Abandoned Estate, Bazhenov’s Church, and Abandoned Aircraft: All in One Place

By Irina

Abandoned aircraft in the former Bykovo Airport. Moscow, Russia.

The abandoned aircraft in the former Bykovo Airport, Moscow.

What do you know about Russia? Moscow and St Petersburg, the Red Square and Peterhof, the Kremlin and the Winter Palace? That’s all? Boring. We wanted to find something unusual near Moscow, and since we love abandoned homes, we googled and found an abandoned Russian mansion and abandoned soviet aircraft in one place.

The former Bykovo airport is located just 32 kilometers from Moscow, Russia. It was the second airport built in the Soviet Union. Right in front of it, we found the slowly falling apart historical estate of Mikhail Izmailov in the village of Bykovo. It’s a pity, but it seems after 50 -100 years, only the unique church by the famous Russian architect Vasili Bazhenov will be preserved in the old estate where Russian Empress Catherine the Great liked to drink a cup of tea.

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Summer Solstice Celebration in Gruyeres, Switzerland


Knight with armor-bearer. Gruyeres feast. Switzerland.

Knight with armor-bearer. Summer solstice celebration in Gruyeres, Switzerland.

We wanted to visit Switzerland long ago, but we didn’t know what we could find there that was interesting. However, after a wonderful time at the Venice Carnival, the wish to see other medieval festivals in Europe suggested a solution. St. John’s Day in Gruyères, Switzerland, is held in June and coincides with the summer solstice.

For our distant ancestors in pre-Christian times, the summer solstice was the main celebration of the year. Seems, it was time for us now to follow tradition and jump over a ritual bonfire hand in hand.

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Why Not Return the Maltese Islands to the Order of Malta?


Valletta, the capital of Malta.

Valletta, the capital of Malta.

Really, why not? Most of the modern attractions of Malta were created by the Knights Hospitaller. Of course, we know that the oldest building of the world is located on Gozo, one of the Maltese Islands, but most of the tourists strive to visit Malta to look at the Grand Master’s Palace, majestic cathedrals of Valletta, the city of Valletta itself, and knights’ fortresses around it.

When you approach Valletta from the sea or from the air, you certainly see the wonderful dome of the Carmelite Church. This is a postcard of Malta. The view of this dome, surrounded by yellow buildings and powerful city walls, is forever associated with Malta in the memory of every traveler who ever visited the island.

However, while the Carmelite Church is wonderful outside you will find a very simple interior. Ten minutes will be enough to enjoy it, and then I invite you to visit a real gem of Valletta. If you had the opportunity or time to visit only one attraction of Malta, I would suggest St. John’s Co-Cathedral.

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