Archive for May, 2012

May 31 2012

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More Walk Around Talinn Old City

Date: 9th April 2012

 

With the wool with me, we continued to walk (back to the main square):

 

The Old City of Talinn is very well preserved:

 

Cold clear day..

 

Climbing up some stairs to the higher part of the olc city:

 

Once up there, we came across some old city wall:

 

Beautiful church:

 

Archery anyone?

 

Came across a group of tourists (guided):

 

Keep on walking:

 

and walking…

 

Our map indicated a lookout area, so we tried to look for it, and kept on walking:

 

When we finally reached the place, the view was worth the long walk:

 

With part of the new town seen on the furthest background of this picture:

 

We could see the port too:

 

Some friendly local pigeons noticed I carried some chestnuts (which I bought at a nearby stall) and became friendly to me:

 

For a moment I forgot the possibility of contracting bird-flu!

 

We went back to the lower part of the old city the short cut way via a set of staircases:

 

On our way back to our hotel, we came across one of the local commuting means:

 

Sunset for that day (from opur hotel room):

We had an early night because the following day we were going to catch a very early ferry to Helsinki!

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May 31 2012

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Good Morning From Talinn Old City

Date: 9th April 2012

 

We woke up that morning to this view from our hotel window:

 

We didn’t waste our time in getting ready and sampling the buffet breakfast on offer:

 

Another cold but clear day, so we decided to go for our morning walk:

 

Entering the old town:

 

The old town of Talinn is definitely beautiful

 

 

Narrow lanes are common:

 

Next ot each other too!

 

Nice pastel color:

 

Elaborate carved wooden door:

 

Bustling with tourists already!

 

The main square:

 

When there’s a square, there’s a church (there are many churches in this old city area):

 

The Old  city is definitely well preserved:

 

I heard so much about Estonian wool, and Estonian woolen products, so I was excited when I found the row of stalls (not that I wanted to buy any):

 

Typical Estonian designs:

 

I found a wool shop!!

 

and ended up buying thesse hand-spun wool:

 

To be continued…

 

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May 29 2012

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Getting To Talinn, Estonia

Date: 8th april 2012

 

We booked a cab earlier, and it arrived as requested.

On the way to the airport, our eyes were feasted with more beautiful buildings of St Petersburg, such as this:

 

and this:

and this, St Peterburg Bank:

 

Finally we reached the airport.   We had a quick lunch at the Japanese outlet there:

(vegetarian fried rice :( )

Our flight was the last one for the night!

 

Bye bye Piter, for now…..

Next: Good Morning from Talinn!

 

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May 27 2012

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The Last Part Of A Long Walk

Date: 8th April 2012

 

After the first and the second blog  entries of the day, this is the last one, covering our walk back to the hotel. It definitely was a very long walk.All in all I think we had walk for a total of at leat 8km!

Anyway, we still managed to get some shots of our walk back.

 

Frozen water:

 

Our hotel is way behind those buildings in the background:

 

First we need to get back to that green building aka The Hermitage:

 

We looked back at Zayachy Island, where Peter & Paul Fortress is:

 

Those two pictures above are zoomed shots. Without the close-up, this is how far it was:

 

We had to walk along 3 bridges on our way back, and here’s a shot of a happier me (because we were closer to hotel):

 

One with the fortress in the background:

 

Saw some fun activities near the Hermitage:

 

I kept on walking, until the pleasant sign greeted us :) :

 

We took some rest at the hotel, then caught a cab to the airport. We needed to catch a plane to Talinn, Estonia that night!

 

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May 27 2012

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Peter and Paul Fortress

Date: 8th April 2012

After the lunch seeking mission, we walked back to the Peter and Paul Fortress.

