The best posing Russian girls of the Summer 2017

I’ve always been impressed by how Russian girls pose on photos. They always look so perfect, cute and sensual; they do it so intuitively. Compared with them, I always look crap on pictures.

But as our society becomes increasingly obsessed with self-images – and we know that Russians are a key audience for selfie neo-darwinism – this is becoming a little bit ridiculous.

There is no possibility anymore to photograph a landmark without having a Russian beauty posing in front of it as if she was the most gorgeous top model ever. Well, if what they want is some visibility, then I don’t mind giving them a little bit! ūüôā

So given I spent my summer holidays in Russia, here is an overview of the best from the 2017 summer:

Gorgeous! Sitting above a waterfall in Abkhazia. A lot is in the choice of the dress, contrast with nature is key!
They always have to to take the most perilous poses and I’m always afraid they might fall and hurt themselves. Beauty is pain, they say…
The whole of Abkhazia is still in war ruins and all they are doing is squirming for the perfect picture.
It’s all in the position of the foot. Makes your thighs look perfect. Trust the Russians, they know.
Honestly? I call this porn mademoiselle!
Even for the tourist picture, sitting on a giant mammal by +3000m high, she MUST have the cute doll’s hands.
It’s a habit that will follow her until the grave… RIP Victoria. (look at the feet… perfect thighs).
And you think this is funny?

Traveller On A Mission is now on Instagram

Following the advice of a few friends, I have now opened an Instagram account for Traveller on a Mission. You can expect to find there a number of my favourite pictures, old and new.

Expect some overlap with this blog in terms of photography, but also some originals on Instagram.

I plan to post a series of pictures around my favourite photography themes:

  • Lenin statues
  • Soviet brutalist architecture / Soviet ghosts
  • Church and mosques domes & minarets
  • Various around propaganda, ideologies and religions…
  • And maybe some food & drinks and other joys¬†of travelling around the world!

There is a widget in my sidebar with the few first pictures I have uploaded on Instagram… (scroll down, it’s lower) –>>

And you can follow me:

Bear with me whilst I’m learning to speak in #hashtaglanguage and enjoy my photos!

How I climbed on top of an Iranian minaret to dance the boogie woogie

If you have been in Iran like me, you know that the country, seen from the inside, has not much to do with the axis of evil Western propaganda tells us about.

The friendly and hospitable people of Iran have to comply with the rules, but it doesn’t take long to spot a nice touch of rebellion in¬†a portion of them.

The duo Рuncle and niece Рwho took us to the ancient village of Kharanagh were masters of joyful irreverence. How they were having fun and were flirting with the norms gave me a delightful flavour of this part of Iran.

The village of Karanagh (85 km of Yazd) is now abandoned but there were women picking the fresh pistacchios at the time we visited. You can see the minaret standing in the village.

They told me I should climb to the top of the village’s minaret mosque, which was very old and very narrow.

“Stand with one feet on each side”, they told me. I found this a funny order, but I complied.

“And now, dance the boogie woogie”. What? “Yes, shake from one leg to another”. Really?

The minaret is 15 meter tall; the stairs inside to get to the top are not broader than 50-60 cm; in th efinal two meters, there is no stairs, so it’s proper climbing . I was standing there, shaking it!

I must have looked very puzzled, because they laughed a lot, but I did what they told me, and the minaret started shaking, making the whole mosque tremble and gently roar.

It’s only after a few seconds that I realized what they made me do: I was dancing the boogie woogie on top of a minaret! I also like to flirt with the norms and the rules, but this went much beyond what I had hoped for myself in Iran.

Not only did this seem rather dangerous Рhow many more times until the poor mosque will actually collapse? Рbut it made my travel companion, standing at the bottom of the minaret with no clue of my endeavours, freak out and believe he was trapped in an antique mosque during an earthquake.

View from the top of the minaret!

But I was so exhilarated! I am not one who expresses political opinions or signs up for ideological debates; but I did manifest my outlook on life: I danced the boogie woogie on a top of an Iranian minaret!

This post is a response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt:¬†Climbing

Teaching Iranians how to cook vegetables in Masuleh

Iran is the land of kebab; particularly if people are going to bother and go out to a restaurant, then it’s a festive meal and kebab is on the menu. Not the most exciting perspective for a non meat eater like me.

During my trip in Iran, tired to eat rice and bread after a while, I decided to try and make them grill vegetables. I bought a few onions, aubergines and courgettes on a food market and brought them to a street food restaurant.

The men¬†were puzzled at first. It had never occurred to any of them that they actually could grill vegetables, it seems. But they gave it a go; and I enjoyed a¬†fantastic dinner of grilled veggies with lime, garlic yoghurt, and Iran’s fantastic flatbread.

Seeing aubergines on a food market prompted me: why should I stay on a rice and bread diet, when there are so lovely veggies around?

This week, Ailsa‘s photo challenge theme was Cook.

With my four camels in the Sahara desert

This week, Ailsa‘s photo challenge theme is¬†Four.

Four days walking in the Adrar¬†Plateau of Mauritania, with four lovely camels. That’s a fabulous trip I did in 2007.

Click on this link to a previous post to see a portrait of each of my four camels and the nicknames I gave them; below are also some of my visual memories of this trip.

Interested in more Mauritania stories? Click on my Mauritania tag, or read about the incredible journey on board the iron-ore train in Mauritania!

Posing with the ladies in Iran

This week, Ailsa‘s photo challenge theme is Women.

When I was travelling in Iran, as opposed to most travelling Westerners who just wear a small scarf, I decided to try wearing the real Iranian-style headscarf.

It turned out a fantastic idea.¬†It was so incongruous for them to see a Westerner with the Iranian scarf that most women couldn’t stop laughing at me! They were also teasing me because I didn’t manage to wear it properly.

This group of local ladies in Esfahan (Ispahan) insisted on having their photo with me!

Thanks to this styling choice, I received a lot of attention and smiles from local women, and some insisted in taking pictures with me.

A fabulous ice breaker!

Click here read more about what I enjoyed so much about travelling in Iran, and I hope you will be tempted to visit this beautiful country, too!

Nature reasserting itself in Soviet Russia

This week, Ailsa‘s photo challenge theme is Leaves.

Nature grows slowly in the permafrost. And yet, time passes, and surely; the whole territory in Russia still bears the scars of the Soviet Union but they become less visible every year.

Spotted in the small mining town of Mirny, in Yakutia: an old Soviet sign that is struggling to exist in an environment that wants to get the upper hand.


Photo taken in July 2016.