About This Blog

This is my travel journal chronicling my 2011 tour of Siberia, visiting with our Russian Lutheran brethren in the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church. Hopefully and God willing, there will be future adventures for me there.

The title is based on a remarkable book (that I actually read after returning home from Russia) called Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier. I found much of his writings to mirror my experiences as an American in Siberia - though Mr. Frazier has made many more trips and experienced many more things than I did - not to mention that he is a better writer. At least for now. Practice makes perfect! Frazier's book (here is a review) is also an interesting look at Russian history and gives an overview of the past writings of American travelers to Siberia. I'm humbled to be yet one more.

I hope that readers of TILS vicariously travel with me and enjoy what I have posted. I hope that it provides a small window into the life and work of the pastors and laity of Siberian Lutheranism (and their extraordinary history) and Russian culture in general.

It is also my hope that readers will: 1) Pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in Russia, 2) Support the outstanding missionary work of the Siberian Lutheran Mission Society, and consider sponsoring a Siberian congregation, 3) Consider visiting Russia for themselves, 4) Support the work of the faithful LCMS pastor Rev. Prof. Alan Ludwig, who has taught at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Novosibirsk for many years and has much of interest to say from his perspective, and 5) Read Ian Frazier's wonderful book
Travels in Siberia (which by the way is available on Nook and Kindle for $9.99)!

Of course, a disclaimer is in order: Ian Frazier has never endorsed this blog, nor have I ever met him or communicated with him. I thoroughly enjoyed his book, however, and am playing with his title for the title of my blog. However, Mr. Frazier, if you're out there - I would love to hear from you some time! I grew up in Cuyahoga Falls - and for some reason, Siberia seems to attract people born in Ohio who feel compelled to write about it. I really did enjoy your book, and I hope you are pleased by my reference to it.

One other disclaimer: other than being a supporter of the Siberian Lutheran Mission Society, I'm not affiliated with SLMS. The material on this blog is mine, and I take sole responsibility for it.

Note: Since I arranged this blog chronologically - which is backward from the way blogs usually work - the buttons at the end that say "Newer Post" and "Older Post" are reversed - just as the "hot" and "cold" water taps are often reversed from the way we're used to them in the states. In other words, if you want to read the next day's installment, click "Older Post" instead of "Newer Post." Just consider this another delightful quirkiness of an American writing about Siberia.

Большое спасибо! Thank you very much!

2011 Journal - Day 10 - July 6

The Dining Car

  • On the train toward Novosibirsk
  • Novosibirsk

It was a nice relaxing ride from Shira to Novosibirsk.  It was an overnight trip.  I wake up in the morning to the rocking of the train.

Father Alexey bought us
breakfast in the dining car.  It is attractive with red trim, tablecloths, and fine silverware.  The menu is bilingual (Russian and English).  I had some sausages with mustard and a (real) coffee.  We also had pancakes (blini) and I ordered the cherry-filled one.  They are basically the same thing as crepes.  They are as good as they look!

After breakfast, we took it easy in the sleeper car for the rest of the trip.

A little taste of home

We arrived at Novosibirsk in the afternoon.  It is rainy and chilly.  Father Andrei picked us up and we decided to have some American food.  We have a choice between burgers at Carl's Junior (which is ironic because we don't have Carl's or its sister franchise Hardee's, in Louisiana) or pizza at a place called Capriccio's.  We settle on the latter option, and aside from the Russian language, it could easily be mistaken for a college hangout in Kent, Ohio.  The menu is huge - like a book.  It is also all in Russian.

We order three pizzas - including one that has salmon.  They are all outstanding!  They are baked in a brick oven, and could compete with any pizza shop in the States.  They also have beer.  I have an Amadeus lager and Father Dan opts for a dark beer.  As our Russian brethren are our drivers, they stick with coffee and orange juice.  We enjoy our meal and fraternal conversation and take a few pictures.

We get back, get caught up on our computers, and do laundry.

Father Pavel (Khramov) - whose office I am occupying - takes us for a walk to the local grocery store.  I buy batteries, some tea, and a Coke.  Dan buys some cheese, milk, and cereal.

We return, hang out with the bishop for a while, and call it an evening.

Here is a link to all of my pictures from Day Ten.

Are we really in Russia?

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