Russia is a fascinating country with many strange and unusual sights to see and destinations to visit. The following are just a couple of these unique places, both very different and well worth a visit, whether on vacation or for the keen photographer’s eye.
In the Altai Mountains in East-Central Asia, close to the spot where Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan meet and on the banks of the river Chulyshman, is a strange and wonderful place known as ”Akkurum” or “white rockslide.” The reason why this place is so unusual is the strange, mushroom shaped rock formations, sprouting from the hillsides. These shapes have apparently been formed by water erosion and weathering of the rock layers, with their varied hardness, along with the soft rock around their bases, which erodes much more quickly.
The odd shapes stand guard over the Chulyshman valley and attract many tourists and photographers each year. However, experts are warning that as the rock continues to erode, these fascinating shapes will gradually disappear.
Reportedly some of the “hat” shapes on the rock formations have already fallen during an earthquake, and as the erosion and weathering continues, more will follow.
The experts say that within centuries, these wonders will be gone. For the moment, however, they are a photographer’s dream come true, set as they are within the stark surrounding mountains and the rivers running through them.
Russia travel offers yet more strange and unusual sights and destinations, probably easier to access, but no less interesting, including the Fallen Monument Park which is located in Russia’s capital, Moscow. When the former USSR fell, thousands of Soviet statues were destroyed during the process, but many were retained, and ended up in this rather interesting park.
The park is also known as the Art Muzeon or the Park of the Fallen Heroes, and in it can be seen many damaged works of sculpture, including mutilated busts of Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin and a damaged statue of Dzerzhinsky, founder of what ended up being the infamous KGB. A damaged statue of Stalin is pictured left.
Included among the statues and sculptures are clusters of modern art, which contrast strikingly with the former Communist monuments.
Reportedly the park also holds temporary summer showings of modern artists, amongst the older and vandalized work. Apparently there is a lot of development going on in the area, so the future of this fascinating park is uncertain and there is a small fee to enter.
Its location is outside the Krymsky Val building in the city of Moscow, and it can be found between the Oktyabrskaya underground station and Park Kultury. For more images of the sculptures and artworks in the park, see the video included below.
This was a brief introduction into some of the more unusual and strange sights to be seen when you travel to Russia, among many more varied destinations in this vast and fascinating country.
By Anne Sewell