It’s a huge complex that we had to read the map (and kept referring to the paper version from time to time ):

 

The entrance to the fortress:

 

Walking on the iced pavement or the pressed snow was slippery, so I had to look for patches of loose snow:

 

The Peter and Paul Cathedral (which we had been seeing from the other  side of the Neva River earlier):

 

Occasionally, it snowed, hence it could just get colder and colder :( :

 

It was still nevertheless  a nice walk around the compound:

 

Directions to the exits/entrances:

 

It could have been a self-sufficient township!

 

Wet and cold, but we kept on walking..

 

Finally a complete shot of the cathedral (which we didn’t enter):

 

There’s a sitting statue of Peter The Great himself, and many people rub their hands or legs for some wishes. Peter was so busy with visitors that we had to turn back to get a session with him:

Next: More walking in Piter..

 

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May 27 2012

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Day 2 in Piter (The Walk to the Blue Mosque)….

Date: 8th April 2012

Prev entry: The Walk Back To The Hotel

 

It was the second day, not counting the arrival day :) .

If the day before was spent visiting The Hermitage and Spilled Blood Church, this particular day was spent exploring the area across the Neva River.

 

Walking along one of the canals:

 

Looking back:

 

A wet morning too :( :

 

The church with the golden spire in the background would be one of our walking destinations for the day:

 

Finally crossing the (I think) 800m bridge:-

 

wide river:

 

The blue dome in the background is part of the Blue mosque of St Petersburg:

 

Part of Peter and Paul Fortress in the background:

-

Finally we reached the mosque:

Nice marble designs:

 

The mosque compound was busy with same “adventure” or “treasure hunt” games for the day:

 

W were hungry, so we walked further (looking for a halal outlet):

 

Saw something “halal”:

 

Unfortunately, it’s only a halal butcher!

 

The people in the shop do not speak English and my Russian is only limited to PECTOPAH (restoran), so I Had to use some sign language, and managed to get some hint on where the halal outlet is.

A few minutes of walking later we found the place :

 

And got our delayed lunch of “plov” (similar to pilav, but minus the spicy part) :

 

Next: Peter and Paul fortress

 

 

 

 

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May 12 2012

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The Walk Back To The Hotel

Prev post: Church of The Savior on Spilled Blood

Date: 7th April 2012

 

After the (exterior) visit to Spilled Blood, we walked back towards our hotel.

 

We came across more canal:

 

with obviously beautiful buildings (and frozen surface canals):

 

More beautiful buildings:

 

Some of the buildings house embassies, like this one:

 

Many bridges too, like this one:

 

Oh, a T-junction of canals:

 

Hotels too, like this one:

 

The walk was never boring:

 

Scotland Yard in St Petersberg? I’d be darned!

 

with horse-drawn carriages too?

 

Upon checking, it turned out to be some film shooting! :)

(This was further proven the following day, when the same building no longer had the Scotland Yard signage!)

 

since it was still not dark, we decided to detour a bit and revisit the square in front of The Hermitage:

 

It was almost closing time (museums close much earlier in winter), but there were still crowds of people there!

 

We eventually walked back to our hotel, from the other end of the canal (unlike the morning walk home) and saw The Hotel Moika 22 Kempinski that looks so grand (I wonder what the rate is like?):

 

This time our hotel is on the left of the canal:

 

If you can see the maroon colored signage, that’s where the entrance to our hotel is:

 

Next: A long Walk to The Blue Mosque

 

 

 

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May 12 2012

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The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St Petersberg

Prev post: More Inside The Hermitage

Date: 7th April 2012

 

After the visit to The Hermitage, we got back to our hotel for a brief R&P (rest and pRay). Once we felt better, we started to take another walk in Piter. This time our destination is the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.

