Sunday, July 23, 2017

Europe 2017 (July) Trip Notes # 9

                                 Europe 2017 (July) Trip Notes # 9

Helsinki was a disappointment because the local  guide was not good.  We ended up with a (somewhat) negative perspective of the city - dirty, a lot of homeless and hippy-type. However, with the little time that we had, there were opportunities to see some old and the new. 

 Local Market At Harbor

Center of town had distinct architecture    

Old And      New...

Large church at center of town 

Park and pedestrian area - A wee bit crowded! 

Jean Sibelius composed the famous national anthem, "Finlandia." The bird has the best seat in the house! 

Concert schedule. Anyone for a "Fugue?"

Front of central train station 

Contemporary designs...

Music center art piece hanging from building's ceiling. 

Another form of art!

Russia (St. Petersburg) - Part 1:

We woke up around 4:00 AM, walked out onto our veranda and discovered that we were being escorted by the Russian navy - a submarine and several surface ships. 

Kilo Class (?) 

                                 Frigate: Neustrashimy Class (?)

There was quite a difference with our return to St. Petersburg. A few years ago, we were on our own, stayed in an apartment, struggled with the Russian language and had some difficulty buying food at the local market. Who knew that there were (easily) 50 different types of yogurt or something similar? Yet, we had quality time and had positive encounters with the locals. 

We got quite excited when we happened to drive on the main boulevard and quite near the place where we stayed during  our first visit.

Nevsky Prospect: Our Apartment Was A Few Blocks From Here

This time, by bus,  we rushed passed one place or another. There were several "10 minute photo-ops" at several significant buildings, statues and some churches. 

  St. Petersburg Is Called "The Venice Of The North." (Many Canals)

"Shopping until you drop" is not difficult: 

 Matryoshka Or Nesting Dolls: It May Take Over 10 Years To Become A                                            Professional Designer and/or Decorator

Beautiful Boxes

No concern about animal rights here. Plenty of fur coats, hats, etc. are available. 

More manhole covers: 

We came across a lighthouse that is now "decoration" or a "monument."

For a "communist state," there are a lot of Russian Orthodox churches: 

Money pours into the church rather than into the pockets of the poor...

Final Resting Place For Royals 

Unexpected (and) Special Gregorian Concert 

Getting Ready For World Cup 

To be continued...

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