Friday, October 27, 2006

Russia With Love, 11 Days, 12 Pictures

[That's 12 pictures out of the 748 we brought home on the little digital pocket camera. You can click on any of them to see a fuller size.]

Welcome Back Jim!
And didn't Billy do good!

I enjoyed reading all his posts, my vote is for the roses or the sleeping or the college on the cheap or the Adi Can, they all pleased my palate [Wikipedia][other palate pleasers].

Our holiday was an 11-Night Viking River Cruise, Waterways of the Czars. It was the ship's last cruise of the season. All the vendors were waiting to see us come, then go. Quite a lot had already folded their tents and stored their wares.

If we look cold in some of those pictures, we might have been. But then when we left, it was shorts and cut-offs weather in Houston. It really wasn't all that bad, lows generally in the mid 30's and highs in the high 40's. The last three days it got into the high 50's.

Today's blog will be a preview of our itinerary, with one picture from each day. In all I brought home 748 picures on the chip in my Kodak VR530. I haven't sorted those yet, some I took in the bus were too blurred, others had several shots of the same thing, some needed lightening up, and so on.

I will post about our trip maybe once or twice a week. Here's hoping it will be better and I will be more faithful than for our European visit this spring.

Day One and One were spent traveling. Here we are, some of us who came from Frankfurt, Germany, waiting at the Moscow airport for a straggler.

Day Two started with a Moscow tour in the morning, ending at the G.U.M. department store [found an ATM to get some Rubbles] and Red Square.

This is Red Square, with Lenin's tomb on the right and St. Basil's Cathedral at the west end. It would be our first of many cathedrals we would visit.

Later, in the afternoon we visited the State Tretyakov Gallery, the largest art museum in Russia.
That evening we would attend a performance by the famed Moscow Circus.

Day Three found us at the Kremlin for a nice tour. This is the Kremlin Wall.

After the Kremlin visit, we cast off. There were ceremonies that had to be performed because it was the crew's last voyage of the season. The dining room wait staff pulled toss the balloon duty.
Day Four included a tour of the city of Uglich.

Day Five was a stop at Yaroslavl. Of course we toured this Church of Elijah the Prophet. Afterwards we made an Internet stop for e-mail and a comment on Billy's blog [here].

Day Six meant we got to visit a monastery in Goritzy. There were all of two monks staying at this 23-acre haven. Goritzy is a quaint little town, larger than it seemed with a population of about 9,000.


Day Seven was like a little bit of heaven. Here at Kizhi, an island four miles long and protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, we were to visit this wooden Church of the Transfiguration you can see from our landing dock.

Day Eight was spent entirely at sea. In the evening we attended the Captain's diner. We were sitting with my newly found Mason friend and his wife from Pennsylvania. He was proud of his new fifty-year pin. I had left mine home for fear of losing it in this distant land.

Day Nine we were at our destination, St. Petersburg. Here were having a nice visit at Catherine's Palace in Pushkin.
Later would come an afternoon tour of St. Petersburg. That evening we visited a nice ballet performance of Swan Lake.

On Day Ten we visited this magnificent Pavlovsk Palace (link) and its lovely grounds.


Day Eleven found us out again, this time visiting the Hermitage, or the Winter Palace.
Day Twelve came and we were out of there. Back to Texas and all of that. The downside found us getting up at 2:30 AM. It seemed worth it though, when we got to Houston at 1:30 in the same day's afternoon.

Welcome home Jim and Mrs. Jim!

I loved reading about your wonderful trip. I am sorry I didn't comment while you were gone but yes, Bill did a great job while you were away.
Welcome Back! My husband is half Russian (other half is German) so I really enjoyed these photos and the many ones to come.
Woo Hoo~~~~~~ your back!!!!!!!!

Glad you had a good time, and very cool pictures,

Hi to Mrs Jim!
get rested up ,
then I would to here more about your trip! :)
Gday Jim
Looks like You and mrs Jim had a Wonderful holiday Enjoyed readind and seeing these photo's and look forward to seeing more photo's
Hi Jim, some pretty impressive buildings there, interesting to see them.
Hi Jim,
Wecome back!!Love your pictures. Looking forward to more.
Glad that you had a great time, I have always been very interested in Russia, one of my daughter in law's mother was Russian ,enjoyed the reading and photo's very much.
Cheers Margaret

Wonderful pictures of Russia. I'm glad you had a good trip. The architect of those buildings is quite amazing. I'll bet Adi was glad to see you both!!

I never knew you grew roses and was such an expert on the subject!! How wonderful!!

Looking forward to more pictures of your trip. Now you better go catch up on all the mail you have to read and sort through!
Thanks, Rachel. It's my son-in-law's (Billy) Dad that has the rose thing.
He is really good and has quite a few new varieties he created patented.
Blimey Jim I didn't realise you were going to visit my palace. Now had I known...... LOL

Beautiful photos...

Did I tell you that Scragend had to go to Moscow on a business trip once.

It was so nice reading your post and seeing the photos. I bet you were cold.

Guess what? We have friends who are movoing to San Antonio. They were driving from California and they stopped in at our house for the night. So who knows we may end up visiting Texas soon and I said to Scragend we would have to pay you a visit. LOL

Glad you back and missed you tons. Billy did a fab job however and you had better watch out.

Take care xx
Hi JoJo -- It is nice to hear from you. Yes, come on over if you get to San Antonio.
You will like San Antonio, maybe wait a little until your friends can find their way around.
San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the US (population 1,256,509), right after No. 6, Phoenix (1,461,575).
Of course Houston is the fourth at 2,016,582, with our metro area--includes us--being well over four, maybe five, million.

That goes for any blogger friend coming this way too, all should stop to visit us. We have a nice guest room.
Duh, sorry Jim. I don't know why I was thinking (actually I wasn't thinking I guess) that Billy was your son, but had I thought about it I know he is married to Karen. Geesh. I am just a total scatterbrain. I feel better though, because I wondered how you could have kept such a neat thing from us.
Thanks Jim, will do....

I forgot to tell you that when Scragend was in Moscow he sent me some roses that said From Russia with Love ~ I still have that little card. Awww isn't love grand.

Take care xx
Hi Jim, Nice to have you and Ms Jim home, although Billy did well with his posts. He shoulh have a blog of his own. I am so amazed that your Dad survived al those years ago, without modern medicene. He was abviosly meant to be here and to reach 97 in itself is terrific. I hope his remaining years will be comfortable at least.
What a wonderful trip you had, the story and the buildings in particular are wonderful. Thanks for showing us Russia. Take care, Merle.
Great pictures. I'd like to visit Russia some day. Glad you're back safe and sound.
didn't Billy do WELL!!!!!!!
Gidday Jim, I'm behind in catching up with reading my various blogger's posts. Working during the day doesn't leave a lot of time to do my own posts and read others, so I usually spend one evening (like this evening) reading and commenting and catching up. Great photos of your holiday. Just to think 700 odd taken photos with the digital camera. Would you take this many with the ole' 35mm camera and then the cost of getting them all printed. Ain't technology grand...waal some of it anyway. Take the pics, download them onto the computer, delete those that ain't great and enhance those that need it then share them with fellow bloggers. The world is getting smaller and smaller.
Loved the colour of the Ms.Linda rose, such a deep rich colour.

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