me her own photos, but I told her it didn't matter. Plus, isn't winter what makes Russia, Russia? Her post is so entertaining, even when English isn't her first language she definitely knows how to make me laugh... especially at the end when she talks about the "ugly places."
"First of all, let me introduce myself. My name is Nailya, I am from little town near Kazan city, in the Republic of Tatarstan. I have lived in Moscow for 5 years, and I study Urban Studies at the Higher School of Economics.

My trip to Dubrovitsy was kind of “field research” for our team project of developing rural areas of Moscow. So, our main goals were not just visit typical tourist places, but also to see the main problems of the town by speaking with locals and just meandering around.

What it so interesting about Dubrovitsy and why you must visit it? Dubrovitsy has not only beautiful landscape views and incredible nature, but also has the richest historical and cultural meaning. First of all, all tourist’s favorite church. And, mostly, it’s not about the religion, but about the architecture. Just take a look at this beauty!
The second “must see” is Golitsyn’s Homestead (усадьба голицына) There is no museum, unfortunately, but it is incredible to understand that this was a house for Morozov’s, Golitsyn’s, and other famous families of Russian Empire for so many years (from XVII century).
Near the Church and homestead you may stroll along Linden Park (from Peter the Great’s period), and the beautiful park is between the crossing of two rivers: Pahra and Desna. In the winter you can skate on a "sani" (сани) and in the summer just to sunbathe and do a picnic. There are always many people but not too much.
Food: There is only one place to eat (yep, seriously). Golitsyn restaurant is in the Golitsyn’s Homestead. It is not cheap at all (middle check 1500 roubles *$22*), but it's worth it. First, we ordered pizza from Podolsk, the closest city to Dubrovitsy, and then when it came, went to the restaurant (with permission to eat pizza, if we would order vareniki from chef =)). It was so delicious, and we all were very happy to eat a hot and fresh meal.

We went to Dubrovitsy on a car (it is 1 hour from Moscow), that’s why had opportunity to take a drive all around the town. We found an awesome river bank and a forest with good quality ski run, where you can just be one-by-one with the nature. After an overcrowded, stressful Moscow, in Dubrovitsy you are just like: What is that? Silence? The sky? White (not grey!) snow? ☺
I know that Jasilyn likes to write about ugly places too, so let’s take a fast look at them in Dubrovitsy. Firstly, the housing and administrative buildings may scare you a little bit (if you are foreigner). It is Soviet Union time “heritage." No comments.
Secondly, abandoned camp for children (we tried to enter, but everything was closed).
But, after all, that was a perfect retreat. We all had a great time there and now are planning to visit Dubrovitsy in May and to see all of the spring’s pure beauty.

Tips for visiting:
  • Plan your visit in summer or late spring. That is the most beautiful time in town.
  • You can order an excursion if you want, or just explore everything by yourself."
Thank you for sharing, Nailya! Also, don't forget to check out her blog, especially if you speak Russian. If you would like to share your city or travel destination please send me an e-mail at coffeeandcleveland@gmail.com. From there I will send you more information on requirements for posting.

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