What can you see in a Russian small town?

I am a weird sort of traveler. I seek entertainment and joy in places I haven't been recommended to go to. Every time I take my time do such tours I spend a good part of the trip thinking over my decision and pondering that maybe my choice was really worthless. But being a photographer and a true believer that what our minds indicate spontaneously are paths we have to follow, I never ended any of these explorations with a sense of disappointment.

Back in September of last year, I took a train ride to the city of Tver, about two hours north from Moscow. Although I had been there before, it was yet the first time that I visited the city for pure purpose of photographing and wandering without destination. It was just a medium size city, with ordinary streets without any fancy decoration. Lots of residential buildings on the sides and small shops along the sidewalks. It was sunny and hot, I was bringing with me two cameras that made my backpack quite heavy.

The first good spot I found to make a picture was at the top of a slope that led to a lake in the middle of a park. The slope went around and on the other side there was a church with people gathering nearby. I followed the bend and reached that church. The street led to a less sophisticated part of the town, small wooden dachas with paint peeling off the walls. Lots of clothes were laid down on the sidewalk by old ladies, they watched the people walking by and waited for someone to come and show interest in the products.

Later on I walked to a part of the down further off the railroad station, entering another park called Park Pobedy, which means Park of the Victory. That is something I have got used to find in small cities. Amidst the humble and disregarded environment of the town we find a well cared and patriotic memorial place that celebrates eternally the honorable victory of Russians in the WWII. Kids hopped on top of tanks and a huge military plane was exhibited near the walking path. Inside the park in a summer afternoon people look more smiley and tender, moving and appreciating the moment in a slower pace. So better was the feeling there that I myself felt way more relaxed while I was exploring this piece of the city. Some old men were sitting by the bush-covered riverbank meditating with their fishing rods and waiting for something to pull the wire and give them any excitement. Mommies pushing their babies in the carriages and bigger kids playing football in the sport court near the entrance of the park.

After three hours of non stop shooting since I had come out of the railroad station, I realized it was time to end my expedition, go have a meal and head back to the platform. I found a pizzeria on the way back, which looked very organized and neat inside. And here is a good thing to mention when it comes to do sightseeing in a place like Tver. The interior of buildings is far better than what they look like in the outside so don't make your judgement before stepping in. At some point the pizza was gone and I needed to keep on the way back. Less than an hour later I was already embarking inside the wagon and eager to start post-processing my images.



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