Tuesday, August 26, 2014

#dawsonstakerussia: Kaluga

One of my favorite parts about our vacation to Russia was visiting the cities that Brand served in. Our first destination (of the cities Brand served) was Kaluga -his favorite city. We took a two and a half hour train ride from Moscow to Kaluga and it was my first time on a train, do they only have these in Europe anymore?! I loved Kaluga because it was a quiet, relaxed area with loads of big shade trees. 

Before we left on the train Brand got his traditional meats and cheeses - something he said he would do every time he took a train to Moscow. I was so glad that he kept this tradition when we were there.  I'm telling you, it made me all kinds of nostalgic for him, the train, the meats and cheeses, the city. I loved every minute of this day trip!
As soon as we got off the train I could see Brand's face light up. It was one of my most favorite parts about the whole trip.  We caught a marshrutka to the center of town and started walking towards Brand's old apartment.  Walking down the streets of Kaluga got me even more nostalgic for him, thinking about all the times he walked the streets back and forth. We visited the little grocery store where he used to buy his food and drinks -its the place where I bought my first Russian snickers, and yes it's different than American one.

When we got to Brand's old apartment I got all emotional teary-eyed and all -maybe it was the hormones but I couldn't help it. Second story, the entire row on the left side is his. Oh, how I wish I could have gone inside that apartment, just to see it even more. We continued our walking, these back streets of Kaluga were nice and quiet and -dirt. I loved it. We passed the post office where Brand sent home letters and packages. Statues that he remembered, the church building that he went to every Sunday, the mall he used to visit, and all kinds of parks.
One of Brand's favorite Russian meals is a shawarma and of course we had to get one in Kaluga at the rynok.  He ate his shawarma and I found a KFC nearby.  We walked through the meat market and then through the rynok of course I stopped at moooost of the baby clothes shops to look -why are baby clothes the absolute cutest?!

We walked around the city some more, sat around and listened to some local artists, had a Russian guy come up and ask us to light his cigarette -little did he know we didn't have a lighter, and walked back to the train station.
I absolutely loved Kaluga. Everything about the city... well the part we were in. I loved being able to explore it with Brand, be where he was when he served there.

One of my favorite days in Russia by far.

Photobucket

30 comments:

  1. Fun!!! It looks like it was a beautiful day out :) I love your pictures!!

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  2. You're giving me the travel itch so so badly. When we were in Europe we travelled everywhere by train, so before our train rides (instead of spending a ton of money on expensive train food), we would go to the supermarket and get baguettes and cheese and meat.. because it's all so cheap there! I miss it so much!

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  3. I would love to experience so many other cultures and try their foods! It looks like a lovely place.

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  4. You guys go on the funnest adventures! What a trip!

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  5. It really sounds like your trip was fabulous!!! :-)

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  6. Traveling by train in Europe is the best! We did this one summer and saw Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. It looks like you had a fantastic vacation!

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  7. i didn't know shawarma's are considered russian. i always thought they were turkish. that's so fun that you got to experience a trip down memory lane with him. I'd love to do that with my husband one day.

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  8. How cool to be able to go back and do this! A once in a lifetime trip. :)

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  9. Wow, what an awesome trip! You guys look wonderful! <3

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  10. What a fun looking trip. I bet you guys had a lot of fun.

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  11. Wow, I love seeing the different cultures out there + this looked like such a bright fun day to explore! Glad you enjoyed :)

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  12. I love traveling through your eyes! I probably will never get out of the US but it is so neat to see what you have seen!

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  13. This is so sweet. How nice to be able to tour all of his spots :) So what's better, American or Russian snickers?

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  14. What an amazing opportunity! Looks like so much fun.

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  15. Very cool! Some of my family is from Russia so nice to see some pics. Looks like you guys had fun.

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  16. Looks like you guys had so much fun!

    That was your first time on a train? No way - we have them all over the UK! I take trains everywhere, it's the quickest way to get anywhere! So sweet that you were able to re-trace the steps that he so often had walked without you!

    Katie <3

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  17. Loving your travel photos! So fun! Makes me want to take a trip so bad!

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  18. Looks like so much fun! I love that you two are going on these adventures together. We usually take the whole family and don't get a lot of time to just ourselves.

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  19. What an amazing adventure! You're making me want to travel!!

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  20. I would really love to go to Russia, looks like you had an amazing trip

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  21. It looks super fun, not been to Russia before just Lithuania.

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  22. Such a pretty day looks like y'all had fun!

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  23. looks like a great trip! love the photos!

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  24. Sounds like such a wonderful and fun trip!

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  25. Too cute! Aren't adventures like that with your husband the best!? Loving all the photos.

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  26. aw, it looks like you had a blast! It's so exciting to visit places that your love used to live

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  27. I love seeing the pictures from your travels around the world. I definitely need to travel more!

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  28. What a wonderful trip, and even better to have someone so familiar with the destination to guide the adventure!

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