Bits & Pieces of Sakhalin Island

Frog Mountain just South of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
Decending towards Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Ю́жно-Сахали́нск) invariably you overfly the small port town of Korsakov (Корсаков), a name most Europeans will immediately associate with a disease generally caused by alcohol abuse. However Korsakov is one of the two important ports on the island.
Having been on Sakhalin many times, I had never seen the inside of its main church, which is the Cathedral of the Nativity (Собор Рождества). The Cathedral is a somewhat pompous building outside the city center at the foot of a skiing slope called Gorny vozdukh (Горный воздух), which literally translated means 'mountain air'.
Entering the cathedral's interior is breathtaking. Not a single spot on the walls remains unpainted. And where there is no paint, there is gold. Where in other cathedrals 'holy water' is served at best per cup, here it is distributed among the churchgoers by the bucket. This recent church - it was only completed in 2016 - must be the only building in the entire city that isn't humble or utilitarian.
Cathedral of the Nativity and its interior (2016)

Far above the clouds