Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Saint Petersburg, Sankt Peterburg, Russia
Oct 19, 2013 - Days 59 to 63 - St Petersburg (Russia)
It was Monday 14th October and I found myself on a fairly chilly Vilnius platform, waiting for the 19.50 train to St Petersburg. I had booked into a 4-bed kupé, so the main question was who would my companions be? Well, as it turned out, we were all western travellers but how we had come to be in an all-western kupé was a quandary, as we had all booked through different agents. My travelling companions were Rachel and Chris, an English couple from Scotland (?) and Trent, an Australian. As we organised our possessions and sorted the sleeping...Jump to full entry
The Church of the Resurrection Built on Spilt Blood will definitely not be to everyone’s tastes, but it is impossible not to admire the dedication and craftsmanship that has gone into the building, and hence it has its own post. The exterior of the building is impressive enough, but once you enter the church the decorations are fabulous. Every surface above 2.0m has been decorated in an extravagant and opulent style, and I mean every surface; walls, column faces, curved domes and ceilings are all covered in artwork depicting various stories...Jump to full entry
Oct 12, 2013 - Tallinn tales
Today started quietly and except for the lack of sleep, everything is great. We went out first in the bus for a bit of orientation and then walked from the top of the old town where nobles lived, down to the lower bit where merchants lived and worked. It was staggering to hear the ages of the buildings. I've got a photo of a house built in 1410, which is the exact number of the room I'm in. Kevin bought a jumper from the sweater market, but my money was safe. I'm not feeling the need particularly to buy souvenirs from here. David and Kevin...Jump to full entry
Oct 10, 2013 - And the band played Waltzing Matilda.
Another action packed day. Up and out. Onto another little bus and off to Catherine palace. St Petersburg is exceptionally flat, and a bit swampy, but the autumn colours are divine - the pix wont do them justice though. When we got there a little band welcomed us with Advance Australia Fair and Waltzing Matilda. That was so much min and so lovely to here it. I could have cried. It's weird that little things like that can make you so instantly homesick. Catherine palace was a dichotomy. So incredibly beautiful and hideously extravagant....Jump to full entry
Oct 9, 2013 - A city with many names
Today I learnt that st Petersburg has had more name changes than I've had hot dinners. It started off as St Petersburg, then Petrograd, then Leningrad and then back to st Petersburg. It was named fate the saint, not the Tzar. Peterhof, however, where we went today was named after Peter the 1st. We drove out of the city with our eyes popping out over the endless block after block and not just against the highway, but back to the horizon of apartment buildings. We saw not just trolley cars but trams as well. Interesting that the further...Jump to full entry
Oct 8, 2013 - The very fast train and St Petersburg
We all met at 5.20 as directed, checked out and got our brekky box. The brekky box was enormous and could have fed a small third world country. ham and cheese roll, a separate bread roll with three lumps of cheese, an apple, a banana, and a bottle of water. most of the group started fanging on the food straight away, as if they'd never seen food before. i couldnt face food at that time of the morning. neurotic lynne started bossing everyone around. hand all of your boxes over and i'll stack them up... seriously...over involvement and over...Jump to full entry
Jul 4, 2013 - Leaving St Petersburg.
Well, we managed it. Three weeks in Russia with no language and nothing booked before we arrived. We managed to go everywhere we wanted, see everything on our list, eat and drink well, get ripped off by taxi drivers (only once badly), and even managed a few unplanned activities (a ride in an ambulance and a visit to the emergency department of a public hospital). Not bad for a couple of geriatric Irish/Chinese Aussies if I do say so myself! Overall, we found the people to be friendly and helpful even if, outside the major hotels, they had...Jump to full entry
Jul 2, 2013 - White Nights!
Given that we were catching a late afternoon train to St Petersburg (4.40pm departure), we had a late and leisurely start to the day. We had breakfast and checked out at noon, left our bags at reception and went for a wander. There wasn't a lot left to see in the area around the hotel and we didn't feel like going too far in the heat so we soon returned to the hotel. We took up station (ha ha) in the hotel restaurant (free Wi-Fi) and I logged on the follow the Wallabies progress. There was a sports bar down the road but they were showing...Jump to full entry
Jun 30, 2013 - Dresden to Prague
After a hearty breakfast I checked out and headed to the station. I was a little early but no time to do much. The station once was beautiful but had been destroyed I assume during WW11 and has recently been restored and the leaking roof fixed. It look great but not as it was of course. When I got on the train a Spanish woman was sitting in my seat. I showed her my ticket but she was totally unimpressed but moved elsewhere. Her husband was sitting in another row! There were empty seats so she could have moved. I could have moved as well as...Jump to full entry
Jun 29, 2013 - Dresden
After a good nights sleep and a delicious breakfast in the breakfast room I then headed off to explore a little more of Dresden. The hotel had seemed very quiet the night before but I had to wait for a table at breakfast. With a better bump of location I walked to the Post Platz where all the shops and train meet. I first went to the Zwinger Gallery that I had looked at from the outside the evening before. First the masters area where there were endless fabulous paintings. Europe is so full of amazing works of art that out Galleries...Jump to full entry
Jun 28, 2013 - Dresden
From Berlin I made my way to Dresden by train. Berlin station was enormous but I worked out the lay out as I had plenty of time. I decided to go to the loo before catching the train and found that one has to line up and buy a ticket.The system works quite well and the toilets are kept clean. The lady on duty was zipping around cleaning after every client and was like a bee in a bottle The train arrived and I found my seat which was in a compartment. There was one German lady and a Melbourne family. They were very pleasant and obviously well...Jump to full entry
Jun 27, 2013 - Sanssouci - Berlin
After another a lovely breakfast at the hotel where the staff were as pleasant as ever I headed off on another exploration of Berlin. It will be had to return to Muslei after smoked salmon and delicious cheeses so I am enjoying it while I can. The Swissotel Berlin has been the best hotel during my stay in Europe as it is modern and everyone is so helpful. It makes a big difference when the staff try and are cheerful. I decided that I didn't need to book a tour and as it was easy to catch a local train to Potsdam. It was easy to work out how...Jump to full entry