‘I Really Wanted to See the Places They Never Show to Foreigners’

PHOTO by The Degrees of Discoveries team
A London native visited remote Russian villages and towns, experiencing firsthand traditional Russian craftsmanship

Nick De Haes participated in the Glubinushka ethnographic expedition that traversed five vast regions of Russia, the expedition’s organisers told Lenta.ru.

De Haes joined the team Degrees of Discoveries and rode through Russia from Feb. 18 to 27. The tour took him through the cities and villages of the Tver, Novgorod, Vladimir, Yaroslavl and Kostroma regions.

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During the journey, De Haes created his own gusli, a traditional Russian multi-string instrument, and participated in a Russian folk game. The traveller also made a horseshoe and took part in Maslenitsa celebrations while experiencing what it’s like to live in the rural areas of the country.

De Haes had visited the country before, travelling from Moscow to Vladivostok by train during his first trip. However, he admitted that his second visit was more memorable.

“I really wanted to see the real Russia, the places they never show to foreigners,” De Haes said. “Not only have my expectations been met – they’ve been exceeded! I hugged an old brick stove after coming in from the frosty outdoors and I felt so warm and cosy!”

De Haes admitted that he was astonished by the level of skill possessed by Russian masters of carpentry and weaving after trying his hand at these activities himself.