Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

On a November night there are tens of thousands of bottles of Beaujolais wine on the tarmac at a remote Russian outpost.

article summary —

The airport at Ulyanovsk on the Volga River in southern Russia is not the sort of place that features heavily in the airline schedules. A daily flight to and from Moscow, a few summer holiday flights to Sochi on Russia's Black Sea coast and to Antalya in Turkey, and the occasional charter flight to and from Tel Aviv constitute the airport's entire passenger operations. Given the paucity of transport, it will come as no surprise to hear that the airport is bankrupt, though it continues to operate under the watchful eye of an administrator.

For all its troubles, Ulyanovsk airport comes into the limelight once each year when it has an improbably busy night. For this out-of-the-way airport has become a well established staging post on the annual Beaujolais run, as cases of infant Beaujolais Primeur are sped from central France to Japan.

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About the authors

hidden europe

and manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers. They delight in discovering the exotic in the everyday.

This article was published in hidden europe 11.