It is time to come clean to any readers who don’t know, but whilst I am still telling you about Chile, from whence I returned to the
UK in late April, I am actually now in Russia and have been for two weeks.
I will in due course tell you about the world heritage sites of Russia(or more properly, the Russian Federation) and show you Lego models of them, but I’m going to finish South America first.
So far on my trip I have spent a week in Moscow, a couple of days in rural Suzdal, a day in Yaroslavl and am just about to leave Vologa on an overnight train north to Kem, from where I will travel to the Solovetsky Islands.
I did attempt to learn some Russian before I left home, but my vocabulary is still very small and whilst I can say things (mostly “please”, “thank you”, “sorry” and “I don’t speak Russian”) I can’t really understand anything said to me. I have mastered the Cyrillic alphabet though, so I can at least decipher street names and transport destinations.
I have in fact become rather obsessed with transliterating signs; I now know that sushi, pizza and sports bar (amongst many others) are the same in Russian as in English. Google translate is a vital tool and I have for the first time wished I had smart phone so I could use it on the go. But smiling madly and saying sorry get me through most tricky moments of incomprehension. Which, come to think of it, they often do at home to.