Thoughts Sans Boundaries

Four Weddings and a Funeral

Posted in photography, trans siberian, travel by Aditya Moorthy on April 2, 2010

It’s not always you watch a famous movie and experience something in life that fits the title of the movie perfectly. That’s exactly what happened to us in our trip. We encountered four weddings in different places and came close to a funeral. Well, I am cheating here a bit. But let me tell you the story first.

Our first wedding encounter was at Ekaterinburg. We were walking to a church and just when we reached the stairs, we saw a couple who were just married, getting into a car. I was a bit too late to get my camera out so I could only get a shot of them just before they got into the car. @nat was quick and he has a very good shot of the couple.

Wedding No. 1 - Married couple getting into the car, Ekaterinburg, Russia, 20th February 2010

The second wedding was again in Ekaterinburg but this time it was more interactive. We were walking along an isolated park, knee-deep in snow. We came across two guys drinking champagne standing next to a big van. They smiled at us and enquired where we were from. Initially we weren’t too thrilled to talk to them thinking they must be drunk as they had the bottle in their hands with plastic cups for drinking. But courtesy demands and we said hello and were looking for a quick exit. Just when we were about to walk away after the pleasantries, they asked us to wait. Remember all this not in fluent English but just enough to understand each other. So we stopped and the guys opened the van door and one of them walked in and after a few seconds, a big bunch of people, men and women , got out of the van. And finally out came the just married couple. Apparently they had just finished the wending proceedings and took a break to have a drink and celebrate near the park. We realised our apprehension was unfounded and enjoyed a nice conversation and photo session with them. Below is a picture of the bride and the groom.

Wedding No. 2 - Bride and groom at a park, Ekaterinburg, Russia, 20th February 2010

The 3rd wedding encounter was beautiful. We were in Moscow inside the Red Square, walking towards the St. Basil’s Cathedral. It was snowing mildly that day. Close your eyes and imagine the scene. Mild snowfall, ground carpeted with snow in a large open space with the colourful St. Basil’s Cathedral as the backdrop. Here was a newly married couple dancing in the snow for their photographer to shoot pictures. I didn’t waste anytime and shot a few pictures myself. I like this one the best.

Wedding No. 3 - Bride and groom dancing in snow, Red Square, Moscow, 22nd February 2010

The next stop in the trip was St. Petersburg. And the most important place to visit in St. P is the Hermitage. It is a museum today with innumerable artworks. More on that in another post. This is where we encountered the next wedding couple. Unfortunately, for wedding number 4, I don’t have any pictures. But @nat took them. I was running out of battery and storage space in my camera and there was so much to take in that place. I had to make the tough choice and decided not to fire away.

Finally the funeral bit. I fudged a bit when I said we experienced everything. We didn’t see any funeral, thankfully. But we did see the Lenin’s tomb in Red Square and that makes up all I need to put a catchy title to my blog! Here’s a picture of it.

Lenin's tomb, Red Square, Moscow, 22nd February 2010


From Russia with Love

Posted in photography, trans siberian, travel by Aditya Moorthy on March 23, 2010

I had a chance of a lifetime to go to Russia and experience the Trans Siberian rail journey starting at Vladivostok and finishing at St. Petersburg. I jumped at it and never regretted it even for a moment except of course the hole it burnt in my pocket. Nevertheless, it was still a journey that ranks as the best I have ever done in my life.

As soon as I came back I wanted to do a travel log and blog about the experiences from day one till the day I came back to Singapore. I wanted to create a photo montage of all the cities I visited and the people I met. But days went by and I didn’t quite do anything of that sort. The folks that I traveled with did justice both in writing about the experiences and posting pictures that they took along the trip. I realised that I was not going to add anything more beautiful than what has already been written and the pictures taken and posted on the Internet. I give below the links to please your visual senses.


But I couldn’t just keep quite about the whole experience, even though I know I’ll never be doing justice to what I really felt and the days I spent with my group in a country that is beyond beautiful. So, I decided I will post random pictures that I took in this trip (hopefully each day) and write just about the picture, the events surrounding it and the story if any associated with it. I start with a not so interesting one but I hope progressively it will get interesting if you follow this blog regularly.

Glass Painting at Crown Plaza, Moscow, Russia, 22nd February 2010

The above picture was taken at the Crown Plaza hotel in Ekaterinburg around mid-morning. I just finished breakfast and was waiting for some of the folks to join me to explore the town. This was along one side of the wall of the cafe inside the hotel. It was a painting on glass, backlit by tubelights behind the glass. I had my first true Russian dish, a vegetarian Borsch made of beetroot. The period when we were in Russia was the period of Lent and several restaurants served vegetarian food and this cafe had a special vegetarian menu. Stroke of luck and I capitalised well on it.

More to come, stay tuned.