Photos from a 4-day visit to Kalmykia in the south of Russia near the Caspian Sea. I visited Kalmykia in August, when the Lotus flowers were in bloom.
Tutaev, on the Volga River, hits a lot of the stereotypes of Russian villages: amazing nature, but a bit littered; plenty of lovely, old churches, but just as many abandoned buildings; very warm and welcoming people, but a few intoxicated ones as well; very picturesque homes, but very bad dirt roads. The pluses more than outweigh the minuses, especially if your there on a sunny day.
A few photos from a day with Nikolay and his family at their home in the W. Siberian forest. Nikolay is a member of the small Khanti ethnic group, some of whom still carry on the traditions of hunting and fishing.