Blogs from Centre, Russia, Europe


Europe » Russia » Centre » Vladimir May 4th 2020

url= So, its 04 May and we are at Yaroslavl after a lazy breakfast, we take the bus to Uglich but get off at Rostov . The journey is picturusque but quite short.Less than an hour later we alight in one of the oldest towns in Russia. It dates back to 862 , now a quaint peaceful village with four monasteries, churches and the tranquil Lake Nero, the Kremlin( a citadel) is worth a walk around to feel the history. During the Tatar-Mongol Invasion the city was almost totally destroyed but today the perfectly proportioned towers, the immaculately laid out gardens and the white stoned churches make it a charming town. .It is one of the golden ring town,serene and beautiful. We let t... read more

Europe » Russia » Centre » Vladimir April 28th 2020

If it was not for Corona we were booked for our annual holiday starting today. The trip that could have been! Virtual is the new world, so I thought I would travel virtual and take the readers on this holiday with me. 28 Apr – Flight from New Delhi in the morning and here we are in Moscow at 5.25 am . First things first- Bought a SIM card From Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) took the airport train to Kursky Station and then a train from the left side of the station to Vladimir . We plan to do the golden triangle before doing Moscow. Checked into the hotel and by 12 noon we were good to go! Took a taxi to go around the main sights in Vladimir . The Golden Gates built in 1164 ... read more

Europe » Russia » Centre » Uglich April 25th 2020

Russia's first Tsar, Ivan the Terrible had 7 wives...3 died resulting in his remarriage following their demise and 3 were sent to a monastery. G. Manaev in an Article "The madness of 3 Russian Tsars, and the truth behind it" says 3 wives that died were poisoned, presumably by his enemies or the royal families, who wanted to promote daughters to be tsar's brides. Ivan the Terrible had 8 children of which 4 were sons. The first son Dmitri died in infancy...the second son Ivan was purportedly killed by his father in 1581...the third son Feodor succeeded him as Tsar and the fourth son another Dmitri was killed in dubious circumstances in 1591 at age 8 years following his father's death. The deaths of the killed sons Ivan and Dmitri are steeped in infamy and intrigue. ... read more
Church of Dmitry on the Blood

Europe » Russia » Centre » Yaroslavl April 5th 2020

On our wedding day Denise & I exchanged gold rings. I was then told I could kiss my bride. I moved in and picked her up which brought gasps and squeals of delight. We then kissed long and hard. The minister said he had never seen that before. I thought he was referring to lifting her off her feet and swinging her around...maybe it was the length of the kiss. Denise also might have been surprised but I picked her up before I kissed her to ensure our kiss was not awkward or distract and relax before we did the deed you might say. Those in attendance described it as a "Jazz Wedding"...'cos we had a hot band instead of an organist. We had attended a massive rock concert with heaps of bands the day ... read more
Cathedral of the Assumption
St Elijah the Prophet
Yaroslavl old town

Europe » Russia » Centre » Vologda Oblast March 23rd 2020

My Great Uncle Cyril stowed on a ship as a lad...discovered and made cabin boy...arrived in Canada and spawned. Met him on a visit to Australia where he enchanted me with the way he said "Hi"...or was it his 17 year old granddaughter that caught my eye? One of his daughters represented Canada in the Winter Olympics in Curling..."What's that?" I remember asking. He smoked a pipe so I made him a pottery ashtray. Years later I heard he had become blind and was responsible for burning down his retirement home in Canada...some mishap with his pipe in bed...or was it 'cos of my ashtray? As we cruise the Volga-Baltic Waterway in Vologda Oblast of northern Russia...crossing Beloye Lake (White Lake) where the Sheksna River joins the flow...another Cyril is about to enter my life...St Cyril ... read more
Lake Beloye...White Lake
John the Baptist

Europe » Russia » Centre September 29th 2019

Unlike my usual meandering drivel, in case anyone has stumbled onto this blog seeking guidance on taking the Trans-Siberian Railway, I will actually provide some. This relates to our trip which we took throughout July 2019. Later on I'll share a few comments on where we stopped. It was a lot easier and cheaper to organise than we expected. We spent a few hours one night while still in the UK and booked nine individual tickets that would get us from St Petersburg to the Mongolian border with plenty of stops in between over 3.5 weeks. The Russian Railways website is very easy to use and the app makes printouts of your tickets unnecessary. We only had to actually show the ticket on my phone once as your ticket is linked to your passport which is ... read more
St Petersburg to Moscow train
Suzdal Kremlin
The Hermitage, St Petersburg

Europe » Russia » Centre July 20th 2018

So, I've been wanting to take a solo trip for a while now. It's easy to get people to go to Europe with you. Even Iceland. Costa Rica? Heck yeah. Machu Picchu? Sign them up, even my kids. Who wants to go to Russia?? (((((crickets)))) So, there you have it. The logical choice for my first solo trip. Plane tickets aren't so expensive if you are willing to travel in economy. Airbnbs are cheap. I think I'm spending around $300 for 6 nights in Moscow and St. Petersburg. I used hotel points for a free night in Finland for my layover home. Bonus country! Get to spend the evening and the next morning exploring Helsinki. The rub? Finding out that U.S. Citizens need a Visa to enter Russia. Embassy fees run about $150. However, dealing with ... read more

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 » Centre » Obninsk April 30th 2018

Day 16 We started the day with a tour of some of the subway stations. In the 1950’s the government constructed magnificent subway stations as a way of showing the people what their country would be like at the end of the Revolution when the new world was ready. The stations are decorated with marble, chandeliers, statues, stained glass and mosaics and immaculate. 8 of the 15 million residents use the system on any work day. The comparison to our subways is unavoidable and our subways are dirty and unreliable. All the stations are immaculate. On one of the train rides, we were approached by a young Russian man. He said he really liked the USA because of the NRA and our ability to buy guns. In Russia he said it was hard to even buy ... read more

Europe » Russia » Centre » Obninsk April 29th 2018

Day 15 This morning’s tour was of the Armoury Chamber and the Kremlin. We went to an alternative entrance because the line was too long at the first entrance, but we still had to wait 30 minutes to get in. Since our guide hadn’t planned on this we speed toured the Armoury. The Museum contains artifacts from the Tsars going back to Peter the Great. Peter was 6’7” which made him a giant for his time, but according to our guide who was about my size, his feet were only 2 sizes larger than her feet. They had carriages from Elisabeth who nearly bankrupted the government with her profligate spending. We still appreciate the buildings in St Petersburg she funded, but have a hard time understanding why one person needed 300 carriages and 15,000 dresses. It ... read more
Moscow Square
Red Square

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