Blogs from Russia, Europe - page 9


Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg November 11th 2014

We gathered at 7am to have breakfast in order to catch a taxi to the Prague Airport at 7.30. The driver was on time and for the sum of about $30, he took us to the airport. Passing through customs and security for Russia, you are scanned twice, your passport is looked at thoroughly, Tim was asked a few questions because of his previous visits, your photo is taken and then .......welcome! The flight was quite rough as we were on a small airbus and hit a lot of turbulence. This aircraft had the least leg room I've ever experienced and my knees touched the seat in front. The food was a drink and a chicken roll wrapped in cling wrap. As we touched down, there was a round of applause for the crew, which almost ... read more
Admiralty Gardens
St Nicholas's from the Gardens
Kunstkammer Museum

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg November 11th 2014

Today we slept in as my phone did not adjust it's time, and and the alarm was hours away from going off; I think it was a soviet plot personally. We had breakfast at Zoom Zoom, an interesting little cafe just around the corner from us. It was actually about 15 minutes away but I think I'm adjusting to the Tim and Natalia Timezone where everything is underestimated, to lull you into a false sense of security. After breakfast we walked through a few backstreets and went to a local market which no tourist would normally visit. It sold all the things real Russians needed at the right price. It was like busy Asian market meets mafia sort of tone and I'm sure the roaming security guards were there for a purpose. This was a very ... read more
A nice start to the day and great food
The Bank Bridge
The Bank Bridge

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Ulan-Ude November 3rd 2014

Hello All, We had a long day on the train, we had a few hours each side of the Russian-Mongolian boarder but there was really nothing there apart from a kiosk with out-of-date items. So our day was spent eating noodles, watching spooks and reading, plus loads of chatting!!! To be fair this time we all got healthier foods for the train like tomatoes, cheese, bread, fruit and other good stuff. Our passports and visas were checked thoroughly, about 6 times; nice to see they are thorough unlike England. Anyone planning to do this trip should really look at making sure they have books, kindle, laptop or something to keep themselves busy, also stock up on food as its expensive on the train and will be cheaper in a supermarket in Russia. As normal we ended ... read more

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Irkutsk November 2nd 2014

Hi All, So we woke to a Russia breakfast of omelet and cucumber. Our honcho decided not to turn up in the morning and so we all went for a long walk in our group of six. We took some great photos down on the Lake. On our return she had a bit of a sulk because we wanted to go early. We then headed into Irkursk where our honcho showed us the cities main sites. A list of the sites she showed us include… · Raising of the Cross Church · The Saviours Church · The statue of TSAR Alexander the III · Lenin Statue · Yuri Gagarin Statue · Angara River and banks · An impressive mall · London Pub-with pints of good Russian beer We went to a ropey café for lunch everyone ... read more

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Irkutsk November 1st 2014

Hello All, So today we have reached Lake Baikal. We were all really tired after a horrible night sleep on the train due to people coming and going at lots of station stops throughout the night. Jo had a Russian women think it was acceptable to sit on her bed at 3am after a swift kick she moved but on to Neil's bed....Russians have very limited social awareness!!! We arrived into a quaint little village Listvyanka, lake Baikal with the snow topped mountains in the background, it looks beautiful here. Its also not as cold as we thought it would be-bonus for Vicky :) It was -15 degrees 4 days ago and now a comfortable -2 which is T-shrt weather!! We set out straight away with the group and the honcho (who was very hungover from ... read more
Lake Baikal

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Novosibirsk October 28th 2014

Hi All, Due to no wifi from Moscow to Listvynaka we have not been able to blog, so this is to cover days 6 to 9 and today will be separate. So last blog we had met our fellow travellers: Tom, Martina, Jo, Katie. Facts: -3rd class sleeper (a pull down bed, approx 60 people in a carriage = no privacy at all) -approximately 54 Russian Soldiers in out carriage... and us. This was very daunting at first!! - 3.5 days and 4 nights on the train Good memories from the train: - Meeting so many Russian soldiers- they were between 19-21 years, couldn't speak much English but they were great fun, we drank, played cards and shared cultures by broken languages and pictures. - 3 duvet days we didn't feel guilty about -watching the landscape ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow October 27th 2014

Today we have arrived in Moscow, the Russian Capital!!! The train arrived spot on time at 0830 and after we both had a good nights sleep on the sleeper train (hope the 12 days on this next one are as easy). So our start in Moscow did not go as planned we got the metro from the train station after a massive hike, then went the wrong way on the metro, then could not find the brown coloured metro, then got stuck in a massive queue (was mental Vicky nearly got trampled alive) but eventually we got to the station close to our hostel....or so we thought!!! So after standing around and trying to "get in the map" (my friends quote went over Vicky's head) we asked a few people who didn't really help after walking ... read more
Red Square
See people putting coins in this wall so whine Rome!!!
Red Square

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg October 26th 2014

Hi Everyone!!! So today we had no Honcho so first day alone in Saint Petersburg, After a good nights sleep (where I did not snore or talk in my sleep) we headed into the city. Our plan was to head to the Peterhof and Tsarskoe Selo which are palace estates and castles built as summer homes, however, trying to understand where the buses were and which one to get was a minefield so after a walk down we decided to change our plans. We went to the Russian museum which shows the history of Russia including all their old and new areas, so this covered all the different religions as well. It was interesting but not really our cup of tea!! We then looked at the Stroganov Palace and the Kazan Cathedral which are very old, ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest October 25th 2014

Hi all! Didn't have a brilliant night sleep, the dorm of 10 had people coming and going all night it seemed; then there is always that one person that snores and sleep talks :( Fortunately that person was Neil waking up the rest of the room with his noises so I had permission to punch him every time I was just starting to drift off again since the last snort! Anyway, woke up to meet Anna our honcho (tour guide) who took us on a marathon site seeing day of the city: -Hermitage Museum seeing the priceless painting 'Madonna and child' by Da Vinci. -Peter and Pauls Fortress -St Isaac's Cathedral (262 steps for great panoramic views) -Church of Spilled blood We went to lunch for a traditional Russian omelette thing (potato pancakes AKA rosti's) and ... read more
Church of Spilled Blood
Above St Issac's Cathedral
At the Hermitage

Europe » Russia » Centre October 25th 2014

The visit to Torzhok is my final day trip from Moscow. I am leaving to St. Petersburg, if nothing goes wrong, next Friday on October 31. After that, I intend to go to my native town for a couple of days. For the next few months I will be working freelance and stay in St. Petersburg. Torzhok presents some difficulty from the transportation point of view, but the problem is solved easily with the help of a commuter train to Tver and a bus from there. The commuter train takes about two hours and the bus – about an hour. Tver, I supposed, need not be included in the list of must-sees for a foreigner in Russia, but as such it is an interesting city and it meets my own sightseeing criteria (I’ve been there in ... read more

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