Selwyn Clark

selclark

Selwyn Clark


TP PROFILE

Former TravelPod Member: robselclark


Joined: July 15th, 2013
From: lives in Brisbane,Australia



Oceania » Australia » Queensland June 6th 2017

Geo: -27.3855, 153.122... read more

Asia » Singapore June 6th 2017

Geo: 1.35731, 103.989... read more

Europe » Switzerland June 6th 2017

Geo: 47.4609, 8.55617As usual we had an early transfer from the hotel to the airport. Pulkovo Airport is newly built three years ago and it was fine. Our guide said Aeroflot has trouble competing with world airlines so the Government imposes high airport fees on foreign carriers. Residents of St Petersburg find it cheaper to train to Helsinki and then fly from there.We waited in the lounge with others from our group who were also flying Swiss Air. Then three hours to Zurich on an A320 and a long, six-hour wait before going on to Singapore. Swiss Air's Zurich lounge (their flagship, I guess) is the first we've seen with a chef on hand who will cook you a number of hot dishes including a minute steak, while you wait. Outdoor balcony, well stocked self-service bar ... read more
SAL A330

Europe » Russia June 5th 2017

Geo: 59.7156, 30.3948After a leisurely start we had an hour tour of the Faberge Museum. Then a 45 min drive to the re-named Pushkin Palace, home of the fabled Amber Room. This Summer Palace was built by Catherine I and vastly extended by her successors. Before the revolution Nicholas and Alexandra tried to shield their haemophiliac son from the public, and actually lived in the Summer Palace year-round for several years. And they were imprisoned there for a while after the revolution.Then a very fine lunch, a canal cruise in the rain and home to our hotel. The 14 in our group have bonded quite strongly over our travels, and we organised a very jolly evening farewell get-together at a local pub/restaurant, followed by a nightcap at the lobby bar.... read more
Pink Serpent Egg
Catherine I Summer Palace
Ballroom

Europe » Russia June 4th 2017

Geo: 59.8816, 29.9074Today we spent the morning at a pre-opening visit to the Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum. Then lunch at the Gogol Restaurant and a 35 min hydrofoil ride across the Gulf of Finland to Peterhof, to visit the gardens and bath house of Peter's Summer Palace.St Petersburg with its 42 islands and 500 bridges is known as the Venice of the North. It's a great city but is pipped by Moscow, in my opinion. I wouldn't let Natalaya hear me, but I think the exhibits in Moscow's Armoury Chamber surpassed those in the Hermitage.... read more
Grand Entrance
Hermitage
Da Vinci's Smiling Madonna

Europe » Russia June 3rd 2017

Geo: 59.9356, 30.3302Yesterday we cruised to the craft village of Mandrogi, on the Svir River. It has been constructed as a tourist attraction over the last 20 years by an entrepreneur. It is successful enough to be adopted by the authorities as an official village, and it was fun.In the afternoon we were to sail across Lake Ladoga and go down the 70 km Neva River to St P. The wind had whipped the lake waves to more than 2.5m, the safe level for the ship. So we cruised a little further down the Svir River and docked for the night. Then we boarded coaches at 6am (!) for the three-hour drive to St P. The incoming load of passengers similarly bussed it out to the docked ship. It was a bit of a bummer but ... read more
Cabin 404
Mandrogi
Mandrogi house

Europe » Russia June 1st 2017

Geo: 62.0764, 35.2217Kizhi is a small island in Lake Onega in North Russia, east of Finland. Its wooden buildings were mostly built in the 18th century, and a large-scale restoration project has been underway for many years.The winters are long up here. The popular saying is "summer is nine months of anticipation and three months of disappointment". Today is the first day of summer and It is quite light still at 10:30pm. We were woken by the dawn at 3:30am.We had another culture presentation this morning by Ludmilla, that I am now finding too much. I am more interested in her history and "life in Russia" lessons. In the avo we walked around Kizhi for a couple of hours in very cold weather with occasional bursts of sunshine. Dominoes and cocktails, then after dinner more culture, ... read more
Ensemble
Pre-restoration
Carpenter

Europe » Russia May 31st 2017

Geo: 59.8685, 38.2509Goritsy is a small river village whose main feature is a 15th century convent. As is common in rural Russia, this is complemented by a monastery in the nearby town of Kirillov. The monastery was founded in 1397 and is one of the largest in Russia. These institutions (especially convents) were favourite places for the exiling of widowed or divorced nobles, where they often lived out their days in prison conditions.We visited the monastery in cold and slightly rainy weather. Ludmilla gave another great talk, on Russian arts this time. Our team won the Pick the Liar competition after dinner.... read more
Kirillov Monastery
Lace museum
Lace template

Europe » Russia May 30th 2017

Geo: 57.636, 39.8928We had a long tour of Yaroslavl this morning. An industrial city of some 600,000 people. The Russian Federation has 13 cities with a population of more than 1M, in its total of 146M. Women outnumber men by a large margin: 78M to 68M. What was the USSR became 15 countries in 1991.... read more
Governor's house
Religious icon
Icon "mask"

Europe » Russia May 29th 2017

Geo: 57.5247, 38.3328We embarked our ship on Sunday afternoon. The Volga Dream carries a maximum of 109 passengers (95 on this trip) on four decks. We have a nice suite on the top deck. It is comfortable and functional but not especially luxurious. The food is good and the staff pleasant and efficient. Wine and beer are included with lunch and dinner, which is fine.The first night and most of the next day were spent cruising. We had an interesting and passionate talk from Ludmilla, our history professor guest speaker. She disagrees with the majority view that Gorbachev was a bad leader and she also vehemently opposes the nostalgic view that Stalin may not have been so bad. She is not a fan of Putin but recognises that the most important values for the Russian people ... read more
Folk singers
Prince's Chamber




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