From Russia to Montenegro

Last week we made the drive from Russia to Montenegro. We traveled in two cars with our friends Sergei and Christina and their twin girls. Here is a photo record of the trip. (You can see a slideshow/video of a previous trip here).

We started early in the morning from dacha in Russia. Sergei said his goodbyes to Olga’s grandfather, Orest Grotten.

Olga posed for a portrait with her grandparents, Orest and Ludmilla

Orest said goodbye from the kitchen window

We packed up our cars and headed out!

The sun came up as we headed South, past Pskov to the Latvian border. Continue reading

Lithuanian Swastikas

Recently in Russia, Lithuanian products bearing a swastika have appeared. A Lithuanian court announced that the swastika is a part of the historic heritage of Lithuania.

“It is not a Nazi attribute, but a valuable symbol of the Baltic culture, an ancient sign of our ancestors, which had been stolen from them and treacherously used by other peoples,” one of the defense witnesses said.

I had a difficult time giving a title to this post — “A Sign of the Times”, “Hard to Believe”?  Even as the Lithuanians claim it’s not a Nazi tribute (which it surely isn’t), I know this will inflame tensions, since there is a rise in neo-Nazism in Russia and other European countries.