Friday, May 16, 2014

Whet Your Appetite For The Russian Language

**Due to the fact that we were in the middle of Lake Onega last night, and far from a WIFI connection, this post is a few hours late.**

We have a fairly lazy day today aboard ship, because we do not dock and take our tour until 5pm. Soon Olivia and I will take a Matryoshka painting class. At 3pm, we visit the captain's quarters, and at 4pm, we taste bliny and (shall I mention it?) Russian Vodka. I don't think we can avoid tasting it along the way because, of course, it is the national drink. It brings friends and family together, and warms a body in winter.

More on that later . . .

I have found an easy way to practice the Russian language and letters . . . Follow your taste buds!

So, we will revisit these familiar haunts Russian-style:

This word many English speakers pronounce as it appears, but it is actually a well hidden word which is pronounced . . . 
Can you guess? Р=R, c=S, H=N.
Just keep the T off the end, and you have it! We have visited a number of these.

You all should know this one, because, of course, all Americans have a craving for this burger at one time or another. It's the most familiar comfort food of our nation:

Just sound out each letter as if you were reading English. Here are a few tips: д=D, н=N, л=L, с=S

This one you are SURE to guess! Just use the hints above, and I'll add a few more: Б=B, and my favorite letter: ф=F

You might not guess this one right away:

I think you have all the hints you need above, except: и=Ē

. . .I'll give no hints with this one, 'cause you have all you need!

This last one is obvious, but you'll need two more clue:

У=оо г= g

How did you do? You should have enough now, to read simple signs.

So, Olivia and I painted our Matryoshka dolls this afternoon in class . . . 

And we had a bliny (crepe)

And had a drop or two of flavored vodka (raspberry and pine nut), and made a toast with the passengers and staff so as not to offend . . .

And no . . . my eyes were not blurry, nor were my hands shaky!

At 6 pm we landed in Kizhi and took a two hour walk around this cold and windy island, which used to be inhabited by farmers from the 16th century up until 1940's. Now, 60 pensioners live here, along with a number of part-timers who are tour guides for the island. There are no vehicles here, and supplies are brought in via helicopter and hydrofoil.

The land was full of rocks, which had to be cleared before planting. You can see pile after pile of them along the road. Rye and barley were the two crops they could plant in this "Northern Russian" environment. 

It is known for its wooden homes and churches, built from pine.

Restoration was going on in the historic site:

We ended the day with a delightful reading of a Russian fairy tale, a play with included the guests (Dan was a hare), and a hilarious version of Cinderella put on by the staff, in which only one or two words were spoken by each character per scene I the play. Now that's what I call "abbreviated"! 


  1. Fun to see familiar signs in Russian. The Matryoshka Dolls class would be fun! My daughter has 2 sets.

    1. It sure helps to learn the Russian symbols when you study a familiar word. I bought my daughter one set when we picked her up 16 years ago. They have such variety!


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Journey into the Promised Land
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