the russia adventure, day 5.

(Ekaterinburg, in Russian.)

So, this is not only my first international trip, but I've also managed to be in three different continents. Ekaterinburg is about 10 miles from the Europe/Asia border, so we drove there so I could take pictures standing in both places.

(Me and Gavin - Asia is on the left, and Europe is on the right.)

(Iris took this photo, since you know we don't see this much snow in Portsmouth.)

(In Russia, brides and grooms travel around the city and takes pictures at all
kinds of landmarks. The bridesmaids and groomsmen wear ribbons and sashes
to identify their position in the wedding party, and tie these and wine
bottles up near the border for good luck.)

(May Peace Prevail On Earth.)

(These are the distances to several key cities - Geneva, Berlin, London,
Copenhagen, Guangzhou, and Paris. The three on the bottom were added
more recently, all cities is Kyrgyzstan - Osh, Uzgen, and Bishkek.)

After the border, we drove to Mega, a local mall that includes Ikea. This is important because Gavin could play in the ball pit in Ikea while we were shopping. The mall is actually a lot like ours - clothing stores, sports stores, bath stores, stationary stores. There was even Claires and Hallmark stores. We met the Irvins (another family serving here in Ekat) for lunch at Ikea, then headed back to JB and Iris's apartments for the boys' naps.

After dinner, Alyona came over the show us how to make blini. These are a lot like pancakes, but dinner and less dough-y. Russians eat them for breakfast, wrap them around meat for dinner, or dip them in honey, sour cream, or sweetened condensed milk for dessert.

(Gavin loved helping to mix the batter.)

(Alyona doesn't speak a ton of English, but she tries. Also, in this
picture, you can see how small Iris's stove and oven are.)

(My blini wasn't quite as neat as Alyona's. Or Iris's, for that matter.)

(Me, Alyona, and Iris.)

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