Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My Alphabe-Thursday (5th), the letter "R" — Some places I've be,en starting with "R"

"R" is for some places, countries and cities starting with the letter "R" where I have traveled:
- Countries:
Russia -- been there twice

- States: (I've been to all 50)
Rhode Island -- such an interesting state.  I like Providence and the seeing of the first Baptist Church in America.  It and a new religion were founded by Roger Williams.  We studied that and him in our high school history class.

 - Large Cities over 100,000 population I've liked:
 - United States: (larger to smaller)
Riverside, California -- where Chuck Swindoll the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California hung out until he moved to Colorado.
Rochester, New York -- went in passing on the way when moving to New Hampshire.

 - Foreign
Rouen, France -- There we visited the Church of St. Joan of Arc.  It was also on our way driving from Paris other times, to Etratat, to Mt. St. Michael, to Normandy, to Honfleur, and to Bruges, Belguim.

So, I'll pick Russia.  The first of the two times we were there was when we took a Viking River Cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg.  The second time we stopped at St. Petersburg for a day trip while on a Princess Baltic Sea cruise.

To get to Russia on the river cruise we needed a Russian Visa.  That was easy to get but it cost each of us over $100.  This was necessary because, unlike some tours, we were free to wander around without a guide.  Most stops along the waterway we did this as well as in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

We had a nice three days in Moscow, mostly on different tours although we did take advantage of one day's free time where we visited the Kremlin, Department Store, and other touristy places. Each night we returned to the ship which meant a nice breakfast and evening meal.  Also we only had to unpack our suitcase once, at the ship.

Our voyage started in the middle of October, 2006, and lasted 13 days (link).  We were the last Viking ship to leave Moscow for St. Petersburg.  Only on our second day, in Moscow, did it snow on us.  I don't know (but could find on a map) the names of the rivers and lakes we traversed.  They were all connected by a series of locks.

Uglich, our first stop, was probably my favorite.  At least it was very enjoyable.  The wind was blowing and it was cold, the coldest day of our trip. We visited an old church, nor restored, that had been used by the Communist government as a tractor shed.  One tractor was kept on display in the adjoining park. 

The other best thing there was a long walk we took through the little town.  Mrs. Jim stopped at a few of the little stores to do some shopping.  She bought a watch for very little.  It still runs.

We also shopped at Yaroslav, a larger town.  We loaded up on Russian candy made in a local small factory.  Of course there were sights to see there as well.


Kizhi was a United Nations Heritage site with it's many wooden churches and buildings.  Here we had self guided tours with each major building having a guide to explain things.  Other smaller places had signs which told us what we were seeing.  Built on a small island, we walked from one end to the other.

After Kishi we petty much made a bee-line west to St. Petersburg.  Cruising was also fun.  We ate good, made still more friends onboard, and played a lot of Canasta in the forward lounge.

 To view any picture larger just click on the picture.  Most will become large size.
For some of my earlier Russian posts, please click here.

And then there was St. Petersburg for two whole days.
 - Jenny is now on her tenth series of Alphabe Thursday.  With 52 weeks in a year and 26 letters in the alphabet she is now in her fifth year.  I am linked to her blog, GO HERE for more participants and their offerings.

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