Russia: an overview of a long trip.

First stop, Suzdal

This is the picture of our lodging at the Art Hotel Nikolaevsky, Posad. Looking closely on the left the building with three green roof tops is where we stayed in a lovely suite. The red roofed building with the blue roof was reception-dining-bars- and hotel rooms.

Never leaving the grounds, a guest would have swimming pools, three different restaurants, a church, and sports fields.

This dinning area is in one of the green roofed areas and doubles as a cock-tail lounge and for “star watching”. Unfortunately those two days during then night time it rained but there were splits in the clouds and you could see the stars above. Beautiful. Like it was doing right here, this was late afternoon and some of the clouds were moving in.

Suzdal served as a royal capital when Moscow was a cluster of cow sheds. The monastery was founded in the 14th century and grew mighty in the 1600th through the 1700th century. While Mike went to see the inside, I remained in the car, safe from the rain and the cold, and just read about it.

Rural Russia is quite beautiful and the towns are rich in history (Often quite a bit of sad history)

Next Stop: Moscow

Arrived around 1:00 PM and checked into our hotel Pushkin. And proudly shown into our split-level suite. She said welcome to our best room in the hotel and stopped. Looks at my cane. I look at her, and at the stairs, and at the cane and I said, “Do you have an elevator?”

And we were changed to a nice first floor room.

But there was an elevator anyway.

Our guide Natalia led us to the Kremlin and Red Square the next morning. Cold and drizzly but walking was good, but not for all of us.

This is the Kremlin. It was a fortress of old, and now is the present seat of government. It sunk 49 feet into the ground so as not to dwarf the other surround buildings, the State Kremlin Palace is the Kremlins only modern building.

Saint Basil Church. I had to go back and rest up to continue walking. (And maybe a glass of wine too.)

At the top is the State Historical Museum (Red building with two towers) to the left is the Grand Kremlin Palace and at the bottom is the famous St. Basil’s Cathedral.

And look at this picture, boy I am sorry I couldn’t make that walk.

On to: Saint Petersburg

Saturday October 7th, we took two trains to Saint Petersburg and arrived at 7 PM: A mob of train people- including, “Taxi hunters” hustling at exorbitant prices. If you were dragging luggage you were a victim. Mike kept saying, “Too much.” Until he got a reasonable price.

Our destination was the Helvetia Hotel, and what a very good choice.

The entrance always boasted two armed guard, (guns in holster and under jacket), who didn’t allow you to enter the hotel or even courtyard without reservations.

We vistsed the the Aurora Ship the next day which was used to counter attack the Bolsheviks in Saint Petersburg as they attacked the parliament while it was in session at the Winter Palace. This revolution was in October 1917.

The Aurora revolutionary ship. It fired its gun, one shot, to provoke the Revolutionaries to storm the Winter Palace. Here was the seat of the provisional government that the Bolsheviks planned to over throw- and did.

We did move on because it felt that the gun was aimed at us- along with the frosty air, and also it might be the fact that we are from California. The ship was preserved as a, “Historical Reminder”.

(This is not an evil spirit protecting… but a green bush after rainfall that looks alive.) Figured that with all the sideshow on the river boats and with the Aurora that you might be interested in seeing some of the elegance distributed by the wealthy. This one is Catherine’s Palace.

 

What can one say about such elegance and beauty? This was only one of the three Catherines’ Palaces.

The leaves are falling, time to go in.

About carolinebotwin

Caroline Botwin and her husband Mike are retired educators who have always had a yen for travelling: he with a PH.D and teaching Architectural Engineering plus California wine education, and she having taught high school English, speech and drama. Both wanted to learn first hand about other cultures. While Mike predominately studied buildings and structures and met with winemakers, Caroline hunted for ancient sites and peoples. And kept journals of all their travels. Kevin Klimczak, extraordinaire, is the website designer and editor of the blogs.
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