Friday, March 1, 2013

Continuing our tour of Peter Paul Fortress to the Museum of Russian History

The museum of Russian History is housed inside of Peter Paul Fortress, compound. While the Russian Museum isn't actually full of Russian History, it's full of art, largely made by Russian/Soviet artists. So while that's very interesting, it's not Russian History. When I think about it, there really isn't much to Russian History, a lot of it is "sanitized" to portray what they want you to know. (Good example of that coming up...) 
These are part of the first part of the museum, that includes how the Fortress was built and who initially inhibited the area that is now Saint Petersburg. 

Glance upon my marginal photo skillz. The dress was really ornate and brocade-esque. There was also a mans outfit, but meh. Dresses. 
This is, the initial and not much changed layout of Peter Paul Fortress. Notice the island, it's maybe not exactly an island. Lot's of Saint Petersburg is manmade, and by man made I mean slaves scooping mud with their own hands to lay foundations. Peter the Great's overall vision/dream of creating a door way to the west, was basically funded and created in a pretty tight headline, though he died before it was completed. Many people have this vision, that Saint Petersburg has been around since the 1500's or 1600's. It was the mid 18th century, almost into the 19th century when it was inhabited by people who had "money". So because of this, the city has hardly changed, meanwhile Moscow keeps catching on fire and having to be rebuilt. 

Here is a boat anchor, the grandparents and Loki. It was either too hot, and too cold all at the same time. Most palace museums are either too hot/too cold and drafty all at the same time. The lady in the maroon vest, is the "security guard" who prevents you from touching things. Because nobody should touch anything that's been groped for 300 years. 

Here is Loki with his sucker, looking at some of the early "cabinet members"/friends of Peter the Great who helped to create the country that is Russia during the time he was reigning. To say that Peter the Great completely modernized the country is true. According to the children's book I read the country was pretty backwards, and he moved everything in to the 17th century. He worked with Western European countries to learn what is the best of everything, and attempted to bring that back to Russia. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Peter Paul Fortress with a little more attention to detail

Peter Paul Fortress is the oldest compound/series of buildings in Saint Petersburg. Saint Petersburg only became the city it is because of Peter the Great (June 1622-February 1725). Before most of the Russian people and royalty lived and hid in Moscow. Most Europeans didn't go to Moscow, and most Muscovites didn't leave Russia. All that changed with the creation of Saint Petersburg. 
This was a tourist booth, that had two black cats sitting outside of it. The black/red/white stripes signify something. This was the second set of cats that I saw at the fortress. 

The photos are out of order for some reason. I thought this was the first image I took. This is the entrance to the fortress somewhere. That's the Russian symbol, and some images of a religious experience or something. 

So here is a longer shot of the cats. So the snow is starting to melt a little, but then it would freeze at night. So it was a bit slippery. A lady fell and she was older and okay.  

So here is the symbol and the wall thing. 

I would like to think that these sculptures (larger than life, my life at least) I would like to assume is of the goddess of wisdom and plenty. Athena and Hera probably. They were huge and impressive. Also I couldn't climb up to get my picture with them. 

Athena, Hera, or something like that. 

This is like a panorama from the Fortress. We were freezing, and I was trying to get some nice pictures. I had to shuffle out there and not slip and break my leg. 

So there you can see, some of the fortress, the bridge and the frozen Neva. The river is pretty darn frozen. 

This is a another shot. Apparently in the 1850s the river flooded into the fortress. Though you would think something like that would happen more frequently. Especially since it floods in Oregon constantly. The flag is of some significance because it is to honor both Naval and Land soldiers. 

Here is where I kind of almost peed my pants. I don't know if you can see the gun to the left of the photo, maybe you can't but I am telling you it's there. Well apparently they shoot the gun off frequently. In the history of the fortress the cannon(s) have gone off at noon regularly. Then they would shoot off on arrival of dignitary, death, birth and whatever else they thought was a good reason to fire it off. Then around 1936 they stopped the daily noon time boom, long enough to stop before WWII. 

Okay, here it is the giant gun. It's a land to air missile launcher, and it was so loud I clutched the stroller that Loki was sitting in and cried out because I didn't think it was as loud as it was going to be. Because I thought fourth of July boom shell, and they bring it. Also I remember there being a huge kick back and people being up along the ramparts(?). 
I will conclude the post with a video of the gun being shot off : Peter Paul fortress Gun please enjoy the car alarms. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Took a break, flew back to the states.

We left Russia on 2/18, those photos will come soon enough. The last thing I shared was the images from the "Deepest Aquarium in Russia". While it wasn't very large, it did have a lot of interesting animals. There were some manta rays that would flop their fins out of the water. The aquarium was enjoyed by all. 

This is an image, though not a very spectacular one of a dachshund, in a doggy snow suit. I think this dog also had a scarf, and a probably a sweater. He was very friendly and seemed very comfortable in the dog suit. This was not the first dog that I saw in a snow suit. Larger dogs were generally unsuited by smaller and medium sized dogs were suited. Loki complained so much about his suit, I wonder what the dogs complaints are. 
Here is a lovely image, of the temperature (in celsius 0 degrees, in Fahrenheit 32 degrees). The gas station has a Burger King attached to it and is across the street from Peter Paul Fortress, behind the gas station is a huge beautiful mosque. The price is 35 Rubles (1.15$) 31.70R (1.04$) 28.90R (.95$). Of course the prices are per litre, so it's about 4.60 for a gallon That's a taxi, I can't tell what kind of car it is, and it's not one that we took. But we rode very interesting cars through out or time there. Hover was my favorite. 

Here is a lovely image of my camera strap to the right. These men to the center, are not ice fishing because why would you use a giant chain saw to ice fish with? I never did figure out what exactly they were sawing up. I would think that it was to help from the frozen river cracking the bridge, or getting caught up around the bridge. Also that's bright yellow snow, I am not sure why they would pee so closely to where they are working, but that's their choice. Also that's a giant sledge hammer, to hammer each other with. 
These were the images I caught before we went to Peter Paul Fortress for the second time. More on that later.