The name of the church is quite a mouthful, so most of the time it is referred to as “Spilled Blood” :)

If earlier in the morning we turned to the right at the main street, this time we took  a left turn:

 

This main street has very nice buildings such as this:

 

and this (some memorial):

 

Not long later, we came across another canal, and looking to the left, we saw the church in a distance:

 

As we got closer to it:

 

The view that we left behind:

 

Another quick photo shoot:

 

The onion-shape domes of the church are so typical of Russian Orthodox design:

 

Every part of the church exterior were well decorated:

 

Being immediately next to the canal makes it look more attractive:

 

As we got to the front:

 

It was almost closing time, so we didn’t go into the church:

 

Long and straight canal:

 

While DH was busy taking shots of the onion-shape domes like this:

and this:

 

I spotted the longest limousine I’ve ever seen in my life:

 

and another one (obviously they are for hire):

 

 

They (the limous) seemed to be popular for special occasions such as birthdays and weddings, like this couple (in front of me) who came out from one of the limos:

 

The church and the surrounding area must be favourite places for wedding photo shoots.

We went to a nearby area where one could find 2 rows of souvenir stalls.

The ubiquitous Russian dolls on sale (I have stopped buying souvenirs quite some time ago):

 

It was freezing cold, with more snow flurries, so I decided to have a jump shot, before we went back to our hotel :) :

 

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May 11 2012

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More Inside The Hermitage

Prev post: Inside The Hermitage

Date: 7th April 2012

 

We kep t on walking though we knew we hardly sat down for over 3 hours now. We wanted to take a break at the cafe, but the place was fully occupied! :(

So, we continued our walk around the place:

 

I sat for a while whenever I could:

 

Another huge room:

 

One corridor was adorned with the drawings of military leaders of the past (I think):

 

We finally arrived at the Throne Room:

 

Despite having impressive rooms and corridors, the throne is rather simple:

 

Another grand room:

 

We visited the Oriental (China and Japan) Exhibition Room and the ground floor’s Ancient Egypt area very briefly.

While trying to find the Oriental wing, we came across a few rooms that house paintings by great painters of the world such as Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh, but unfortunately at most rooms we were not allowed to take any pic.

Me with van Gogh’s:

 

Here too:

I can imagine how Arts enthusiasts will enjoy this part of The Hermitage:

 

while I decided to walk my way out:

 

Ah, another elaborate ceiling:

 

The outside view was so gloomy:

 

Came across Picasso’s:

Suddenly I turned Art-appreciator (is there such a term?)

 

Eventually we (heavy-heartedly) left the place… By then it was almost 4pm, which means we had spent over 5 hours in the museum!!

 

A quick view across the river (we would be walking there the following day)

 

a last look at the grand place before we walked towards our hotel:

Honestly, the pix that I have in here (and the blog entry earlier) do not do justice to what this place has to offer!! you have to come here yourself to appreciate the huge collection on display and the well-decorated rooms where these exhibits are placed!

Not so busy traffic for a Saturday afternoon:

 

We sure were glad we finally arrived at our hotel entrance:

 

This is the courtyard inside the building, where our room is on the first floor:

 Next: The Spilled Blood

 

 

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May 09 2012

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Inside The Hermitage

Prev entry: Good morning Piter!

Date: 7th April 2012

 

If this entrance is not impressive, I don’t know what is:

 

Waiting for my “cameraman” to join me upstairs:

 

The view from where I stood (as in the picture above):

 

There are so many original paints of the royalties, but what really caught my eyes were the elaborate ceiling fresco like this one:

 

One of the famous rooms (The Emerald Green Room?)):

 

Many times I just couldn’t resist looking at the ceiling:

 

Another beautiful room, with well-stocked show-case cabinets:

 

Ceilings and walls, all well decorated:

 

Trying to imagine how  life was, a few hundreds years ago:

 

Since the place is so huge, obviously there are a few entrances/exits. Here’s one of them:

 

Many beautiful corridors too, like this one:

 

View from another angle:

 

It was just sooo impressive, from one room:

 

to another:

 

and another:

 

via many corridors like this one:

 

The view of the other end of this particular corridor:

 

 

I looked out a few times, and saw the queue kept growing!

-

 

Next: More Inside the Hermitage

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