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!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.
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.
One of my favorite days in Russia by far.