Vicki and Kevin Goulder

Vic and Kev

Vicki and Kevin Goulder

Live in Canberra, Australia. Retired and enjoying travel overseas and within Australia

Europe March 7th 2019

A stopver in London on the way to our tour to Jordon and Egypt. We visited the Shard for the champagne experience. A glass of Moët on the 69th floor. Great views and the champagne went down well after our flight from Oz. A quiet afternoon and then a great Thai meal in a local pub before an early night. The next day we visited the Sky garden which is only 33 floors up but very popular. Could be because it is free. Once again great views and very well done. The indoor gardens are well kept and are spread over three floors. We walked to Tower Bridge and had lunch at the Dickens Inn st St Katherine’s Dock, reviving memories of our visit in 2012. Later a quick catch up with Todd who was working ... read more
St Paul’s From Skygarden
Lion sculptures on the ramparts at Tower of London

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow July 8th 2018

We are now home and our cruise has finished. As you will see from the info below we didn’t really have a lot of time to write of our experiences. Too many jam packed days and yet still more to see in Moscow. Russia has been fantastic and very different from my trip in 1978. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the introduction of private enterprises there have been many changes. It is becoming very westernized which means more cars, traffic jams, but there are now shops, plentiful foods and smiling people. It is very easy to get around, particularly as most signs and stores have English signs. The children learn English at school, but as with many countries, older people while they may have an understanding they do not speak it. They do ... read more
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
Monument to Peter the Great on 300th anniversary of the creation of the navy by him
Metro steep escalator

Europe » Russia » Centre » Uglich July 3rd 2018

A stop on the way to Moscow to explore the provincial town of Uglich in west Russia. The town was founded in 937 and the ancient Uglich Kremlin contains the Transfiguration Cathedral which has an ornate wall of icons. Nearby there is the Church of St Dimitry on the blood with frescoes memorializing the death of Ivan the Terrible's son. The fortress helped to stop the Tatars. The town recovered very slowly after being burned to ashes by Polish-Lithuanians. Uglich used to be famous as the watch making capital of Russia (Chaika Watches). The collapse of The Soviet Union caused an industrial decline and this marked the rise of tourism. We had a stroll around town which showed a need for maintenance.and then through the markets and back to the boat. Next stop Moscow - a ... read more
Church of Prince Dimitry the Martyr

Europe » Russia July 2nd 2018

The 5th biggest city on the Volga river was founded in 1010 and named after its founder. in the 13th century it prospered due to its geographical position and became one of the most developed town in ancient Rus'. The 600 hectare city centre has around 140 federally protected buildings and in 2005 it was listed by UNESCO on the World Heritage Sites. We had a walking tour of he city visiting the many monuments including the Church of Elijah the Prophet, the Monastery, Volkov Theatre and finally the Governor's House (Yaroslavl Art Museum). At the Governor's House the guides greeted us dressed in period costume as the Governor's daughters and conducted the tour in this manner. The visit culminated in them being joined by some young men and they performed some dances for us such ... read more
Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery

Europe » Russia July 1st 2018

We stopped to visit the medieval town of Goritsy and were taken by local bus to the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery . It was a grey and drizzly day which turned into rain. It was also cold. The monastery was founded by St Cyril in 1397 and his grave is under the foundations of the Cathedral of the Assumption. The choice of site proved important as it was located just within the Grand Duchy of Moscow whose ruler saw it as a defensive stronghold and trading post. It was always able to attract the rich and famous and at one time there were 20000 serfs during the 17th century. At one time its cells were reserved for political exiles ie it was a prison of the Tsars. During the Soviet period it was turned into a labour camp. ... read more
Archangel Gabriel fresco
Cathedral of the Assumption
Loved the colour of this rose

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Karelia June 30th 2018

Kizhi is an island near the geometrical center of the Lake Onega in the Republic of Karelia, Russia. Lake Onega is between 31 - 127 metres deep with 1650 islands (mostly rocky outcrops). The best known island is Kizhi. The island was very prosperous from the middle ages because of the trade with timber, furs and fish. It was frequently targeted in raids but when Peter the Great established Russia's soverignity in the Finnish borderlands that the region witnessed a construction boom using the local timber. They have a very traditional method of cutting wood by cutting with axes rather than sawing believing that it closed the grain of the wood against moisture while wooden pegs and joints were used rather than nails as they were expensive. As we set off for our tour of the ... read more
Traditional bead making using crochet techniques
Domes being restored

Europe » Russia June 29th 2018

Still sailing for the island of Mandrogi on the Svir river. A number of locks to negotiate including one very large one. Mandrogi was occupied by the Finns in WWII and the villagers were expelled. In the 1990s Russian businessman Gutzeit constructed a replica village in the old Russian style which is visited by both Russian and international tourists. Today it is a living museum. There are demonstrations of old crafts such as doll painting, jewellery making, wood carving and pottery. There is also a vodka museum which contains 2800 brands. For lunch we had a traditional Russian BBQ of shashlick, vegetables and salads . A traditional band of musicians played for us for over an hour. There was a female singer and two males who played the balalaika and accordion. They played traditional music and ... read more
Vodka Museum
Painting Matroyska dolls

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg June 27th 2018

Our cruise begins. After a boring and uneventful drive and border crossing we reached our destination of the Scenic Tsar - our cruise vessel from Saint Petersburg to Moscow. Checkin, orienatation and dinner, the first night complete. We have 4 days here each day jam packed. Our boat is moored about 1/2 hour (1 hour in traffic) from St Petersburg but we are lucky as we are the only boat there. Further away and on the other side of the river is the other boat mooring dock for river cruise ships kwhich we see on the day we leave. There are 13 boats there stacked against one another in groups of five or six. We are very fortunate as we can have our blinds open , use our balcony and relax without another boat next to ... read more
Booties to cover your shoes to protect the parquet floors

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki June 23rd 2018

Our trip to Helsinki was a brief one unfortunately. We left Tallinn and boarded the ferry, Business Class of course. Free food and drink for the entire trip. As it was early morning we started with coffee. A smooth ride and a look in the duty free store. We had lunch before we left the boat, as we started our city tour from the pier when we arrived. We visited the abstract Sibelius monument which was very controversial as it looks like organs but Sibelius wrote very little music for organs. The artist placated people by adding the face of Sibelius next to the sculpture. Next we visited the Temppeliaukio “rock” church which was quarried out of the ground. No gold, no icons, just a copper dome, exposed rock walls and concrete beams. It is used ... read more
Sibelius monument made up of 600 pipes
Copper dome of rock church

Europe » Estonia » Tallinn June 22nd 2018

This morning we visited Kadriog Palace ( Museum of Foriegn Arts) with our guide Nikolai. The Palace was built in 1718 under orders of Peter the Great as a summer residence. While he built many wonderful palaces in St Petersburg he liked smaller places which was unusual as he was 2m 3 cms tall . He also wore size 38 shoes and had small hands, so he had to use walking sticks to assist his balance. It was designed by Italian Nicole Micheti and was supposed to look like an Italian villa. There is a selection of Western European and Russian paintings. The main attraction is the Great Hall which ranks among the finest examples of Baroque decorating styles. There are forested parks, ornamental gardens, statues and ponds to explore. After free time for lunch (we ... read more
Finnish flag
Kadrogi Palace gardens
Tourist photo bomb

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