My Russian Experiences

Discussion in 'Travel & Vacation' started by Terry Page, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    Three Days In Moscow

    We crammed a lot into the 3 full days in Moscow, one was spent on a day trip to Aleksandrov, or more precisely "Aleksandrova Sloboda" the original palace and headquarters of the Tsar "Ivan the Terrible" it's now a working monastery and museum, situated about a 2 mile walk from Aleksandrov train station. The modern town of Aleksandrov is in the typically boring Soviet style, so of no real interest.
    We have been told by several people if you only visit one ancient monument in all of Russia, then Aleksandrova Sloboda should be the one, and after a day wandering around the site on a beautiful autumn day I have to agree....

    The Sapsan train we arrived on is a lot like airline travel, it travels at up to 155mph and is very comfortable, with all the facilities of an airline. It's only about 3.5 hours now for a journey that took 7 to 8 hours before. If you book a month in advance and with our senior discount, we can travel for about $15 each way, which is remarkably cheap really...so I can see it becoming a regular weekend trip...

    The train, ours was the one on the left...


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    On Board
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    The Drivers cab


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    Lisa watching a movie and dozing I think [​IMG]

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    From the sales brochure
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    The train to Alexsandrov was lot more basic than the one from St.Petersburg, but full of characters and musicians playing old Russian folk songs on various instruments.



    En route from the carriage window

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    Arrival at Aleksandrov
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    The station and nearby church..
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    #151
  2. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    "Aleksandrova Sloboda" the original palace and headquarters of the Tsar "Ivan the Terrible" is a brisk 40 minute walk from the train station, and though when we arrived it was grey and gloomy, during the walk it turned into a beautiful sunny day, so we were lucky in the end.

    Here are some photos of the grounds, which are now devoted to a monastery and various places of worship, plus museums.....

    Our first view from the road...


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    The Entrance
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    Many churches and Ivan's Palace
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    The Administration Block
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    The entrance to the monastery which is not open to the public...
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    #152
  3. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    This is the bell tower and we both climbed this one, the steps were stone and safe..
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    The View From The Top
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    Going Down
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    #153
  4. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    Just, "Wow!" And Lisa has a beautiful profile. You can tell her I said that. :D
     
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  5. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    Every now and then you come across decorated carriages on the Metro here in St.Petersburg, this particular set we have travelled on a few times, it is advertising a book fair and very well done, both inside and out.

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    #155
  6. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    I love those onion dome tops on some buildings.
     
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  7. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    A Morning at a Model Exhibition of St.Petersburg in the 18th century

    We spent several hours at this exhibition in the end, it was truly an amazing experience the attention to detail is staggering. Around every 20 minutes the lights would dim to a night view, plus as you progressed around the exhibition you moved through the seasons...

    Here are some photos I took and a couple of links to the website plus promotional videos.


     
    #157
  8. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    Somebody did some exquisite work on that diorama.
     
    #158
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  9. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    Awesome just doesn't describe it.
    :)
     
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  10. Denise Happyfeet

    Denise Happyfeet Very Well-Known Member
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    I'm just overwhelmed, I never saw this thread @Terry Page but I see it was up a long time.

    I am fascinated with Russia, and the beauty of the architecture, the way folks survive the harsh weather, and that train, how much, more high-tech that looks that anything we have (that I know of anyway). Beautiful photos and it must have been so wonderful to be there!!
     
    #160
  11. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    We walked part of the way back and then caught a trolleybus here are a few photos:

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    The frozen river Moika
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    Coffee stop....we didn't [​IMG]
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    Waiting for the trolleybus
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    From the window..
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    #161
  12. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    WOW ! ! !
    That was just SO incredible and fascinating, @Terry Page ! I watched the video, and it is awesome how everything is not only perfect for size, but the ships actually sail, the horses pull the carriages down the street, and even the teeny-tiny chickens move around and peck corn.
    The detail that went into this is simply beyond amazing.
    I love how the whole village goes dark and is lit up for nighttime, too.
    Your pictures are wonderful, but watching that video and actually seeing everything in motion is almost like being there.
    Thank you for sharing this with all of your "armchair travelers" like myself ! !
     
    #162
  13. Denise Happyfeet

    Denise Happyfeet Very Well-Known Member
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    The largest city I ever live "right in the middle of" was Portland Oregon:) Now I'm so used to small towns, I think I'd be lost in a big city. But how exciting, and the tons of things to do and see must be wonderful:)
     
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  14. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    My Afternoon at the Clinic

    Not long after I arrived for my current visit to Lisa, I slipped on the ice and fell down hard on my side, bruising my shoulder and hip, I didn't think I had broken any bones, so limped home and thought nothing of it. However after a week the pain became much worse and I could barely walk one morning for the pain which was so sharp it took my breath away. So we made an appointment at a local private clinic and went by taxi because I wouldn't have been able to manage the metro escalators.
    I saw the trauma consultant who was a bit like a young version Billy Bob Thornton in Goliath [​IMG] ....He could understand English perfectly but was out of practice speaking it, so Lisa translated his answers. After an examination he sent me for an X-ray which showed no broken bones and very slight signs of the beginning of arthritis but nothing wrong with the hip joint at all really.
    The bruising and damage to the ligaments etc., were causing all the pain.

    He prescribed Nimesil an anti-inflammatory, Glucosamine for bone maintenance and arthritis prevention, and a muscle healing ointment, to be applied twice daily as a poultice with a vodka rub, my ears pricked up when I heard the word vodka, but it was only medicinally, not for internal use [​IMG]
    I took the meds which are in powder form a couple of hours ago, and at the moment amazingly I feel virtually pain free.

