Researching the landscape and the layout of the city of Arkhangel'sk for my latest WIP, I came across this photo via Google Earth that just took my breath away:
This is actually near Mezen, but still in Arkhangel'sk Oblast, and perfectly fits the setting of the middle of The House of Arkhangel'sk. The photographer, Andrey Larin, has a number of photos up on Panoramio that are tagged to Google Maps, and I find myself browsing them for hours whenever I come across them. Googling "Arkhangelsk" in images rarely turns up much for some reason, but on Google Maps, there are a wealth of them.
Here are some others from Arkhangel'sk proper:
I love to imagine Anazakia and Vasily wandering here.
I've marked this post "Character inspiration" because Arkhangel'sk is as much a character as any angel or demon in my books. It's also one Russian setting I've used (along with the nearby Solovetsky islands) where I've never actually been. Clicking through Andrey's pictures makes me feel like I have. So, thanks, Andrey; hope you don't mind a little promotion.