Communism tour in Romania

The People's Palace

So, Bucharest is largely flat. Which explains why both our hotel and the city offer bikes, and there are also dedicated bike lanes in places. Also, the city’s layout is a little haphazard. Sydney’s suburbs aren’t on a grid but it can be explained by the hills and sandstone. Here, it’s not clear why streets …
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Romania Day 2

A bookstore I read about before leaving, and sought out

It’s clear why this was (or is) called a Paris of the west, with the beautiful tin (?) cupolas and ornate ironwork on balconies. But it’s also gosh darn grimy and a little… disobedient feeling. There is SO much tagging (I think they could work on locking down spray cans a little more). Even on …
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Another country starting with R… Romania

Bucharest feeling French

I’m pretty glad to have moved from Russia to Romania. Russians are actually taught not to smile in public and to strangers as it’s seen as insincere. So perverse and made me feel self conscious every time I did in fact smile. And the other thing – they are so absorbed into their own language. …
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Ornate grocery store


Sometimes, it’s the interesting quirks that make a holiday enjoyable.  So, yes, we set out to see an ornate grocery store, known as Yeliseev’s Food Hall (Yeliseevskiy Gastronom)

Peterhof Castle

Similarities to Versailles

One day in St Petersburg, we decided to go to Peterhof, a palace built by Peter the Great.  I could try and recall the details, or you could Wikipedia that!  It’s often called the Versaille of Russia, and you can see why. Back in St Petersburg city, and on another day, we decided to find …
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St Petersburg first day

Such beuty

We had a 9am ish breakfast buffet in the hotel – awesome little cheesecakes! Tomorrow Rory plans to try herring. The coffee is tasty too – and we see Cafes every where and vans with coffee machines in the back. So far only seen one Starbucks. We started the day with a long walk – …
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From Russia… with like?

The engineer in me can't avoid photos of lighting like this, on my drive into St Petersburg

My holiday  started with flying into St Petersburg, spending four nights there with my brother, followed by four nights in Moscow. The hotel we selected in St Petersburg couldn’t have been better located – it was on one of the many man made canals, within a short walk of the Hermitage/Winter Palace and the Church …
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Checking in

Hi readers…! First I have a new laptop on trial from a friend.  It has a touch screen, and folds in half to be like a tablet.  It’s pretty cool, and annoying as I work out its quirks and work out how to make it work how I like. And, I’m back from three weeks …
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