Comtourist - Eastern Bloc Travel, News, History and Media

17-Apr-2011 Film In 2009 Danish filmmaker Mads Brugger took a comedian and a spastic (both adopted Koreans) to North Korea. The Danes have falsely convinced DPRK officials that their goal is cultural exchange; the North Korean authorities on their turn see a good propaganda opportunity. The question after seeing the film that remains with the viewer is: who was playing who here? More: The red chapel film review

04-Apr-2011 City Nowa Huta is a communist model city near Krakow built as the Soviet response to the US Marshall help. The city and the giant Lenin Steel Mill were constructed near Krakow as a gift from the USSR to Poland. Nowa Huta is only 25 minutes away from Krakow and a prime example of Socialist Realist architecture and city planning. A great way to visit Nowa Huta is with a “communist nostalgia” Tourist organization like Crazy Guides. More: Nowa Huta city guide

17-Mar-2011 History Today Lenin’s Mausoleum was the holy shrine of the Lenin cult during the Soviet era. Stalin, and other Soviet leaders have a tomb behind the mausoleum, other important Soviets were buried in the Kremlin wall. Visiting the mausoleum and Kremlin wall necropolis is still a special occasion today, even though many of the buried people are controversial to say the least. More: Inside Lenin's Mausoleum

12-Mar-2011 Submarine One of Kaliningrad’s main attractions is the B-413 a Soviet Foxtrot class submarine, belonging to the Museum of the World Ocean. Foxtrot submarines were deployed as long range patrol vessels by the Baltic fleet until 1995. The B-413 is maintained by former crew members who also provide guided tours trough the diesel submarine. The submarine is in excellent state and all it’s original equipment and weapon systems are still in place. Visitors can also climb in the periscope room and operate the periscope. More: Foxtrot submarine Kalliningrad

06-Feb-2011 Politics The FIFA choice for Russia to host the 2010 world cup has spawned an avalanche articles bashing Russia in European newspapers. It was no surprise that tabloids like the British Sun expressed their fury with headlines referring to Russia as a mafia state and Putin and Blatter as mafia dons. Incorrect and tendentious reports in "quality" newspapers seems to be a new trend however. More: Western media on Russian WC bid

28-Jan-2011 Journey For our 2006 journey we chose the Ukraine as our primary destination. We already wanted to go there for a while and now seemed to be the right time. The Orange revolution was only one and a half year earlier, no more visa were needed to enter the country and Kiev was reviewed as a hot city in many travel reviews. Minsk was also a place high on the to-do list so we decided to add Belarus to the destination list. More: Belarus and Ukraine 2006

22-Jan-2011 Cars The Comtourist crew loves communist era cars from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and especially Czechoslovakia. Comtourist owned a Skoda 105 until we sold it since we could not store it indoors and feared for the condition of this classic car. We do have great memories of the Skoda and now we will buy another one in the future. More: Our Skoda 105

07-Jan-2011 City The association that most people have with Pyongyang is probably an image of endless colons of tanks, mobile rocket installations and soldiers parading for the great leader on a big square, cheered on by thousands of ecstatic people. This image actually gives a good idea about this city, it feels more like a stage for mass rally’s and military parades then an actual living city! Comtourist visited Pyongyang in 2004 and we made a three page city guide showing the highlights of the North Korean capital. More: Pyongyang city guide

28-Dec-2010 Museum Riga Aviation Museum is located on Riga International Airport and has a large collection of Soviet era military aircraft. Highlights are the giant Mil Mi-4 helicopter, Tu-22 bomber and MiG-25 among many other aircraft. The Aviation museum is an excellent place to kill some time during a stop over when flying Air Baltic via Riga. More: Riga Aviation museum

25-Dec-2010 Museum The Dutch Army Museum is based in the arsenal of Delft and tells the story of the Dutch army throughout the ages. The museum collection includes some interesting exhibits relating to the communist adversaries during the Cold War. Most interesting is a T-55AM tank was partially cut open and used by the East German army to train officers and tank commanders. More: Dutch Army museum