Is there a Russian town for every letter of the English alphabet? I invite you to join me on the pointless quest to answer this. It will get complicated when we get to letters which don't have analogues in the Russian (cyrillic) alphabet, but basically we go through in order, suggesting one town with each post, and giving a bit of information if you like. I'll start;
A is for Abakan
Abakan is a small city in The Republic of Khakassia, in Siberia. I once spent a pleasant afternoon there waiting for a train.
B is for Barnaul located in the district of Altai Krai. I have never been there. Have you?
I've been through Barnaul, on the way to the mountains in Altai krai. The mountains are gorgeous, but can't say I remember too much about the city. Good choice though.
C is for Cherepovets
It's an industrial city near Vologda region, 12 hours from Moscow by train. Cherep means 'skull', and I have to say it did seem a bit polluted and deathly when I passed through there a few years ago. Apologies to anyone from there.
D is for Dudinka, in Krasnoyarskii Krai,in Siberia, right up at the top of the map, on the mouth of the Yenisei river.
I've never been there, but there's a story in either Lonely Planet or one of the other big guidebooks about someone who went on a river cruise to there, and found the town quite grim.
Next letter is E, any ideas?
E is for Engels
Engels is in Saratov region, just across the river from Saratov itself. And yes, it is named after the communist thinker.
This one took some doing, but
F is for Fevralsk
In the Amur oblast, as far as I can tell, on the Baikal-Amur railway (BAM)
Glukhov(founded in 1153
Haji-bel(founded prior to 1400)
Iskorosten'(founded before 946)
Ooh, you found some really old ones!
J is for Jaima
This is cheating, it should probably be spelled Zhaima when written in English, but There really isn't a letter J in Russian. Jaima is between Krasnoyarsk and Abakan in Siberia, and although I'd never heard of it 'til today, I think I might very well have passed through on the train. Strange!
K is for krasnoyarsk situated in Siberia and founded in 1628.
L is for ..... Labitnangy!
In Yamalo-Nenetskii Autonomous Okrug, This is a Northern town where traditionally they fish and herd reindeer. I've never been there but chose it because I found some stunning photos on the official town site.
M is for Moscow! My favorite city in the world!
N is for Nizhny Novgorod. Another favorite of mine. If you ever go make sure you take a boat cruise on the Volga.
Population is just over 4000 people.
Never been to Orlov (where is it?), or to Nizhny Novgorod, but I'd like to.
P is for Perm,
In Perm region, South and East from Moscow, over towards Yekaterinburg. Another of those places I just haven't had the chance to get to
Clearly, no Q in Russian. Hmmmm....
Best I can do is Kyuchel'beker (кюхельбекер).
It's in Siberia, near Baikal, named after the Decembrist and poet Wilhelm kuchelbecker, who as far as i can discover is buried there.
R is for Rostov Velikiy
This is Rostov the Great, not Rostov on the Don. It isn't very large, but has lots of churches, and sits on a lake which Peter the Great I think described as a big, filthy puddle
I'll be going here in March to visit my mother in law!
Have you been before? Make sure to go the Datsan, or buddhist temple there, it's really interesting. And of course it's near Baikal, which is just beautiful.
V is for Vologda, an overnight train ride north of Moscow. If I remember rightly, Ivan the terrible was going to make it the capital, but lost his temper when a tile fell on his head and didn't. Stalin lived in exile there for a while before the revolution (unfortunately he was untroubled by falling masonry of any sort).
No,this will be my first time. I'm so excited!
There is no W sound in the Russian language.
I went on a trip across SIberia from Moscow, taking our time and seeing a lot of places, and Ulan Ude was the final place we got to before running out of time and money and flying back. I'm really glad we got to see it. It'll be frezing in March won't it? Wrap up warm!
W is for..
It's amazing what online train timetables can teach the true geek. Уйбат, which I've transliterated as Wibat for the purposes of this game, is in Khakassia, en route from Krasnoyarsk to Abakan
I just assumed we would skip a letter if its sound doesn't exist in the Russian language.
We should do really, I'm just a sad geek!
X is also tricky, there is a letter X but it's not the same letter X. Never mind, X is for Khvalinsk
Saratov Oblast', has a very pretty national park with lots of forest wild mushrooms, boars etc.
Y is for the beautiful, park-filled, mineral-rich city that is Yekaterinburg.
We had a lovely time at the Yellow Submarine Beatles bar there in 2004. It was below street level, long and narrow, like a submarine, in fact. A beatle's tribute band was playing there the night we went, very creditably in fact, though they got heckled by one guy for singing in English!?
One more letter to go, any takers?
Zvenigorod- Located in Moscow Oblast. Translated it's name means "town where they ring bells"
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Well done folks, we've finished!