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Family from Belgium is exploring a Russian village. Sustainable tourism in action.

a wooden bench sitting in front of a house

Once you made the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway tour, the question “What was your experience on the Trans-Siberian railroad?” will be the first one to be asked by your numerous friends and relatives. The Trans-Siberian Railway adventure is not only about trains, time-zones, nature, vibrant diverse cities, Lake Baikal and Russian food, but also about local real people and their lifestyle. We offer and promote to our tourists an opportunity to touch and feel such a local thing as a Russian village.
We want to share how it was with a nice family from Belgium who experienced sustainable tourism in action, visited the Russian village and made their Trans-Siberian railway trip a unique and unforgettable one.

Nicest family from Belgium

It was a warm day at the end of July. Moscow summer finally set up. I and Olga were touring towards Kurskaya metro station where we agreed to meet with Cedric and his family. We were slightly nervous.
A request from Cedric dropped in January, and since that time our team were communicating to him and hoping to meet his big family in persons. His first email was like music to our ears because he asked to see authentic parts of the country and visit “ecological initiatives from Russian citizens”. That’s what we do, know, like and promote – a sustainable approach to tourism.
Barbier family and ExploRussia team in Moscow
At the end, we managed to find Isabelle, Jules, Florence, Ludivine and Cedric near the train station and from the first sight, were charmed by their looks – the whole family wore baseball caps and T-shirts of the same style. The signs were saying: “GIFT World Tour”. We asked for explanations- what GIFT is? Metaphorically, a big adventure is a GIFT. Originally, it means “Getting Inspired For Tomorrow World Tour”. The idea is that the kids (Jules, Florence, Ludivine) will get genuine experiences and will participate in a number of local sustainable projects while traveling. Hopefully, understanding how different communities live they are going to grow active and responsible citizens.
By summer we knew that they were going to take a world tour. Yet, it sounds exciting and far-reaching, like a Trans-Siberian journey or a secret entrance into the magic world. Life will never be the same, as we say. Twelve months of immersing into cultures!

Russian village as a starting point

Russia has been the start of this grand tour. For the Russian sustainable experience, ExploRussia and Cedric have prepared a short tour to Maly Turysh Russian village. It’s a tiny village (with less than 20 houses), green in summer and snowy in winter, close to the Ural mountains. A local young entrepreneur Guzel and her father launched there honey – making factory to help the villagers. Guzel has invented a cream-honey with berries, and empowered locals to work where they live. They have described in details their time in Maly Turysh in their blog.
Trans-Siberian Railway trip experience. Summer field.
It was great to meet all the family before their adventure, yet already in Moscow. To chat about their expectations, concerns beforehand and even answer the questions about our own story, when and why we have started ExploRussia. It was a great day!
Cedric’s family has been the second family involved in sustainable tourism initiative in Maly Turysh Russian village as a part of their Trans-Siberian journey.
We invite everyone who feels ready to step off-the-beaten-path and spend a weekend in the village of Ural Tatars to visit the honey apiaries, learn about bees, nectar, honey popsicles, willow herbs – in short, countryside life and social entrepreneurship in modern Russia- to travel to Maly Turysh Russian village.
We also encourage you to subscribe to the family travel diary ( I did myself and follow the journey from Moscow with curiosity) and read their impressions about Russia from Moscow to Irkutsk.
If you are planning one of the most scenic railway rides in the world check our Essential guide for Trans-Siberian Railway trip.
Natalia Motorina
This post was written by Natalia Motorina, ExploRussia Customer’s Experience Driver. She is making amazing itineraries for customized trips, in her spare time she is volunteering for advocating youth rights.