Togliatti is a city of 700,000. There are three, geographically separate, sections of the city - Old City, New City, and Comrade City. New City is a "planned community" with wide streets, kilometer-long blocks, and plenty of parks and roomy sidewalks for moving quickly to go to work, or strolling, walking, roller-blading or bicycling at one's leisure.

Togliatti curently holds the European championship in the fast-moving, rambunctious sport of Handball - The Togliatti team, sponsored by the AVTO-VAZ (Lada) car company, appears here in blue. The yellow-and-red-dressed team is from Romania. The remaining snapshots were taken at the Hotel Ritza, in the New City section of Togliatti.





Samara, 50 miles from Togliatti, is a city of 1.4 million.


In the summer, Samara hosts thousands of visitors - the attraction is one of Russia's finest beaches.


Samara is where the Soyuz space module was produced. There is a musuem at the base of the rocket.


Samara was the home of the Soviet government during World War 2 - Hitler had his Eagle's Nest in Bavaria, and Stalin had a bunker in Samara (both sites now museums). The imposing statue is Comrade Kuybashev - a hero of the Revolution. Samara, founded in the 1500's, was renamed "Kuybashev" in the 20th century, by the Soviet government, but it now once again is known as Samara.


Many forms of transportation are available in Samara, and tour boats ply the Volga. Standing room only on the big bus. The small bus (Gazelle) is an additional ruble. You must call out your stop, so you better speak Russian! The Tramvei is slow but comfortable, and Samara also boasts a Metro (subway).


Traffic is becoming a nightmare, now that easy credit is available to buy new automobiles. Notice the three cars trying to simulataneously turn onto a one-lane street while the Tram rings his bell and waits (autos are supposed to yield to the Tram).


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Photo Credits: Denis Kashin, Olga Kashina, Valeria Kashina, Jim Fairbrother. Web Design by OOO Translate & Fairbrothers 2000.