Real Russia Blog

Guest Blog: The Caspian Challenge
15
May
2015

Guest Blog: The Caspian Challenge

Kayaking the length of the Volga for charity


The Caspian Challenge: To kayak all 2,300 miles of the Volga River in Russia– solo and self-supported. An epic endeavour that aims to raise at least £1 a mile for Hope and Homes for Children.

To the outsider, Russia is a bit of an enigma. Coming from the UK, it’s also just mind-blowingly huge in size. On my wall map of Russia, the Volga River, being Europe’s longest river at 2,300 miles, barely seems to scratch the surface of the country – a country that covers 11 time zones. I’ll confess that more than once, I’ve found the idea of 3 months in Russia more than a little daunting and quite intimidating at times.

It’s hard to think of Russia without also thinking of its stereotypes: harsh Siberian winters, political controversy, the discipline and beauty of Russian ballet, the vodka, the beetroot soup and also the Russian movie villains that always seem to be planning some kind of unspeakable mischief (especially in James Bond films). In fact, I hadn’t really noticed just how many movie villains tended to be Russian until I started planning the Caspian Challenge! If I’m honest, now less than 2 weeks away from visiting for the first time, I don’t really know what to expect. Any preconceptions I did have of a terribly serious and stern nation have already been shaken by the great deal of support and warmth I’ve received in the preparation stages for this challenge. Without exception, each and every Russian person and organisation I’ve encountered have gone out of their way to be helpful and supportive. I feel that there’s a great deal of pride involved in being Russian and also for the river often referred to as the “Mother Volga”.

A few months ago, I felt so nervous for choosing Russia as the setting for my challenge but curious enough to delve a little deeper and to continue preparations so that I might find out for myself. Some of those nerves undoubtedly remain but much more, I feel excited to discover the charm of Russia for myself – beyond the headlines, beyond the stereotypes. It feels a bit like getting ready be introduced to the significant other of a friend that you’ve heard wonderful things about.

Russia, I can’t wait to meet you.


Notes:

The Charity: Hope and Homes
The UK-based charity works with willing governments across Central and Eastern Europe and Africa, helping to get abandoned and orphaned children out of institutions and into loving families. www.hopeandhomes.co.uk
Fundraising page: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/caspianchallenge


Official website: www.lauraexplorer.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kenningtonlaura
Twitter: @kenningtonla

Real Russia Blog

Real Russia Nominated in the 2015 World Travel Awards
17
April
2015

Real Russia Nominated in the 2015 World Travel Awards

Vote for Real Russia as Russia`s Leading Travel Agent 2015

For more than a decade Real Russia have worked to bring Russia to the world, and the world to Russia. Therefore we are delighted to announce that, for the fifth time since 2011, we have been nominated as Russia’s Leading Travel Agent at the World Travel Awards. This is a huge honour for everyone within the company and we would love it if you could help us attain this honour.

The World Travel Awards are very prestigious. They are voted for by professionals within the travel industry and, more importantly, they are voted for by you, the customer. We won this award in 2013 and 2014 and we would love to win it for a third time.

Every day our team work with partners around the world to share with you the experiences that are available within Russia and the surrounding countries; particularly along the Trans-Siberian railway. As a group, we do not want to just send you on holiday, we want to send you on adventures, in which you can create memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Thr Promise, for Russian children with special needs

This year we will be working alongside The Promise, a charity who help disabled children in Russia get one-to-one support. They are doing an absolutely brilliant job, and we would love it if you could help them too. Whether you visit their website, their Just Giving page or share their details on Facebook and Twitter; every little helps. This year, for every vote we receive from our World Travel Awards page, we will donate to this incredible cause.

If you feel that we have been able to help you in any way realise your Russian dream, from helping you connect with fellow travellers through our forum, to showing you interesting news and facts on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and from arranging your visa to supplying you with your Trans-Siberian tickets, we would love it if you could vote for us.

For information on how you can help us, visit our dedicated World Travel Awards page.

Take a look at the videos below to see our director being interviewed after winning the award in 2013.