Яussia* (Day 7, Part 2)

June 2

Let’s go for a walk through St. Petersburg . . .

[When last we left you, we were entering the St. Petersburg subway system for a ride “downtown.”  Well, here we go . . .]

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[As I recall, this was the longest escalator ride in the world. The ride down took 3 1/2 months (but seriously folks, it takes 5 minutes and you can see it on YouTube). Dr. Kiehne seems relieved to be reaching the bottom . . . ]

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[Sasha finds us on a “where you are” map.  Pam captures the map for posterity . . . ]

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[Here comes the train . . . ]

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[Most places you go in the world, you can figure these things out.  Cyrillic, however, makes it really difficult . . . ]

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[You gotta love the “up close and personal” aspects of big time subway systems (Marcus, this is where we really mixed with the locals) . . . ]

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[And now coming up and out . . . ]

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[The subway stations are works of art in themselves . . . ]

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[We’re out on the street, Sadovaya Street specifically . . . ]

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[And across the street is the Majestic Hotel.  This lavish downtown hotel occupies an 18th-century building in St. Petersburg’s prestigious Golden Triangle, and lies within 1 km of Kazan Cathedral and the Russian Museum. (the hotel site)]

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[Adjacent to the Majestic.  “DOM” in Russian means residential building, house, home.]

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[Back on the main street, which you will recall from your studies, is Nevsky Prospekt . . ]

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[Not John Lennon . . . ]

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[Window shopping galore. . . ]

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[Catherine the Great, Ostrowski-Platz on Nevsky Prospekt . . . ]

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[With the Alexandrinski Theaterone of the most famous theaters in Russia, in the background . . . ]

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[And a flower bed in the foreground . . . ]

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[Ozzy?]

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[Eliseyev Emporium Coffeeshop, famed in song and story . . . ]

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[Eliseyev Emporium is a large retail and entertainment complex, including a famous food hall, constructed in 1902–1903 for the Elisseeff Brothers. Located at 56 Nevsky Prospekt, the complex consists of three buildings, although the corner one is the structure that is referred to as Elisseeff’s store or shop. Designed by architect Gabriel Baranovskii, it is one of the most striking examples of St. Petersburg Art Nouveau architecture, although at the time of its construction the building was considered controversial. (Wikipedia)]

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[A “flapper”?]

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[From the outside . . . ]

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[I want one of those!]

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[If you can’t cross a wide, busy street, walk under it . . . ]

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[Bookvoed, a bookstore where an author was doing a public reading . . . ]

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[Teaspoon . . . ]

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[It’s a restaurant . . . ]

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[18th century Armenian Church . . . ]

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[Pedestrian window shopping traffic jam . . . ]

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[If Ozzy, why not Freddie?]

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freddie mercury

[Tom climbs to greater heights for a photo op . . . ]

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[The Belmond Grand Hotel Europe vies with Corinthia Hotel St. Petersburg and Hotel Astoria for the title of the most luxurious five-star hotel in Saint Petersburg.  One of great hotels of the 19th-century Europe, the Grand Hotel Europe opened its doors to the public on January 28, 1875, replacing an earlier inn situated on the same site. Its marble-and-gilt interiors, sweeping staircases and elegant furniture have attracted crowds of well-to-do visitors, including Ivan Turgenev, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Claude Debussy, H.G. Wells, Igor Stravinsky, Gustav V of Sweden, Elton John, Jacques Chirac and Bo Savander to name only a few notables who lodged there.  (Wikipedia)]

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[You could tell it was a big time place when we saw a group gala-dressed movie stars, rock stars, models (???) were entering the building . . . ]

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[Pushkin in front of the Russian Museum in Arts Square . . . ]

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[Their main man, Alexander . . . ]

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[Walking . . . ]

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[Walking . . . ]

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[Until we came upon the walkways along the Griboyedov Canal . . . ]

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[Beautiful day; all of St. Petersburg was out for a walk . . . ]

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[With our ultimate destination being the Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood . . . ]

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[Incredible piece of architecture . . . ]

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[Find shade, take photos . . . ]

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[The Super provides perspective . . . ]

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[As we circled the church, more reminders of the upcoming World Cup, just a few days away . . . ]

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[We were not allowed to take any photos inside – so here’s a stock photo stolen off the internet . . . ]

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[Back outside and on the other side of the canal . . . ]

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[Remember the “movie stars” at the Grand Hotel?]

