Having learnt the language from an early age, my love of Russia and its culture was enhanced by school trips to St Petersburg. Drawn to the opportunity to spend more time there on a year abroad, I went on to study Russian and French at the University of Nottingham. My time in Russia was spent in the remote and beautiful countryside, volunteering at a therapeutic community for orphaned children.
Since joining Audley Travel, I've had the opportunity to expand my travel knowledge by journeying along the Silk Route through China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and spending time in Jordan. Having been to China's big cities, I enjoyed the contrast of the western province of Xinjiang, and was amazed by the natural beauty of Kyrgyzstan as well as the history of these former Soviet states. When I wasn't eating falafel and hummus in Jordan, I loved exploring the vast site of Petra.
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I'll never forget when…
In my opinion, a trip to Russia isn't complete without a trip to a banya (hot and cold bathhouse), and my most memorable experience came from my most recent trip to Moscow.
Having already made a few visits to a rural countryside banya, I decided to try out the famous Sanduny Baths, founded in 1808 and the oldest and most luxurious banya in the country. Hiring a private room, I spent two hours going between a very hot Russian sauna and a very cold plunge pool whilst periodically being hit and massaged with birch tree branches. Truly the most Russian way to relax.