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Back to Orel. Again (2017)

I want to take you back to August 2017. When I went back to Orel. Again.

It’s actually an interesting challenge. Once a year I go back Orel (also Orjol or Oryol). The city where I was born and lived until the age of 12. It’s always the same place, for many years. And while it of course develops, it’s still the same city. And so different from where I live now, that it’s a big photography challenge to find new places. And to rediscover the already familiar ones. To see how much I’ve developed during the past year. So much more.

Compare these photos to the previous years if you want:

 

 

As always there is the (train) ride from Moscow to Orel, which takes around 4-5 hours. Though it’s annoying that the ride is longer than the flight to Moscow, it’s always very interesting. You pass some villages and listen to the conversations on the train.

 

 

Actually, without the camera I wouldn’t be able to notice these cute towns. You see, these photos were taken while we were driving full speed. I just love the wildness of the forest here.

 

 

The next stop on my trip back to the roots is the house of grandma. That’s where I always stay when I’m in the city – actually grandma and grandpa are the first reason to come back here every year. And since they’re pretty oldschool hipsters, they still prepare their own pickles. I love that. Should learn how to do them myself.

 

My first activity is always a walk with my aunt and cousin, to see what has happened in the neighbourhood. There are quite some new fancy buildings, like this one above. While many of my friends in Germany would prefer to live in an own house on the countryside, I feel that in Orel an apartment building in such a house is the dream number one.

 

 

This is the river Oka. Recently the river bank has been renewed – before there was no pavement or benches next to the river.

 

 

Now it seems to be quite popular by the citizens – especially in August.

 

 

A classical grandma activity is a visit to the market. Actually the supermarket and some private stand like those ones in front of the supermarket. Here you can buy fresh local vegetables and fruit from farmers directly.

 

 

 

A quite frustrating thing abound me for all family and friend members is the fact that I’m vegitarian. What do you eat, my child? is a classical question. As in many traditional cuisines, the russian one is unthinkable without meat. Which of course is not the entire truth, as I cook many Russian dishes veggie, and they are just amazing.

 

 

Typical Russian sweets are each wrapped in paper – a nightmare for each person trying to live zero waste. But apart from that they are super cute and nice.

 

 

Random fact: My grandpa is in love with honey. He eats it every day. With a spoon. He’s got some friends who do their own honey and always gets a 3l jar from them. The only size which makes sense in his house – smaller would just be a waste!

 

 

Some days I just go for a walk – along, with my uncle or friends. On this day I remember hating the sun and heat a lot. Now I’d love to swap places with me back then, to be honest. I remember when I was little, I was dreaming to live in a house like this. First because they are tall (9 floors) and the flats have 3 rooms (so I could have my own room haha).

 

 

With some effort I really managed to find a part of the river I’ve never been to – to take a snap of this amazing bridge from underneath.

 

 

This is the most beautiful orthodox church in town – located next to the city park.

 

 

I even discovered that there’s a beach in town. Can you believe it? I’d not swim in that water, if I was them, but it’s cute to have some sand experience in the city. Especially when it’s 30 degrees.

 

 

Natalia, what are you showing here? The very famous stairs which are the same since 1960 when my grandpa came to Orel. This will excuse their shaken look.

 

 

The city theatre and a perfect moment to catch this lady in front of it. It’s under construction for years now and is always on summer vacation in August, just like me.

 

 

I have even discovered some old apartment buildings which are for sure from the beginning of the 20th century. It’s sad to see how they are not kept well – don’t you think this is a beautiful house? I wish somebody would recognize this beauty and renovate them all.

 

 

Well, that’s it actually. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and watching and will maybe come to visit one day. As for me, it was definitely not the last time in Orel – and if I could wish for something, that would be time and money to actually travel to other places in Russia apart from my home town. I’ll tell you about it for sure.

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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