Dear visitor from whatever corner of the world!
I am happy to welcome you in this blog!
My name is Olga Tkachenko, I work and live in Novosibirsk, Western Siberia, Russia, together with my husband and three sons. I am a freelance English-Russian and German-Russian interpreter, translator and tour guide, and all three occupations are more than my work, they are my life.
My translation and interpreting career started in 2000, and for several years I was an in-house translator at several different companies. In 2004 my first son was born, and I switched over to freelancing. In 2006 I started tour guiding in Novosibirsk, and since then it has been my greatest pleasure.
The idea of blogging came to me when in Autumn 2010 I realized that people do not know much about Novosibirsk and Western Siberia in general, and do not find my home city to be an exciting travel destination. I felt a push to do something about it, to tell people how interesting life here is. This is how it all started.
In the «About Me» page you can read what has become of it.
And ask your questions about Novosibirsk.
Russia values its tradition, and in summer Novosibirsk attracts lots of visitors to different events related to folk arts, crafts, music and traditions. The previous week offered two events of the kind, both demonstrating how important and valued Russian and Slavic traditions are and how many people are into them.
The concept of edutainment is not new in terms of schools and educational institutions, but it is definitely a new way of spending free time with benefits for the mind. As a city of science, Novosibirsk just can’t be behind the rest of the world, so today it has two big edutainment centers visited mostly by families with kids, but visitors of any age feel excited to be there, to see with one’s own eyes what the Pythagoras theorem means or a gyro sensor is.
Memorial Ensemble devoted to heroic deeds of Siberians in the Great Patriotic War.
The Monument of Glory is one of the most impressive sights in Novosibirsk, but it is hardly ever included into the standard guided tours. One of the reasons is that it is situated on the left side of the Ob River far from all other attractions, but many guides and locals also suppose that heroic deeds of Russians during the War just can’t be interesting for foreign visitors. However, I try to bring people there every time, and nearly always we spend long minutes walking along the shady alleys speaking about war and peace. In my opinion, this park is one of the most ‘philosophic’ destinations in the city, as it reflects the most dramatic periods in history of our country.
Do you like horses? Don’t miss a chance to go for a ride in the pine forest, even in winter.
The idea of this post was suggested by one recent tourist from Malaisia who liked some of the churches in Novosibirsk so much that he asked me if there is a special ‘church tour’ of the city. There wasn’t any until that question was asked, as churches are quite a few of them in the city, with most of them built only a few years ago. This is easily explained by the fact that Novosibirsk was built and developed mainly during the Soviet period, when religion was as good as prohibited and all churches built before the Revolution 1917 were either destroyed or turned into something else. During the Perestroyka the ban on going to churches was lifted, all the existing buildings of churches were returned to the believers and construction of a lot of new churches started, mainly, of course, Russian Orthodox, but Catholic churches and mosques, too.
You are coming to Novosibirsk for several days and have a spare one? There are many opportunities. You can visit a museum or two and go to the Opera in the evening or you can just wander along the broad streets of the Siberian capital. But what if you have already done all that? There are many variants of day trips. If you choose one of them, you will see life in an ordinary village or in a small town, or you will enjoy natural landscapes typical for the Western Siberia. Some of these day trips may include an easy hiking tour.
The ‘Ice Town’ at the embankment of the Ob river is a good old Novosibirsk tradition, and each year it is devoted to a certain theme. This year we are celebrating 55 years of the first space flight done by Yuriy Gagarin, the Soviet cosmonaut.
For some the notion of ‘banya’ sounds totally unfamiliar, while others think it is just a Russian word for a sauna. However, banya and sauna are two different things. Besides, for Russians a banya is a symbol of health, purification, joy of body and soul.
The center of healthy recreation MIRA opened in Novosibirsk in the fall 2013 and since then it has been the best place to relax in the city.
Mr. Cup is another small and cozy place to have a cup of superb and original coffee with a piece of something tasty and sweet. Located Krasny Prospect 13, it invites you to have your drink and meal here overlooking the busy downtown or you can drop in, take your drink and stride off. Whatever you do, the place makes you feel welcome and happy. Friendly and fast service is really able to make your day.