Hello again from Russia!
My trip here is winding down all too soon!
However, I thought I might share some of photos I took while here and to share what I am seeing and how I see it.
I know in my last Blog I talked about how the Russians drive compared to Americans. By the way, I must say that it seems to work for them. I hardly ever hear a Horn blowing. And having grown up in NYC and living in big cities all my life, horns are a way of life (unfortunately!)
I know horns are silly—I mean, no one listens to them anyway as most people blow them out of frustration or anger–not life or death!
But anyway, back to Russia! And my photos! I must say that I took all these photos on my Iphone! So bear with me and with the quality of them—it was minus 16 degrees Celsius! Yes, I did say MINUS!
My fingers were frozen and to get anyone to stop to take a picture of me at a site was, well, next to impossible (not to mention that my Russian is unforgivable!)
The few I got were not viewable!
I must say that I think that St Pete’s is the prettiest city I have ever seen! It just really appeals to my sense of beauty and order. It is so clean (for the number of tourists in the summer, it is actually quite remarkable!) and the architecture is spectacular! But, being that it is Christmas here and New Year’s (I think New Year’s is more important than Christmas to the Russians because it is promoted more than the Religious Holidays) the city has put on the RITZ!
I do not think that I have seen a city strut its stuff like St Pete’s does. There are Decorated trees on EVERY block! And no two trees around the city are alike! Peter the Great introduced the trees in the 1800’s after a trip to Europe. For the fact that this is not a custom that originated in Russia, the Russians have embrace the tree more and any other European City I have been in!
SERIOUSLY, they are EVERYWHERE! Happily!
I got only a couple in photos because they all have moving lights and look bare in photos.
The bridges are decorated to the hilt all year long-but at Christmas they go all-out. One bridge has a lighted Santa on it and he is bowling with snowballs. As the snowballs pile up they become a Snowman! So funny! And so pretty to watch the lights…..No, I did not photo that because it is the movement of the lights that makes it so special and I cannot capture it on my Iphone!
But I did capture the lights down Nevsky Prospect! I have this photo of what it is like during the day (I know, St Pete’s is dark and depressing during the day: it is dark from 3pm-11am practically!)
But at night (see side photo!) they let the dogs out!!
At one point I told my guide: “OK, if it comes down to a hot cup of tea at SINGER (pronounced zinGer)
or a Santa Claus—the cup of tea wins out!”So we went to Singer…..
I happen to love Singer- it reminds me of the 50’s sweet shops! Not that I was alive then, but I HAVE seen pictures!
I don’t think they have renovated this shop in many years, but they take such good care of it—and it is SO nice. Life slows down here! You can sit in the big windows and look down on the hustle and bustle of the Nevsky and feel warm and cozy with a nice cup of Jasmine Green Tea!
I Only got two photos of the building itself.
It has snowed for the last couple of days for as much as it snows, I was surprised to see that I got only one photo of the snow! The photo I got of the snow is this one from the front window of the car! It is while I was driving down the Nevsky that I got it. You can just barely make out the snow oh, and the Nevsky lights! I mean, it is hard to shoot photos here because it is always so dark!!
One beautifully decorated area that get honorable Mention is this area called the Stock Exchange. This was an area where all the boats used to dock to bring goods into St Petersburg.
Then they would take the goods into this building
And be “traded.” I have never seen a building done up quite like this one!
These lights go ALL THE WAY AROUND the building! Every column, every window sill, every eve!
By they way, marriages are very simple in Russia. The couple goes to the town hall, signs in and then takes a limo around town to shoot photos. Maybe they stop with their friends to eat…
I mention this because this area is also a favorite stop for newly weds taking photos. This is their Hummer limo!
I went to see a Modern version of Cinderella— I will not discuss the fact that it had a scene with Prince Charming in a section of town frequented with “Women in RED!!” And a scene with all men…..(ah! Modern take on an old classic!) But I will tell you that the Merinski Theater is BEAUTIFUL inside.
I will be going to Christmas Mass in one of my two favorite churches. This church, The Church of the Sacred Blood, is made totally of tiles and mosaic! There is not one PAINTED wall in the WHOLE church! This church was bombed during WWI and WWII. Thank goodness they decided to put the church back together and not tear it down. It is a unique church. I don’t think I have seen another like it. And my OTHER favorite church is this one. I call it the Church of the Miracles as it has a an Icon of Mary and Jesus that people line up for hours to wait to light a candle and to kiss the Icon!I have done it at least twice.
Well, time to go work out! The one good thing about being here (I mean there are many good things here, but for me, right now, I want to rest and take care of ME!)
Anyway, the one good thing about being here is the GYM at my hotel!!!
The best GYM I have EVER seen. Makes working out a pleasure—well, almost!
I eat RAW so I don’t HAVE to work out, I work out because I want to work out! And I think that makes all the difference in the world!
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE:
MERRY CHRISTMAS and THE BEST NEW YEAR EVER!