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Golden domes, Moscow, Russia 

This church was reconstructed four years ago. It was detroyed by communists in one of their strokes of genius in the thirties. All over Moscow reconstruction of old religious sites is evident. Moscow, Russia


Below new church, Moscow, Russia 

Lena poses with the shimmering golden domes, which stand atop Christ the Savior church. Its color combination looks strangely alike Sikh temples in India.


Chilly Red Square, Moscow, Russia 

Winter fantasy looking buildings stand on one end of Red Square. Moscow, Russia


Matriushkas in market, Moscow, Russia 

One of teh street vendor displays in a popular pedestrain mall. Moscow, Russia.


Moonrise over Red Square, Moscow, Russia 

In a Moscow evening, we can hear a local musician playing dreamy flute tunes as the moon casts magical lighting effects on Red Square. Moscow, Russia.


Marble subway, Moscow, Russia 

Lena's family was shocked to see NYC subways when they first migrated from the former USSR. Here you can see why - the subway stations are small communist art deco museums. Moscow, Russia.


Archway to Gehard, Armenia 

At this site, monks have lived for for over 1000 years, stubbornly clinging to their beliefs as Arab and Turk invadors tried in vain to convert the nation to Islam. behind this structure, are more monasteries carved into the living rock complete with arches, columns, altars and carvings. Gerhard, Armenia.


Cliffside church, Armenia 

A local family, that was at the time sacrificing a lamb (an old school Judeo-Christian tradition), graciouly allowed me into their property to get these awesome views. North of Yerevan, Armenia.


Candles in Gehard, Armenia 

In all churches in Armenia and Georgia, visitors light candles in rememberance of those past, and with hope for the present and the future. Gehard monastery, Georgis.


Heavenly light in Ohanavan, Armenia 

The interior of abandoned Ohanavan church. The echoes and the light played together to produce an otherwordly spiritual feeling. Armenia.


Over Lake Sevan, Armenia 

Lena and one of the two churches atop a former island on Lake Sevan. As the water level has fallen in recent years, the island is now connected to the mailand by a narrow peninsula. Armenia


Musician in Gehard, Armenia 

A musician plays for the tourists outside Gehard monastery. Armenia


Deserted Ohanavan church, Armenia 

Standing atop a jagged canyon, on a barren and out of the way corner of the country, the interior of this now abandoned Ohanavan church definitely had a timeless, spiritual feeling that provoked a happy calmness. Ohanavan, Armenia.


Mt Ararat, near Yereva, Armenia 

Mt Ararat, legendary site of the landing of Noah's arch, dominates the views in most of this tiny country. Armenia.


Over Vihor Virap, Armenia 

Victor takes in some views of Mt Ararat (not in picture) with Vihor Virap on the background. This is the sight where St. Gregory was imprisoned for 13 years at the bottom of a well, giving his legendary perseverance and hope a chance to convince the pagan king to convert the country to Christianity in 301 AD. Armenia.


Folk dancer, Moscow, Russia 

Lena was captivated by the folkloric dancing of this lady and her two companions. They claimed to have performed all over Europe. Moscow, Russia.


St Basil, Moscow, Russia 

Legend has it the architect was blinded by the tsar, so that he could not again design such a magnificent beauty. The interior is unusual, as each dome holds its own altar. St Basil, Red Square, Moscow, Russia


Voew from fort, Tbilisi, Georgia 

With good friends Tanya and Sasha, we head to an old hill top fort commanding impressive views of Tbilisi. Georgia.


Friends near hill top church outside Tbilisi, Geor 

Old friends meet and do nto miss a beat, continuing exactly where they left off 11 years ago. Here they pose in front of a legendary church atop a hill where Georgia's conversion to Christianity began, and where Tanya (middle) was married. Outside Tbilisi, Georgia.


Lena in Tbilisi, Georgia 

Lena is happy to be in her birth place as we approach an old fort to enjoy views of Tbilisi. Georgia.


Friends in Tbilisi, Georgia 

Good old friends catch up as little Lena is her usual jolly self. Tbilisi, Georgia.


Hilltop church, outside Tbilisi, Georgia 

Jvari church stands on a hill overlooking Sveti Shoveli church, whose courtyard we stand in with medieval looking walls. Outside Tbilisi, Georgia.


Bright balcony, Tbilisi, Georgia 

One of the old style buildings restored to a multi colored image for Bush's visit to the capital. Tbilisi, Georgia.


Church outside Tbilis, Georgia 

Lena and Victor hang out in front of Tsveti Shoveli church, made out of a curiosu combination of beige, green and rosed colored stones. Outside Tbilisi, Georgia.


