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. I’m not sure if it’s the huge population or huge landmass or a sense of “we’re the best in the world”, but there’s so very little written in English (or even our alphabet) and whilst waiters speak English, it’s often the uncomfortable halting type. Our final night we wet seeking vodka (and found a lovely restaurant on the first floor which was clearly a bit fancier than we were dressed but also empty!) at this place, there was lots of Russian just spoken at us with the hope we’d understand! She had some English, but it wasn’t anywhere near “comfortable speaking”. Actually we went to a Turkish restaurant and relished an English speaking waiter – he’d worked on cruise ships.
Sometimes, it’s the interesting quirks that make a holiday enjoyable. So, yes, we set out to see an ornate grocery store, known as
**so this SHOULDA published, but didn’t 🙁 It’s now outta the flow of posts**
St Petersburg train station – after four nights in St Petersburg, we’d planned to head to Moscow by train. Something we thought would be relatively simple and a well worn path.
Stress to another level that til now I’d not come across despite “worrying” about it before departure. There were countless windows and machines. The machines appeared to what a card, so we went for a line. None of the lines seemed to move with any regularity. The only details on windows where listed time ranges – countless time ranges. No destinations were listed at any window.
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 these pretty gargoyles at a canal pedestrian bridge:
Actually Babushka’s were amazing – and usually call Matrushka’s in Russia. They’re often created by three seperate artists – one for the face, one for the shawl/back, and one for the belly, wich can be scenes from fairy tales.
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 of the Saviour of Spilled Blood. I’m not sure I was aware of this, but after checking in, I decided to go for a walk around the nearby streets and discovered these wonderful facts! My brother’s flights weren’t due til around 10pm, so I had some hours to kill.
The hotel was also generally lovely – they realised they’d put the two beds together and called to say ‘when you go out, let us know and we’ll change it’ and then when I went to reception to let them know, they knew which room I was in (from sight, and this hadn’t been the lady I’d checked in with!). Their service, the little we used it, was exemplary. We noticed that others asked a whole lot more of them, and I can see why – they would not be disappointed!
The room was rather ornate, and the exterior was of the similar style to most surrounding buildings, ornate. Peter the Great’s city was built to strict guidelines, including no gaps between buildings. That meant our building, and others, had driveways into the heart of them, and interior courtyards. Inside the room, I was impressed by the level of style and detail. Curtains with two fabrics and a decorative trim between them. Mirrored wardrobe, and the mirrors were bevelled and in a criss cross pattern. Lovely wooden floors.
Below is my thoughts at the time:
Horribly, my parents home was robbed, and Mum lost most of her jewellery. With every thunder cloud, there’s silver linings, and one of them was that I booked us both into a class to make resin jewellery, one rainy day.
Yes, I’m sad about plastic cups. You use those to divide up Part A and Part B, then you add colour to one part, then mix them together, mix til they heat up, and then pour in the moulds.
Sadly, the moulds by the time Mum and I got there were a bit big for my fingers. The bangles obstruct typing (ah, Mum’s a teacher, so she wears them more). So I took all my newly made stuff to a water polo team dinner and left three behind (had to leave early), so I hope others have rehomed them.