March 24th, 2015

Alone in the Russian forest...


To be alone is absolutely ordinary for me, but the familiar feelings of solitude and isolation take on an entirely different meaning in the Russian forest. During the recent journey, I visited the village of Astashova in the Chukhlomsky District of the Kostroma region. About the village I'll write a separate post, but today I'll show you the house in which I slept, deep in the woods on a cold, snowy night.

I've seen so many abandoned, sunken homes during various road trips in Russia, but in this village there is life! Our village host had a full house, each bed occupied by men who were helping with local construction projects, or out of town guests. I could either sleep on the hard floor, in the company of four Russian men, or go to an empty home a few kilometers away and have an entire house to myself. After inspecting the old, wooden structure, I picked the latter option.

During the day it seemed charming, like something out of a Russian fairy tale with its colorful blue windows and snow-capped roof. When I returned late at night, in utter darkness, the old home took on a different aura. A sort of spooky, far-off cabin, where no Internet or phone existed. Something out of a horror movie, where the victims never see the light of day again. I suddenly realized I would be by my lonesome, many kilometers away from the few humans I knew in the area, and an uneasy feeling overtook me. A slight fear of being alone in the middle of nowhere, in a distant country...But I sucked it up, and carried on into the night. Let's take a look inside my sleeping quarters...
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