Volga Boatman Episode 2: Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod.  In this provincial trading center (an old Russian saying called St. Petersburg the head, Moscow the heart, and Nizhny Novgorod the wallet of Russia), everyone seems to rest easier.  And why not, when the worn red bricks of the Kremlin are echoing your name as marshrutkas (buses that look more like glorified vans) careen by?  Here you can fall for the Volga’s simple charm as you stroll along the “Naberezhnaya” promenade, and forget everything but the path of a leaf on the breeze.

I lived in Nizhny all this summer, and a wave of nostalgia hit me along with the scent of the city’s fall glory (a heavy chemical stench soon pushed all other smells aside, as per usual).

A babushka on the bus.  Incredible character in the faces of these elders, some of whom remember Lenin.

A babushka on the bus. Incredible character in the faces of these elders, some of whom remember Lenin.

A busker takes a break on the pedestrian thoroughfare Bol'shaya Pakrovskaya, the main promenade of the many Nizhny features.

A busker takes a break on the pedestrian thoroughfare Bol'shaya Pakrovskaya, the most important of Nizhny's many strolling places.

An old mental hospital.

Side-street discovery: An old mental hospital.

Flower market.

Flower market.

So much character in every square foot ...

So much character in every square foot ...

My Nizhny hosts, Olga and Sergei.

My Nizhny hosts, Olga and Sergei, at the port station.

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4 Responses to “Volga Boatman Episode 2: Nizhny Novgorod”

  1. well, i’m not agree with the phrase “moscow – the heart, st-petersburg – the head”
    thats a reeealyy old sayingg
    for today we have an opposite situation: st-petersburg is the heart, coz of it’s culture events, special people and awesome atmosphere
    it’s too different from other russia cities, more europeen, with not traditional rus. style, but it’s the soul. yeah

  2. hello Alec,

    A wonderful blog you have, beautiful pics. Would you like to exchange links?
    DM

  3. old times!!! i think that bolshaya pokrovska musician was there this summer, too…

  4. old mental institution? i still had classes there last semester…hahaha

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