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[Well, in my defense everyone else was taking her picture too . . . ]

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[Meanwhile, back at the World Cup . . . ]

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[Without amber, there would have been no Jurassic Park . . . ]

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[One of my favorite photos of the whole trip.  The only identifier, nothing in Cyrillic, for what seems likely to be a sandwich shop . . . ]

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[And there are hostels (hoping to quell any hostilities?) . . . ]

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[And cafes, hotels, and art halls . . . ]

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[Chicago?]

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[Obviously some sort of official building . . . ]

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[Alexander Column in the Palace Square . . . ]

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[Walking toward the Atlantes of the Hermitage, the portico of the Winter Palace . . . ]

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[And here they are:  In classical European architecture a column is often replaced by a sculpture in the form of a man supporting whatever is above him. This is called an atlas (plural atlantes) although the figure is not portrayed with the world on his shoulders.  The portico of the final addition to the Hermitage complex of buildings in St Petersburg has ten atlantes carved from dark gray granite holding the ceiling at head level. They were carved by the sculptor Alexander Terebenev, who needed one hundred and fifty assistants to complete this task. Terebenev himself worked on the faces and assistants were assigned specific parts of the figures.  The figures are very detailed and realistic with well defined muscles. Even the veins of the feet are delineated. The Portico is located on Millionaires Street a short distance from the Palace Square.   (www.360cities.net)]

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[With Notre Dame (?) in the background (OK, see following soon) . . . ]

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[The Super has a foot fetish . . . ]

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[Why, yes, I was the model for the sculptures . . . ]

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[Shooting through the Hermitage . . . ]

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[Alexander Column with the General Staff Building in the background . . . ]

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[OK, that’s St. Isaac’s, not Notre Dame, in the background . . . ]

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[The Hermitage . . . ]

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[The Admiralty Building with the spire . . . ]

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[Tom photo ops the Hermitage . . . ]

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[A different view of Alexander Column . . . ]

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[The Palace Square readying for the World Cup . . . ]

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[Back on the Neva, a big time photo op locale . . . ]

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[Dr. Kiehne sure thinks so . . . ]

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[Liteyny Bridge . . . ]

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[I wonder if “Mister Sandwich” is horizontally integrated with “Bread & Meat”?]

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[Peter the Great as a boat builder on the bank of the Neva . . . ]

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[Liteyny Bridge again . . . ]

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[The Building of the Admiralty . . . ]

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[St. Isaac’s Cathedral in the Admiralty district . . . ]

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[Mindful of the Golden Dome at Notre Dame?]

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[On the Senate Square, Constitutional Court building . . . ]

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[A college mall lookalike . . . ]

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[Peter the Great . . . ]

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[And, St. Isaac’s . . . ]

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[Cinderella?]

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[Making sure I have enough shots of St. Isaac’s . . . ]

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[Admiralty Building . . . ]

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[A final goodbye to St. Isaac’s . . . ]

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[The people who make our boat work . . . ]

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[The evening is just beginning, but first – let’s eat!]

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[Of course, I have no recollection of whatever it was . . . ]

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[But it looks good?]

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[And wrapping up with a couple of desserts . . . ]

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[Amazingly, we’re still all awake as we await a Cossack folk music and dance extravaganza in a tent parked next to our boat . . . ]

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[Get down, get funky . . . ]

[Let’s boogie . . . ]

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[How do you like that contrabass balalaika?]

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[Just stepped outside at intermission to catch the sunset . . . ]

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[Intermission is over . . . ]

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[Joined by forcefully volunteered (ha!) audience members . . . ]

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[Back in the USSR . . . ]

[Wow, this was a long day! And another one coming the following day!!]

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St. Petersburg is a gem of world culture and Russia’s most European city.  ~  Valentina Matviyenko

Up Next:  More Russia?

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