Carl Rascoe


Carl Rascoe

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg October 5th 2017

Today was mingle with the Russian's as they go about their daily modern lives day. I took the subway to a modern shopping district. The shops in the malls were a little smaller than the ones back home but very clean and nicely done. Staff offered to help immediately as I entered each store. Found myself in a mall with a movie theater. At 10 AM the movies were showing; could be the same back home, since I don't go to movies I don't know. Instead of taking the subway, I walked back to the hotel through the 'new' parts of St. Petersburg and into the 'historic' part where I lived this week. There are several photos of both old and new. I've mentioned before that I am charmed by the residents of this City. They ... read more
people respect crosswalks; cars stop for pedestrians
modern coffee shop

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg October 4th 2017

It's and on. Thankful for Gett (Russian uber) not to have to walk so much. A four mile ride is 204 rubles ($3.50), tip included. Started the day at the Russian Naval Museum. Many many models of ships from wooden sailing vessels to modern aircraft carriers. Most of them at least four feet long and many longer, lots of detail. The period 1900 to 1940 seems to be the favorite. During that time was the Russo-Japan war and the revolutions of 1917. There was a full scale version of an early one man submarine; I took my time considering how brave (drunk) a person would have to be to climb into that thing. Touring took the entire morning and into early afternoon. Then to the Cruiser Arora for a visit. Arora is the full scale ... read more
more leaf peeping
Russian Naval Museum
Entrance to canal

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Peterhof October 3rd 2017

My nautical being is well at home here in St. Petersburg. Criss- crossed by canals, rivers and bound by the Baltic, this place has been called the Venice of the north. And like the canals of Venice and Amsterdam there is much boat traffic and life on the water. Last night I took a dinner cruise on board a small river boat. Met a beautiful young couple celebrating their engagement and a pair of ladies from Siberia here on a work trip. Immediately on introducing myself to the young lovers, I was offered a toast of Vodka; it's that kind of a place. The buildings front the water and at night are lit as are the many bridges. The pictures do not represent the beauty of the lighting (phone camera) but give an idea of the ... read more
Nighttime on the River Neva
Nighttime on the River Neva
Nighttime on the River Neva

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg October 2nd 2017

Today was Hop on/ Hop off bus ride day. I've done these before in London and Singapore and found it to be a good way of getting an overview of the City. I can then go back and spend time at the places of interest. To get there was a subway ride. Clean and efficient, they still use tokens. It would be a tragic understatement to say I was in awe of the architecture and culture of this city. Every building seems to have a story, some dating back to the 800's. There is mystery and intrigue built right into the buildings. Before the Freemasons followers of Newton formed a secret society and like the freemasons left intricate clues to their secrets in their architecture. I've posted a very few photos to give an example of ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg October 1st 2017

On Sunday roamed around my neighborhood. Friendly people. Most of the stores and restaurants have someone who speaks a little English. If not, the phone app translator works great. No problems communicating. Google maps kept me from getting lost. A bonus to the trip, it's leaf changing time in Saint Petersburg. Across the street from the hotel was an outdoor theater with performances mostly for kids. Also vendors selling homemade items, honey, and misc foods. I had pork and cabbage from one vendor, delicious. More on that venue in a separate blog: Karl-street performer. Later there was a Russian dance troop. Bravo! Fantastic! The videos are too large to post but incredible dancing. Pictures tell the story better than I can...... read more
Leaf Peeping
Fontanka River
Kid performers

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg October 1st 2017

OH MY GOD WHAT FUN! Went across street from hotel to a outdoor stage performance (musicians, magicians, kids shows, etc). While waiting for their appearance, the girl troop was dancing to "Shake, rattle and roll", so I went over grabbed a clown and did the jitterbug. She followed well. When it came time for their act, they called all the kids in the audience up to dance...and me! The toy soldier was my interpreter. Can't get the video to upload, I'll try facebook.... read more
Toy soldier and two clowns
my jitterbug partner
waiting to perform

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg September 30th 2017

Amsterdam was peaceful and the plane ride over was perfect. Getting through customs and luggage retrieval was a breeze. Then the pleasure trip took a little market correction. My transfer from the airport to the hotel was a no show. Glad I had a hard copy of the contract. With details left out, I ended up taking an airport taxi (at three times what I paid for the service). Orbitz made a mistake sending me an email asking how everything was going. I plan to tell them. Got to the hotel and just like the market, there was an upswing. Yanina at the front desk has been more than helpful with little details. She is now elevated to 'niece' position. I'll miss her on her days off. Walked around the neighborhood past McDonalds and Burger King ... read more
room 2
room 3
room 4

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland September 30th 2017

Having arrived early morning in Amsterdam, I realize I no longer cross oceans with the same ease and grace I once did. Well, to be fair, I'm not sure there was ever much grace involved. Schiphol remains one of my favorite airports. It's huge! The shops are clean, it is well signed, the information desk staff are knowledgeable (and attractive) and it is always worth the walk to the main entrance. Fresh tulips are available and the train station to downtown stops at the main entrance. So now I pass the five plus hour layover by roaming around reminiscing of previous visits. If travel be tiring, then why do it you ask. Despite the annoyances and weariness, there is a visceral thrill about going someplace new. Travel brings pleasure and happiness not found in other endeavors. ... read more
Schiphol 2

North America » United States » New Jersey » Newark September 29th 2017

Over the last week or so I've been reading reviews of St. Petersburg, gathering documents, printing hard copy (old school) of transfers etc and 'thinking' about what to pack. Hopefully, this preparation will make my time in country easier. My barber (in the photo) is from the Ukraine and has been coaching me on important Russian phrases. I wonder how my Southern accent distorts the pronunciation. Leaving Newark, NJ about 6PM and arriving St. Petersburg Saturday, 4:30 PM, I plan to sleep most of the way (hopefully)... read more

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