Travels with my mother … in Russia

This week was my mother’s 70th birthday – happy birthday, to one of Not A Ballerina’s most devoted readers! By coincidence, I have been writing pieces on Moscow and St Petersburg for one of my freelance jobs and as a result I’ve been (electronically) flipping through the photos of the trip my Mum and I took to Russia together a few years ago. For both of us it is still one of our favourite ever trips – and the only time we’ve travelled together, just the two of us (hmm, so I should do more travels with my mother!), and I thought it only right to celebrate my mother’s big birthday with a trip down Russian memory lane. There are so many highlights of our trip, so it’s pretty hard to pick out the best bits, but here are a few:

Standing on Red Square, Moscow

Red Square with Mum - travels with my mother

In Red Square, Moscow with my mother

On my first trip to Russia, Red Square was closed off thanks to some kind of terrorist threat. I was so disappointed not to be able to walk on this famous square – but the second time round, with my mother, we could walk all over it as much as we want! I love this picture for many reasons, but having my beloved St Basil’s Cathedral in the background is obviously one of them.

Eating out in St Petersburg

Eating at Leima, St Petersburg - travels with my mother

Eating at Leima, St Petersburg

Our delightful homestay host in St Petersburg was a wonderful source of information, but the best tip she gave us was to eat at a place called (I think) Leima, on a canal near the city centre. Suitably for my Mum and I, it had incredibly delicious vegetarian food, including to-die-for garlic rye bread which we took home for snacks each day and an eggplant dish so delicious we went back for it three times.

Day tripping to Sergiev Posad

Cathedral at Sergiev Posad - travels with my mother

Cathedral at Sergiev Posad

On my first trip to Moscow, I didn’t make it out of the city, but I was determined to the second time around. My Mum’s knowledge of basic Russian helped us get the right bus to visit the town of Sergiev Posad, about an hour out of Moscow, a gorgeous place with some of my favourite onion domes, and a very good-value marketplace with lots of typical Russian souvenirs.

I could go on, but you get the idea! So, happy birthday (for yesterday) to my delightful Mum, and perhaps we need to start planning another dream trip before your next decade rolls around?


  1. A big happy birthday to your Mum! And what beautiful memories of a wonderful shared holiday. I hope I get to do something similar with my Mum one day.

  2. A mother, daughter trip is very special for Mum’s too. I’m sure your Mum would love you to plan another!

  3. Nice pictures. The three domes are like something from a fairytale illustration.

  4. I’m glad you enjoyed Russia! I’m Russian, and I’m always happy to see foreigners for whom Russia isn’t just mafia, vodka and t.A.T.u. :))

    It’s funny but 19.09. is my mother’s birthday. World is full of coincidence ^.^

  5. Thanks everyone! Yes, the domes are incredible – very much a fairytale. And thanks, Ekaterina, I really do love Russia!
    But now my Mum and I need to think about a future trip … how exciting!

  6. How wonderful for both of you! And how adventurous—she’s obviously not afraid of stepping out of her comfort zone. Like mother, like daughter!

  7. HilaryMcWilliam says

    Loved this post Amanda as we too loved Russia (not with my Mum) but did some good trips to Wales with her and hope my daughter will do a trip or two with me in the future!

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