Page 14 of Redheadpeter Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Moldova » Centre » Chisinau June 10th 2012

Geo: 47.0167, 28.8497Saturday finished with our nigbt at the opera. La Boheme sung in italian with russian surtitles, or were they ukranian? A beautiful and historic opera house, but not a world class company. An enjoyable evening though,, partly down to the performance and partly to the people watching. With a few hours to fill before Liz went off for her flight to Warsaw, first leg of her trip home, we had a good breakfast, dropped into the cathedral to see what was happening to find a service in progress in a clean bright white and gold space, then a last walk through the town back to the hotel and. then Liz into a taxi to the airport I had more time to fill before my train so I went to the archaelogical museum, lots of ... read more
And today
Liz in a chair - the 12th chair
A Scythian treasure from Olbia

Europe » Ukraine » Odessa June 9th 2012

Geo: 46.4693, 30.7356We knew it was going to happen, we postponed our departure from the hotel in yalta as long as possible, last minute swim, last coffee, but finally we went off and caught the bus for the two hour ride to Simferopol station. I'll even own up to solving the problem of what and when to eat before a train leaving at 5pm by having a macdonalds! To top it all Liz has come down with a heavy cold and didn't expect to sleep on the train either! And she didn't. But it made no difference, nothing we could do would alter the fact that the train pulled into Odessa station (admittedly a rather wonderful station) at 5am. We cheekily tried our hotel who were rather taken aback but couldn't find a room for us ... read more
Thats the one ,with no engine
The Odessa opera House ,at 6am
The potemkin steps

Europe » Ukraine June 7th 2012

Geo: 44.5144, 34.1757Sorry, got a bit behind with the blog posting and the photos, so here comes a catch up. We have had three days, or is it four, depends how you count those days when you arrive early on an overnight train, on the Crimean coast and have done a lot, despite hot sweaty rides in matruskahs (minibus to you and me). We went to Chekovs house here in yalta and were in the very room in which he wrote Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. He spent his last years here, with lots of visitors like Rachmaninov before going off to Germany for treatment for his tb and never returning, dead at 44.. His sister continued to live in the house and turned it into a museum. They love roses here, Chekov planted 100 ... read more
Lenin likes a seaview too - the yalta prom
Russians at play by the black sea
Yalta conference was here

Europe » Ukraine June 4th 2012

Geo: 44.5144, 34.1757We had a good last day in Kiev before our train left, first to the Bulgakov museum (writer of The White Guard and the writer involved with Stalin in The Collaborators) in the house he lived in and in which some of his plays were set just below St Andrews church. Then we walked round and round looking for the. Chernobyl museum, only to find we had walked past it twice... and it was closed on Sunday! So then a quick metro ride to visit another historic church where we found a massive congregation inside and outside celebrating pentecost all clutching armfuls of greenery (plant greenery) which seems to be an essential part of pentecost (whit sunday) here. Then to our train and our compartment for two where we were hugely entertained by our ... read more

Europe » Ukraine » Kiev June 2nd 2012

Geo: 50.4536, 30.5038So I had done little reconnaissance trips Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, cracked paying for and working out the way around the metro, so when Liz arrived on Thursday afternoon we were all ready to get out to see the sights. And we have walked our feet to stumps over the last 48 hours. Thursday it was St Michaels monastery of the Golden domes, St Sophia Cathedral and St Andrews church together with viewpoints over the river, walk through a park, awful art on display and dinner in Mafia restaurant in the middle of town with a very nice bottle of dry white Georgian wine. Friday morning off early =metro and walk - to Kyevo Pecherska Lavra, historic site where chritianity first came to Russia and the heart of the Russian Orthodox church, now ... read more
And more
How many golden domes?
Mother Ukraine

Europe » Ukraine May 30th 2012

Geo: 50.4536, 30.5038Sitting at Rostov station on Tuesday night waiting for my train to Kiev I noticed a screen that seemed, based on my knowledge of the Russian Railways website, to be showing availability of places in different sections of the train. Now remember the people in Vladikavkaz had told me there was only space in 4 berth compartments, this screen seemed to be telling me different. So with help from Google translate i arranged an upgrade and actually got the whole thing to myself - luxury. Makes you wonder if they were right about no availability on the Wednesday train, but no matter - a 3 hour walk had exhausted the tourism potential of Rostov anyway. Ukraine is a much bigger country than I imagined, we crossed the border about 1.30 am and had another ... read more

Europe » Russia May 29th 2012

Geo: 47.2, 39.6593The train turned out to be quite fun, there are four beds in these second class Sleeper carraiges, no first class on the Vladikavkaz to Rostov train, and none left on the Rostov to Kiev. So my first travelling companion was a Russian lawyer, (advocate it said on his business card - in Russian of course, who spoke some English and we got on very well, he was full of questions about England, why did I not have to carry identity papers like him?, what was the average house price etc. At the first stop we were joined by two Russian air force officers, who spoke no English and at least one of them seemed to resent the fact that I had come to Russia without being able to speak Russian, but he clearly ... read more
Approaching the Georgian / Russian border
My train awaits
The golden domes of rostov cathedral

Europe » Russia May 28th 2012

Geo: 43.0367, 44.6678Getting into Russia, despite all the trepidation about whether or not border crossings were open to foreigners went like clockwork. Mr Grumpy the driver was there on the dot of 9 taking advice from the hotel receptionist that the taxi into Russia would want roubles, not Georgian lari, so a quick stop at the money changer and we were on our way. 3 hours exactly to Kazbegi and surrounded by mountains again. The drivers contact in Kazbegi had a taxi waiting and 5 minutes saw us on our way. After Kazbegi, the part of the military Highway I had not yet seen, the road clung to the cliff, often perched on spindly looking concrete columns, as it wound through a very narrow gorge. It only took 15 minutes to reach the Georgian border post ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Western Georgia » Kutaisi May 26th 2012

Geo: 42.264, 42.7075I have left this as being in Kutaisi to make sense of the map, though I'm really in Tbilisi again. Back in Tbilisi for an evening and a day, chance to go to the traditional architecture museum and will fill an evening with the marionette theatre (subtitles in English) before heading off back up the military Highway and into Russia on Monday, assuming all goes to plan. My guide here has written out for me in Russian everything I need when I get to Vladikavkaz station, cancel one ticket I'm not using (Sochi to Rostov) and buy Vladikavkaz to Rostov and Rostov to Kiev. So here I am about halfway through the trip, in time if not yet degrees of the circle. Done a lot of travelling as a car passenger in the last ... read more
More snowy mountains
Protesting Protesting
Old house in the museum

Asia » Georgia May 25th 2012

Geo: 41.7549, 43.5205Two days rolled into one post here. Thursday 24th woke early in Kazbegi to find a beautiful clear morning and managed to get a couple of shots of the mountain peak framed against blue sky, by 8am the cloud had rolled in shrouding the peaks. We had a lot of travelling to do, back down the military highway, East along the excellent motorway to Gori and beyond and then South again into the southern mountains and ski area at Bakuriani, President Sakashvally 's favourite ski area it seems, though he doesn't stay in a hotel like common mortals, he has commandeered a Tsarist era palace which used to be a tourist attraction as his private ski lodge (that will get me ejected from the country). Gori was the birthplace of Stalin, son of an ... read more
Stalin's railway carraige
The peak at kazbegi at 7 in the morning
More mountains and a watchtower

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