Saturday, August 16, 2014

Welcome to the Interior of Peter Paul Fortress

 The oldest compound in Russia. Where the majority of the Romanov family is interred. Where the mint is/was located at. Where Peter the great planned the majority of Saint Petersburg.

There was a flood I believe, or a flood, and a young woman held in the penal part of the the compound. She died of course. The marker on the wall, the not gold marker is the indicator of where the flood water reached. I can't imagine the city being flooded.

 Here I am nonchanlantly leaning against a giant rabbit. The island was home to lots of Rabbits? Something about rabbits.

Loki found a hat that he liked. Many people were site seeing at Peter Paul Fortress. They were none to excited about the pushy American lady trying to get photos of her freakishly adorable child. These chairs I don't remember from the last time we were there. Probably an art installation. Don't worry there will be dozens more photos from the fortress. I guess it's fortress and not compound. Oh well.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The view from Peter Paul Fortress

 Here is the state Hermitage. Last year we could walk across the frozen river. There is a gold church spiral in the back ground. I thought it was possibly Church of Spilled blood.
 Just going to dip everything in gold. This is Vasilevsky (sure we will go with that) "Island" I think spit is a better term. Whatever. I think those are the rostral column rising in the background.
 A different angle, both columns.

 Back to the Hermitage.
 And crooked shot including where I am standing.

So you are still at Leisure island ...

What's the next thing you do, take a quick trip out to the Gulf of Finland. Because it's 8 or 9 ish at night and nothing keeps a kid awake then a quick jaunt on a boat.

The sunset was, pretty. But it starts setting after 9 20 pm.

It was a really quick trip. A lot of the tours are in Russian, so it makes it really annoying to listen in to the tour guide. Something I can quickly pull out from the tour guides schpeel is archeticture, and Saint Petersburg. Do you like our purple blankets, yeah those were for us to use on the boat, while sitting up top. Were are they from, Ikea of course!

They don't call it Leisure park for nothing...

Here is me wrangling a gun, (actually air rifle with pellet.) with Loki next to me. Sad story, Loki couldn't properly hold the "rifle" and pull the trigger at the same time.

 See this lady in the blue with the long brown hair? Yeah she's holding a "pistol" or hand gun and is totally blowing away lined up cans. I mean she was brutal.
 The other kids at the gun parlor (is that the right word, whatev's it's my blog) where aiming at a target. I was aiming for that blue disk in the upper right of the photo. And not hit my kid with the gun. After the lady in blue was done using the pistol/hand gun, the propprietor then handed it to my son, because it fit his hand better. So that's promising. What did Loki hit, I don't even think he landed anything. But he sure was laughing.
A parting shot of an almost sunset. By the way, it gets dark at 11, but the sun set is technically after 1015 pm.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Kirov Centeral Culture and Leisure Park

We go here quite a bit. It's usually free, but this was a Friday evening so there was a cost to come in. Realize that anything inside the park also has a cost to it. It is known as either Leisure Island, Kirov, or Yelgin Island. A lot of sections of Saint Petersburg gets the moniker, "Island", but I am not sure if they are technically islands or not. If they are man made islands, then does that technically count as an actual island?
 Here is Loki and Sergey trying to cram their way into the park. The lady in the orange safety jacket is collecting tickets.
 So Loki is really into fishing lately, and this resulted in his grandparents spending money on fishing supplies. That's okay because it makes Loki extremely happy. Those people are sitting at the lake edge, trying to enjoy their beer, and have a snack and here comes MR. American child. So much for your pleasant afternoon.

 This is the lake in the park. It could partially be man made. The Neva feeds into it, and it was frozen the last time we came to Russia. Yes those are ducks, and yes you can rent a row boat and feel very romantic rowing your self across the lake. Through the lake? I don't know, how you transit through this body of water. The people in the boats are : kids, adults, teens, parents, seniors. I insisted Loki wear his life jacket, when we went on a boat ride, but it wasn't actually that deep. I would prefer that we attempt to pretend to be safe. When we take Taxi's he refuses to wear his seat belt, because literally no one else is.
 This is how they have Loki fishing. It's a reel that isn't like one I am used to. But sometimes the rod sits in the water, and sometimes depending on the location it is held . Mind you, people are only 5 feet away from us, churning up water with row boats.

Eventually a fish was caught, instead of releasing it back into nature of course we tied it in a bag, and let it suffocate. I am under the impression that we are going to eat it. I would rather never eat that thing. SO GROSS. We caught two more that day. By the way, don't comment about what kind of fish it is. Your guess is as good as mine.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

So finishing up from July

I realized that I am pretty far behind on postings. So here are some final images of our time at the Summer garden. So a lot of things about Russia are odd and unexpected. The city, the downtow specifically Nevsky prospect is the main "drag". There sidewalks are wide and there are lots of different types of public transit. Including subways, but subways are underground. How do you get around if you have say a slight disability.
 Well as you can see from this wheel chair "ramp" (if you want to call it that), this is the tentative response to someone with a wheel chair. Or a stroller? The staircases to get down to the subwayss are more frightening and way more unsafe. The way down is very steep down those stair cases and it makes it more scary. In fact everything is steep and kind of dangerous. Also it gets worse when the weather is worse. So just imagine everything unsafe and slippery and probably neck breaking all the time.
 This is a very famous bridge. In fact all the bridges are famous in the city proper. The canals were created to make it into a Russian Venice way back. The city itself was largely designed, specifically the layout and streets etc, by Peter the Great (as the story goes) after he went on travels throughout Europe. The majority of the buildings were made/designed/created after his death. Other bridges include lion's holding the mouth of the crossing, and the bridge that they dumped Rasputin's body into after the botched assasination attempt. Many rivers held bodies after many botched or completed assisinations and murders. (King Alexander the First was assisinated by the river in Saint Petersburg.)

 This is one of the many, many small playgrounds built around apartment circles. The children usually play at them. But we wake up super early in the morning, so there isn't a lot of children playing around them. Also I don't like that Loki will play after 7 pm. Which is when a lot of children are out and playing.

 This is in the same play area. Their are some green areas but not a lot of grass, I would assume this is because of the weather/frozen snow. But there are some trees and it's clear that children are using them. Also the adults congregate there. It is really weird to see older adults there. I am not accustomed to seeing as many men as I see here at the parks. Either grandfathers, or fathers. Sometimes they are with their spouses, and the kids. Sometimes it is just the guys and the kids.
One final shot of the bridge. It's really strange to see the river, not frozen. I can't explain how frozen the river was when I was here the last time. I mean it was frozen, solid, people were ice fishing in it. People were boring holes, and ice fishing in the river, sitting on it. Men, large men, some even had chain saws. Now it's all smooth sailing, the water is deep so it must be pretty damn cold when it freezes.