Page 2 of alferov Travel Blog Posts

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

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest July 8th 2015

The cost of flying from St. Petersburg to Belgrade was rather high and instead of going direct I chose to fly via Budapest and see its sights. I bought the tickets only one month before departure from Wizz Air, and I had done some careful planning and research of possible bus routes, connections, train schedules, the surrounding countries, and finally decided to visit Budapest, Novi Sad, Zagreb, and Ljubljana. I also had to obtain a Schengen visa. I flew from Moscow to Budapest early in the morning. I came to Moscow from St. Petersburg at 3.40 on the morning of July 8th and stayed at Kursky Train Station until the metro opened. The flight departure was one hour late. Arrived in Budapest, I bought a bus ticket to Kobanya-Kispest metro station which is its terminus and ... read more

Europe » Finland » Kymenlaakso » Hamina July 1st 2015

On the first of July I went on a guided bus tour with Konstanta Tour Company to two Finnish cities not far from the Russian border, namely Hamina and Kotka. I have a Schengen multivisa valid until 16 December 2015 and I hope to visit five or six interesting cities in Finland, and of course I’ll try to arrange trips to other nearby countries such as Estonia, Latvia, Poland, and probably some others. The said tour company has lots of day (1.5 day) trips to many Finnish cities for very low prices. The first thing we saw upon arriving to Hamina was an old military tank with a Nazi emblem. We had about an hour or two at our disposal, we could devote it either to sightseeing or to shopping (as Russian tourists like to do ... read more
Monument to Varvara Schantin

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg June 21st 2015

I went to Sestroretsk (the name can be rendered as ‘the City on the Sister River’) with a friend of mine, Igor, who came from Birsk to St. Petersburg for a week. From the administrative viewpoint, Sestroretsk is a part of the city of St. Petersburg, its Kurortny District. It is a well-known climatic resort on the coast of the Gulf of Finland. The city is made up of six districts, namely Gorskaya, Alexandrovskaya, Takhovka, Razliv, Kurort, and Dyuny. It can be reached easily from Finland Railway Station (about 45 minutes on commuter train) or by buses (I think from Chernaya Rechka or Staraya Derevnya metro station). Sestroretsk is among the few remaining places in the vicinity of Petersburg which I haven’t visited. The city is worthy of a single-day visit or perhaps longer if the ... read more
Petersburg, Letniy Sad
Petersburg, Letniy Sad
Petersburg, Letniy Sad

Europe » Russia » Northwest June 13th 2015

14 June 2015 My wife wanted to visit the Ruskeala marble quarry and so did I. I searched the web for guided tours and found the cheapest one-day trip from Petersburg to Ruskeala via Priozersk and Sortavala with Scan Tour Company. I paid for the tour by bank card without visiting any offices. Unfortunately the tour was cancelled due to technical reasons (perhaps the bus was broken) on the initial date, 13 June, and postponed till 14 June. This entry mainly deals with three interesting places: Priozersk and its Korela Fortress, Sortavala, and Ruskeala Marble Quarry (including the story of a Soviet war movie re-shoot in 2015). The bus departed at 8 in the morning from Ozerki Metro Station, about ten minutes’ walk from our home. We bought some food products on the day before to ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul May 24th 2015

22 May My wife had the wish to visit a certain medical goods factory in Istanbul (it is somewhat related to her job) and so she suggested our trip to the capital of Turkey for 5 days. I was reluctant to go at first, because of tight budget, but finally got excited and we bought Turkish Airlines tickets (non-stop, direct from Petersburg to Istanbul). I knew Istanbul is an amazing city and so I saw it with my own eyes. When I write about Russian cities and towns I usually interweave the narrative with facts and figures, but I won’t do this for Istanbul. Anyhow, you’ll see the city on your own. The good thing about non-cheap flights is that their departure and arrival times are very convenient, without the rush in the morning or sleepless ... read more

Europe » Russia » Centre May 9th 2015

The reasons for going via Arzamas from St. Petersburg to my hometown of Birsk on May 9 are quite simple. The Russian Railways offer 50% on most train tickets on May 8 and 9. The location of Arzamas is the most convenient for splitting the journey in two short legs without the need for a sleepless night or other inconveniences. I bought a train ticket Petersburg-Arzamas for the eighth, and Arzamas-Yanaul for the ninth of May. I glanced through web articles about Arzamas and found it worthy of a visit. Though the time between the two trains might be shorter, but in any case I was fully satisfied with the arrangements. The city of Arzamas was founded in XVI century, and at first a military frontier fortress was built there. The city development was facilitated by ... read more

Europe » Russia » Centre » Kaluga March 20th 2015

Kaluga is situated on the banks of Oka 160 km away from Moscow. Kaluga is first and foremost famous due to Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the outstanding inventor and theorist of cosmonautics, who lived there from 1892 till 1935. Nowadays Kaluga is a major transport hub, one of the scientific, cultural, economic and spiritual centres of the Central Federal District of Russia. And it has a lot of sights! My train from Yanaul to Moscow arrived in the morning at 5.38. I have spent three days in Moscow with my wife at her friends’ place; we stayed in the Kommunarka settlement just outside the MKAD, visited the Vorobyovy Gory viewing platform, where nothing could be seen due to the fog, and walked a little along the embankment), then I spent nine days in my hometown. My companion for ... read more

Europe » Russia » South » Sochi January 19th 2015

January 18 The visit to Russian Olympic Rosa Khutor Skiing Resort was a substitute for my two Alps plans. It was due to, on the one hand, to the dropping ruble, and on the other hand due to lack of work so I didn’t manage to earn enough money. I studied the official website of Rosa and found it to be quite a high-quality place for skiing. I invited my friend Alexei for a week trip there. The currency exchange rate was absolutely not important in case of Rosa – I paid just exactly what it cost, while almost any European trip has become twice as expensive. On January 18 I got up at 5 o’clock in the morning. My departure from St. Petersburg to Sochi by Aeroflot Airlines was at 8-45. I saw the huge ... read more
Adler Train Station
Olympic Park

Europe » Russia » Volga November 21st 2014

I finally finished all work in Moscow and returned to St. Petersburg. In a short while, I went to my home town, Birsk, where I stayed for eight days. I published my collection of folk tales on Amazon in electronic format and hope to become richer by that, and also by publishing an electronic book about travelling in Russia. I think Russia as a travel destination is hugely underestimated and needs reconsideration and reassessment in all aspects. I do not know what comes out of my efforts, but I will try and present this travel book in half a year, perhaps (I want to visit many more interesting places). I wanted to go to an interesting city on my return journey to St. Petersburg. I had initially planned three small trips, one to Cologne, also to ... read more

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