Ferry to summer palace, St. Petersburg, Russia 

Dark northern clouds create a dramatic seascape on this Baltic bay. St. Petersburg, Russia.


Chapel at summer palace, St. Petersburg, Russia 

Golden domes out the imagination of an accomplished designer that obvisously still delighted in child fantasy. St. Petersburg, Russia.


Foutains in summer palace, St. Petersburg, Russia 

Many say more impressive than Versailles, the winter palace greets its visitors with a set of fountains out of a fairy tale. St. Petersburg, Russia.


Long corridor, St. Petersburg, Russia 

Lena wanders along the seemingly infinite and elegant halls of the Hermitage. St. Petersburg, Russia.


Inside the Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia 

We stop to reflect upon the decadent and opulant surroundings. St. Petersburg, Russia.


Church in St. Petersburg, Russia 

One of the prototypical churches that we came across in our walks. St. Petersburg, Russia.


Winter palace, St. Petersburg, Russia 

Victor takes in the gigantic proportions of the plaza that sprawls before the winter palace. St. Petersburg, Russia.


Boat on Dubai river 

Locals commute on one of the more efficient means available close to the old section of town. Dubai, UAE


Arabds in Dubai 

Our dune safari hosts chew the camel fat during our sunset break, Dubai UAE


Lena and Dunes, Dubai 

Lena pretends to be a Beduin or Lawrencette of Arabia during a break from our Dune safari outside Dubai, UAE


Sunset in Dubai 

As we wander the deserted labyrinth that is a reconstruced old section of Dubai, the sun sets behind local shapes. Dubai, UAE.


Spice market, Dubai 

Spices liven up the day and local flavors at the tiny Spice Market in old Dubai


Traditional tower, Dubai 

Archtypical tower in the style of Dubai when it was still a sleepy desert fishing village. Dubai, UAE


Antelopes, Sabie Sands, South Africa 

The largest antelope in these parts towers over the plentiful Springbock. Our safari guide called the latter the McDonald's of the bush - everywhere and on everyone's menu. Sabi Sands reserve, South Africa.


Baby Leopard, Sabie Sands, South Africa 

Cute toddler climbs down a tree so close to use we could almost touch it, to move to the next tree where her mother awaits with a fresh breakfast kill. Sabi Sands reserve, South Africa.


Rhino at Sabie Sands, South Africa 

The Sherman tank of the bush leads a mostly pleasant life as it has nothing to fear,, unlike most other inhabitants of this dangerous place. Sabi Sands reserve, South Africa.


Babies at Sabie Sand, South Africa 

Mischevous toddlers look on curiously from the safety of the herd. Sabi Sands reserve, South Africa.


Elephant Family at Sabie Sands, South Africa 

These social giants cannot get enough of each other's company - there's always a flurry of motion and activity from the mass of trunks, tusks, tails and ears. Sabi Sands preserve, South Africa


Elephant Trek in SabieSands, South Africa 

Shedding the safety of our Land Rover, we are taken on a personal on-foor expedition to get up close to a small herd of pachiderms. The large and funnny creatures cannot run up steep terrain, so we remain on the hill top. Sabi Sands reserve, South Africa.


Mama elephant Sabie Sands Reserve, South Africa 

Mama elephant stands on guard to protect her baby, but thankfully is familiar and unthreatened by the Range Rover we sit in.


Sunset in Sabi Sands reserve, South Africa. 

Timeless and universally recognized silluettes of the bush. Sabi Sands reserve, South Africa.


Leopard on tree Sabi Sands reserve, South Africa 

Lena fell in love with this beautiful leopard named Seseka - which means The Beautiful One in Swahili. Here she surveys the land from a tree. Sabi Sand reserve, South Africa.


Leapard cub SabieSands reserve, South Africa. 

A cute little leopard cub plays feet away from us, taking a stretch for the camera. Sabi Sands reserve, South Africa.


Lioness in SabieSands reserve, South Africa 

This lioness roared and groaned with deep anguish as she called out for her pride, who had moved on. She stayed back to look after her injured mother, who was surely seeing her last days. Sabi Sands reserve, South Africa.


Near Cape of Good Hope, South Africa 

Movingly gigantic cliffs abruptly emerge from the sea at the Cape of Good Hope, as the last rays of the day shine through. Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.


Fields near Garden Route, South Africa 

Our drive inland from the Garden route takes us through some velvetty fields that bask in the late afternoon sun. Near Montague, South Africa.