    I have noticed over the years from Lisa's experiences that Russian doctors use both allopathic and complementary medicines, which intrigues me. I must say I was very impressed with the whole experience, and as a private patient it cost me only $45 altogether including a meds and a CD of the X-rays which I will post here,..... they are X rated by the way [​IMG]

    A couple of weeks later I am fully recovered and the good news is since I limped into the corner shop here while I was recovering, they now give me a 20% pensioners discount on all I buy including alcohol, so every cloud has a silver lining... U2WEGi4IkBcQM7gsQ4yv.gif

    The Meds
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    The X-Rays
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    #164
  15. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    A few video clips I took at the model exhibition:







     
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  16. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    I love those trains Terry - beautiful they are and so clean !
    The model village is wonderful too
    In fact - Russia is beautiful :)
     
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  17. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    A Day Trip To Finland

    The trip to Finland involved a lot of time on the bus and a lot of shopping, though it is essentially a shopping trip for Russians, and the reason Finland hands out Schengen visas much to the disgust of the French who are extremely rigid on giving out theirs.

    The return fare is only $12 so a cheap day out and but for the border controls it would be only 2.5 hours each way for the 140 mile journey.

    Due to the delay on the outgoing journey plus almost 2 hours in a couple of Hypermarkets we only got 3 hours in Lappeenranta, though to be honest that is more than enough. It's a string of shopping arcades and a small modern town which overlooks a marina and some lakes, so in summer much more pleasant.

    Here are a few photos of the day, the first two from the bus window, though in colour most Finnish countryside comes out in monochrome in winter.


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    The first hypermarket which stocks everything you can imagine from household goods to food to clothes and lots of fresh fish
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    Some people watching (my favourite occupation) in one mall
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    #167
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  18. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    .......Lisa browsing in a seasonal Christmas store

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    A newly opened M & S store which we Brits love so much..
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  19. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    Outside in the cold
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    The War Cemetery...
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    ......and our trumpeter again...
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    #169
  20. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Looks fab there - especially like Robert's Coffee with a twinkle in his eye :p
    Now, I'm guessing Ike would like a trip there too - all that snow ! :D
     
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  21. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    A few photos of our walk back from the bus stop in St.Petersburg.

    The famous "Moscow Railway Terminus" where the line to Moscow and the south starts......
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    The New Year decorations on Lisa's road
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    Trying to be arty taking a photo though a steamed up window of a tram which drew alongside the bus ...
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    #171
  22. Denise Happyfeet

    Denise Happyfeet Very Well-Known Member
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    Whoops, got my reply in the wrong place.

    @Joe Riley needs to see this one for sure;)
    Great pics @Terry Page so fun to get to see Finland's shops and countryside, cities etc. Love it, almost like being there, not quite but almost;)

    Also love how they decorate, and all the lights are so pretty at night;) I mean from the shops etc.
     
    #172
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
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  23. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    A Long Weekend In Sortavala

    Here are a few pics of the start of our long weekend, the departure station in St.Petersburg .............en route.........and arrival.....


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    Tea and coffee served by the coach attendant, just the same as it used to be a century ago, except the samovar has been replaced by an electric boiler. Each carriage still has it's own Babushka looking after you............all for $5 a train ticket.... amazing value really...
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    Lisa reading the dissertation of one of her students, making use of the travelling time ...
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    Arrival at Sortavala station on the dot, the trains here run with German precision, rarely ever late..
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    ,...........to be continued.................
     
    #173
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
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  24. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    We spent our first day walking around Sortavala and visiting various museums. Though the town dates back to the 15th century, most of the buildings are less than a 150 years old, due to the constant changes in occupation by Sweden, Finland and Russia...

    Here are a few photos we took..

    The Town Hall one of the oldest at about 150 years


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    The fire station

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    One of two colleges this one for girls, now the city library...

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    An old Finnish building, currently a bank

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    The frozen river where men sit all day by a bore hole catching fish, quite successfully evidently, it's forbidden to go on the ice after the 15th of March for safety reasons, but of course they ignore that law, evidently four have died recently falling through the ice



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    Street sculpture

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    #174
  25. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    One of the museums we visited was the gallery of Kronid Gogolev, famous for his wood carving, which is amazing to look at


    Kronid Gogolev was born on July 13, 1926 in the Novgorod province in the family of the former priest.
    His father gave him a rare name Kronid which means ‘Zeus’.
    When he was sixteen the young man went to the battle-front of Second World War, participated in fights for liberation of Leningrad region, Estonia, Poland, East Prussia.
    He was in Germany when the war was over, having been wounded, and contused, received many battle awards.
    In 1953 Kronid Gogolev entered Leningrad Art and Graphic pedagogical school, then in September of 1967 K.Gogolev organized the children’s art school, which has glorified Sortavala and its talented director all over the country.
    Kronid Gogolev, possessing a great gift of a teacher taught there for 20 years.
    As an original artist developing traditions of the folk art, Kronid Gogolev became famous in 1984 after his two personal exhibitions in Moscow.
    “This is a discovery! This is a revival of the lost achievements of Russian school of woodcarving, but at a new level,” – was the experts’ opinion.
    Since 1985 Kronid Gogolev became a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR.
    Putin, Yeltsin and Patriarch of All Russia Alexy II have a small collection of works of Kronid Gogolev.
    He usually gives them as a gift, when distinguished guests drop in to his museum.
    Work of Kronid Gogolev are devoted to the Russian north, the rustic and provincial city life of Russian northern nature and folk.

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    The detail in 3d is amazing
    [​IMG]Some of his paintings
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