Roy Gardner's and Sue Peake's trip to Russia in August 1998

    Version 1.0.7 19Mar2005


Roy, Sue, Helen, and Riva.
     Roy, Sue, Helen, and Riva at Helen's mom Riva's dacha on White Island outside St. Petersburg. A dacha is like an American summer home, and is often reachable only during the warmer months. Helen and Riva live in St. Petersburg during the severe winter. The dachas were laid out on a regular grid by the Soviet government, but individual homes have become distinctive over the decades. Large gardens are common.

 

 
Summer palace at Peterhof.
     The summer palace at Peterhof. A pair of entrepreneurial musicians pose in front of a fountain. Their tip hat is just out of the field of view.

 
 
Grand Cascade of Peterhof.
     The Grand Cascade of the summer palace at Peterhof. The extensive waterfalls and fountains are gravity fed through a then state-of-the-art iron piping system. Again, costumed actors will pose for your photos.

 

 
A carriage for royalty.
     One of several fantastically ornate horse-drawn carriages on display in the armory of the Moscow Kreml ("Kremlin" is a Scandinavian word for fort!). The suspensions are amazingly primitive to a modern-day mechanic's eye.

 
 
Russian Roulette Tutti Frutti Chewing Gum.
     I bought this cute box of gum in Russia, but it was manufactured in Botswana!

 

 
Enormous broken bell.
     The USA's Liberty Bell isn't nearly this big, and isn't nearly this badly broken. Tourmate Barnabas Cheung stands by the Tsar's 200-ton 1735 bell at the Moscow Kreml; the chunk alone weighs eleven tons. I heard two stories, one that it broke while being rung the first time, and one that it was dropped while being raised in its tower.

 
 
Stalin's bunker.
     Roy and other members of the ICT tour group in the war room of Stalin's bunker deep underground. Perhaps we got special dispensation to be seated because one of our tour group leaders was acquainted with Josef Stalin's daughter!

 

 
Tank and fort.
     WWII military machinery at the Kreml in Nizhni Novgorod. Nearly every wheeled and tracked military vehicle on display in Russia had painted whitewalls. I speculate it's stage makeup, to make them more photogenic.

 
 
Wood house at Marakiev Convent.
     A larger than usual traditional wood house at the Marakiev Convent. Note the TV antenna and street light.

 

 
Russia's Statue of Liberty.
     After a long walk through a world-class succession of carvings, ever-larger statues, memorials, and an eternal flame, one takes a spiral path along black marble stones honoring Heroes of the Soviet Union up to this tremendous statue, bigger than our Lady Liberty. The Russians take their WWII memorial sites seriously, and this one in Volgograd exhibits a typical superb artistry and workmanship.


 

 
Russian links:

Bucknell University   a good site for studying Russia and the Russian language.
Russian radio   on the internet. Listen to Kiev, Moscow, Kazan, Vladivostok, and more.


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