Alexander Alferov


Alexander Alferov

Blog temporarily (or perhaps permanently suspended)

Europe » Finland » South Karelia » Lappeenranta November 12th 2015

I booked a guided one-day tour to Lappeenranta via Orienta Tour website for 750 roubles. The procedure is very simple: you leave your name and phone on their website and they call you back to communicate the details. The money is paid on the bus. The departure was at 7-10 in the morning from Chernaya Rechka metro station. The majority of tourists embarked at Ploschad Vosstaniya which is the starting point for most excursions to Finland but I live near Ozerki metro station which is only two stations from Chernaya Rechka. The bus was new, comfortable and full with tourists. Actually, those were not tourists for the most part but people intending to buy food products and other goods in Lappeenranta’s supermarkets. Our attendants told us a lot about those supermarkets and even a wholesale supply ... read more

Europe » Russia » Centre November 3rd 2015

This entry consists of three parts: the story about Vyazma, a couple of sentences and several photos from my hometown Birsk, and a short description of Petersburg’s Piskarevskoye Memorial Cemetery. I combine them all here for convenience and to make the entry more informative and varied. The central story is about Vyazma, the other two simply add to my previous experiences of two most frequently visited places in my life (Birsk and St. Petersburg). ****************************************************************************** There are several ways to choose the best Russian cities to visit. The first would be to check out the list of UNESCO world heritage sites in Russia, which includes such places as Moscow’s Kremlin, St. Petersburg (its whole centre and lots of places in the environs), Kazan’s Kremlin, Velikiy Novgorod, Suzdal and Vladimir, the wooden churches of Kizhi etc. That ... read more
Vyazma Train Station

Europe » Estonia » Narva October 12th 2015

Narva is the closest Estonian town to St. Petersburg so it was quite natural that I decided to visit it. The tickets were a bit expensive despite the very short distance, mere 150 kilometers, covered within about 2 hours and a half on SimpleExpress bus. Narva is the largest Russian-speaking Estonian town, very important in the development of relations between the two countries. Its official date of founding is the construction of Narva Castle in 1223. Narva was seized by Russian troops in 1558, when Ivan the Terrible wanted to make Narva a major port on the Baltic Sea. It was Ivan the Terrible who built the Ivangorod Fortress opposite Narva. Soon Sweden and Russia started a war and the Swedes managed to capture it. Peter the Great took Narva in 1704. I think after that ... read more
Monument to Soldiers Perished in 1941-1945
Narva Castle

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg October 4th 2015

This entry introduces you to four interesting sights in the city of St. Petersburg and its environs: the Pulkovo Observatory Museum, the Sablino cave, the Museum of City Electric Transport and the Museum of Railroad Vehicles. On September 24th I and my wife went on an excursion to the Pulkovo Observatory. I had bought the tickets via an excursion website in advance. The decision to visit the observatory came after we had watched a couple of popular scientific films about the Universe, the Sun, and our planet. Those topics are unbearably interesting and thought-provoking. Individual persons will not be able to visit the museum (not without a guide), I’m afraid. But I think it is possible to do so by paying the full price as for a group. We first went to Moskovskaya metro station and ... read more
Pulkovo Observatory Museum

Europe » Finland » Satakunta » Pori October 2nd 2015

I first heard the name of Pori about a year ago when I was reading about Rauma and I thought it a nice city for a visit. First I wanted to go there on one day with Rauma, but then decided not to rush things. The opportunity to go to Finland came with an e-mail from Lux Express offering 50% discount for bus tickets to Helsinki; I at once bought them and checked the options for reaching Pori. If you check tickets via Matkahuolto website, the price will be perhaps 80 Euro a return ticket; but I found the amazing Onnibus which I had previously noticed in Helsinki – the all-red double-decker with the funny picture of a deer. Their prices were 5 Euro from Helsinki to Pori and 7 Euro the return journey. As usual, ... read more
Helsinki, Train station
Pori, Something

Europe » Finland » Eastern Uusimaa » Loviisa September 8th 2015

This entry deals with my visits to Helsinki, Kouvola and Loviisa on September 7-9. I bought Lux Express tickets for a 50% off deal (I would not go Helsinki for the full price unless badly needed) and booked my lodging at Stadium Hostel. I departed at 6-45 in the morning on September 7 and arrived in Helsinki almost an hour before the scheduled time, which was quite good. During the whole journey I watched films on the Buspad, such as “28 weeks later”, “Cloverfield”, and “X-files”. There were no queues at the border crossing. I went from Kamppi station to the Stadium Hostel on foot; it was drizzling, windy, and cold and I wished I had an umbrella and a raincoat. In the hostel I studied the map carefully and decided to walk via the Sibelius ... read more
In Helsinki
In Helsinki

Europe » Croatia » Central Croatia » Varazdin July 13th 2015

When I returned from Ljubljana I thought a lot about possible changes in my plans. It was evident that I was running the risk of staying in Split (planned for the 13thof July, return bus tickets bought in advance) for the whole day (or maybe the bus company would not have a return trip on the same day!) so I quickly decided to cancel the trip to Split and find a closer city for a half-day visit. Having arrived from Ljubljana, I entered the bus station and asked whether it was possible to refund my tickets. Thankfully, they returned the whole money minus a 10% withdrawal. I was perfectly happy with that and went to the hostel. I opened the Google maps and scanned the vicinities, reading about several nearby cities in Slovenia, Croatia, and even ... read more
Church in Varazdin
Varazdin Street in Center

Europe » Slovenia » Upper Carniola » Ljubljana July 12th 2015

I was too tired to collect my bus tickets on the previous evening and had to get up at four in the morning in order to get in time to the bus station (tickets should be collected 30 minutes before departure), the departure was at 5.30 and I had about half an hour to wait. Actually, the bus appeared some 40 minutes late. The name of the company was Croatia Bus. The drive to Slovenian border took about 25 minutes and we quickly passed it and in about two hours arrived in Ljubljana. I went on Miklosiceva Street in the direction of the city’s heart, and saw an office of my own Russian Sberbank – actually the only bank I’m using for my payments, cards and other money matters. I managed to withdraw cash from my ... read more

Europe » Croatia » Central Croatia » Zagreb July 11th 2015

July 11 I came to Zagreb from Belgrade on the 11th of July. The bus departed at 11-30 and arrived at about 16-30 to Zagreb’s main bus station. Though the location of my hostel was quite close to the station I failed to find it easily at first because I had photographed the map on my phone with poor quality and was unable to discern the street’s name. However, I went in the correct direction right from the start. I tried to find a newspaper stand or something like that to buy a map. Of course I had better take a map from the train station or the bus station right after my arrival, but the thought didn’t cross my mind. I bought a very expensive map near the train station, instead of taking a free ... read more

Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade July 9th 2015

It was a most exciting adventure, going on a train from Budapest to Novi Sad. I do not remember why, but I bought a train ticket (from the website of Hungarian Railways) to Novi Sad from Budapest’s Ferencvarosz Station. It was a difficult task to find it; I of course went the right way, but somehow overlooked the station. I expected it to be large and tourists all over, but instead I had to ask two persons for directions. One woman sent me in a wrong direction, and a man explained to me the correct way. I even managed to drive a couple of tram stations for free. Nobody checked my tickets. Ferencvarosz Station is very small; next time I will be cleverer and book tickets from Keleti Station, which is central, and from which my ... read more

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