A Taste of Russia

I adore historic structures, especially churches and cathedrals. My Unitarian Universalist church just celebrated its 375th birthday, and while living in Europe I peeked inside hundreds of Spanish, Sicilian, and Italian churches in pursuit of incredible in situ artwork. On my long drive back from Homer past Ring of Fire volcanoes such as Mount Redoubt, I couldn’t help but visit three areas of Russian heritage along the Kenai Peninsula.

I drove nine miles along a winding mountain road to reach this settlement of Old Believers founded in 1968. Abundant purple lupine and fireweed made the region look like Tuscany, except with evergreens instead of slender cypress! I passed a somewhat bizarre afternoon in Samovar Café devouring borsch, piroshok, and fireweed tea with its very hospitable owner Nina Fefelov, who emigrated from Russia many years ago.

Suddenly my visit turned into a photo shoot!

Suddenly my visit turned into a photo shoot!

This clifftop Russian Orthodox Church, constructed in 1901, was very peaceful.

Ninilchik Russian Orthodox Church

Ninilchik Russian Orthodox Church

Here I visited the Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox church, built in 1895, and St. Nicholas Chapel, constructed in 1906. The docent grew up in Connecticut and got married near Fenway Park! How neat to meet a fellow member of Red Sox Nation. He was excited to tell me that another Russian Orthodox church exists near Bodega Bay in northern California. Carlee, we’ll have to drive up there in the fall to re-enact our Italian escapades.

Kenai Holy Assumption Orthodox Church

Kenai Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church

Kenai TK TK TK

Kenai St. Nicholas Chapel


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