Blogs from Saint Petersburg, Northwest, Russia, Europe


Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg January 9th 2019

Most of you know we have downsized our lives, moved back to my hometown area, and tried to minimize our lives in many ways. This process of simplifying has made our lives better in many ways. One, is less drama, and two, is fewer obligations and expenses. Along the way, we have benefitted from many suggestions, many of which center on getting rid of things. ... read more
Go solo if nobody else wants to go.

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg December 21st 2018

On a Baltic cruise, prepare to sample a delightful diversity of cultures and history and bask in the rich natural beauty of the region. You'll enter a tapestry of stories which include the lore of the Vikings, the Hanseatic League, Peter the Great, and Catherine the Great. Discover the lands of Hans Christian Andersen and Alfred Nobel. Cruise highlights can include ports of call in Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Tallinn, Estonia; Stockholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark; and the breaktaking fjord country of Norway. Visitors to Helsinki, Finland can revel in its cosmopolitan flair as well as its historical past. Finnish cultural touchstones include the Senaatintori, or Senate Square; Temppeliaukion, the Church of the Rock; the Helsinki Cathedral, Tuomiokirkko; Ateneum Art Museum, and the National Museum; the medieval Hame Castle; and the sea fortress of Soumenlinna, built ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg September 19th 2018

This is our third and final night in St. Petersburg. Our days have been chockfull of activities, our tour trying to cram as much in our three days here as possible. Monday night I slept for four hours straight, and that turned out to be it, my third night in a row without adequate sleep. So on Tuesday I lasted until mid-afternoon, and then had the very unusual (for me) experience of feeling tired. This is a relatively unique occurrence for me, but without enough sleep for several nights even exciting days in a foreign country can feel heavy at times. And on Tuesday we had hardly any down time at all to catch our breath, which is actually the way I prefer to travel. Tuesday morning we visited the Hermitage, Peter the Great's (and other ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg September 17th 2018

I am in Russia! St. Petersburg, to be specific. It's been a long and eventful twenty-nine hours since I climbed off the plane in Helsinki, Finland yesterday afternoon. Now it is bedtime; I can read the time on my clock, but my body is very confused and quite tired. This time I am travelling with Trafalgar, and so far I am very relieved that everything has been excellent. After Bill's and my less than pleasant trip with Cosmos this summer, I didn't know what to expect with this company and worried a bit that this might be another mistake. But so far all is very well. Much information is given during our bus travels, and the hotels are located perfectly in city centers. There are 47 of us on this tour, filling a whole bus, but ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg September 4th 2018

Our feet are really tired from walking 65,000 miles each day, give or take a mile, so we were happy to have this morning free. Free to do the washing and just to be leisurely! We have met some delightful people - from Camden, Newport and Riverview in NSW, and the Gold Coast and Townsville in Qld, Melbourne in Victoria and Perth in WA. Such a small world. We’ve also met some lovely English and Americans. Tom has been told twice that he reminds people of Robin Williams - the first day, on arrival at Stockholm airport the passport control man commented, and the second time was our second night on board the ship at formal dinner - the American family at the table next to us. St Petersburg has been delightful. Such a beautiful city, ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg September 3rd 2018

Wow! What a huge day today! We were up early because our first tour was leaving at 9, and we’d gotten to bed after midnight last night! So after a quick brekkie, we were off, through border control and onto our tour bus with the great Andrey, the local tour guide. So we were off to the Hermitage. We were very lucky because the museum, which is usually seen by 30,000 people each day, but is closed on Mondays, was opened particularly for us. The Hermitage was built as a private museum for Catherine the Great and if you spent a minute in front of each exhibit you would take 8 years to go through it. So we toured the highlights of the highlights tour!! We went through the Winter Palace, the Small Hermitage, the Old ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg September 2nd 2018

We were making our way through the entrance to St Petersburg as we awoke this morning. The sky was heavy with dismal looking clouds and we thought it was wintery but by 10am the sun had burnt the cloud off and it was a gorgeous blue sky day. We breakfasted in La Terraza and then found some more parts of the ship we hadn’t seen before, making our way up to the library lounge at the top of the front of the ship. We spent some time in there before wandering back down to our suite. I’ve been madly reading my book and just want to sit and read (The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton), but this is not to be done. We had an early lunch up at the pizzeria above the pool deck - ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg August 26th 2018

Our last full day in St Petersburg was spent taking a 3 hour walking tour from the Anichkov Bridge on Nevsky Avenue Where we met our tour guide Glenn. It was a rainy start to the day so we were the only ones that turned up so we ended up having a personalised 3 hour tour of St Petersburg. Glenn took us around the back streets of St Petersburg where we learned that St Petersberg is a young City mostly built in the 1800’s by 5 Italian and French architects who left their imprint on this city on a big way. St Petersburg has borrowed its sense of place from all the great European cities so there are parts of St Petersburg which make you feel like you are visiting Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, Florence. We ... read more
St Petersburg
St Petersburg
St Petersburg

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg August 25th 2018

After a big day yesterday we had breakfast at the hotel and headed for the hop on hop off bus at St Isaac’s Cathedral and headed along the Main Street to Victory Square where there is a huge granite column commemorating the 900 day siege of Leningrad from 1941 to 1943 which without the bravery of the citizens of Leningrad would of almost certainly fell to the Nazi’s and the city destroyed. Around the perimeter of Victory Square, we visited the “Moscow“ Railway Station (main train line to Moscow) which is the last surviving structure by a famous French architect as well as a brand new western style shopping mall “The Galleria” which included most of the high end fashion labels in Andrew’s Wardrobe except for Harris Scarfe says Tish. We visited a number of shops ... read more
St Petersburg
St Petersburg
St Petersburg

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg August 24th 2018

The Princess Anastasia arrived in St Petersburg at around 8:00 am and after breakfast, we joined the VIP departure at 8:50 am towards Russian Immigration then followed by the Shuttle Bus to St Isaacs Square. After all the travelling we have done over the last 36 hours coupled with arriving in a place with a language that is very different to English we were both pretty disorientated but the penny finally dropped with our orientation on the three maps we were carrying and we made the short 5 minute walk to our accommodation. After dropping our bags off, we headed straight for St Isaacs Cathedral and the hop on - hop off bus and travelled the two routes around St Petersburg, The audio narration of the bus was excellent and provided us with a background to ... read more
St Petersburg
St Petersburg
St Petersburg

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