Cold like UK winter cold, so not so bad. Although after being in New Zealand this time last year just in time for winter, then returning to UK summer (which, let’s face it, means rain) followed by living in London Town over winter, and now just as the sun is starting to poke its head out of the clouds in the UK, I fly north!
Now I’m here, I’m glad I did, there’s still snow in certain areas and the cracked ice on the water looks like something out of ice age.
You ever get the feeling that you feel like your eyes have seen everything and nothing excites you?
Sounds awfully numb.
I didn’t realise I needed to see and experience something new and fresh until I saw these slabs of cracked ice.
Sounds crazy, but we had walked through this forest, which was beautiful in its own right.
We came to the lake, Lake Ladoga, which is huge.
There is this strange quiet that comes with snow.
You hold your breathe, listening, taking it all in.
Slowly approaching the bank of the expanse of water, can now hear the gentle ripples against the rocks and ice.
Then there is is, giant slabs of frozen water, cracked and melting under the clear, cloudless sky.
Neither my words or photos do this justice.
I don’t know why, but this was amazing to me.
I could have quite happily taken a deck chair and sat there for a good few hours, listening, reflecting and enjoying the view.
Like this guy:
Seeing this lake is just one example of how having a friend who is happy to take the time to show you their country is invaluable.
There is no way I would have ventured up here alone, for starters it was two hours away, two tubes and a bus ride into the middle of nowhere!
Secondly, I tend to rely heavily on tour guide books, as they usually cover the main sights that most tourists want to see, and this journey was not in the book!
Thirdly, as I have only just started learning basic Russian to see me through my journey, I have a personal translator and teacher! You learn more from a local than a language app!
After this epic walk it was time for some Russian food!
I love trying foods in other countries! Food and exploring, my favourite things!
The smell of fresh baked bread engulfs you as you walk through the door of this little cafe.
As it’s Easter this weekend, the locals kept coming in to buy easter cake to take away.
Pirashkí (пирожки) is a sort of stuffed bread roll, naturally, I ordered all the sweet ones.
But before stuffing my face with those, I tried buckwheat porridge, which isn’t like porridge at all, it’s more like giant cous cous!
I enjoyed, it’s supposed to be pretty good for you too! Winner!
Now for dessert!
I had the one stuffed with poppy seeds, I think I was picking black out of my teeth for the rest of the day but it was worth it!
I am swaddled in a million layers! I didn’t want to take a risk and catch cold, and even Oksana has let me borrow her coat on top!
I could barely move my arms!
Turns out my rip curl coat I bought in New Zealand is actually everything-proof like it says!