Archives for posts with tag: russia

On the bucket list Sara and I wrote out, there is one place I was particularly excited to visit: The Street Art Museum.  Sara and I had previously failed to visit as we sat on a bus on a sunny Wednesday and checked the address on the website.  It turns out that the museum is only open Fri-Sun.  This ultimately resulted in us spending another hour to get back into the city center because we had no clue where we were.

Regardless, we were dead set on returning.  We arrived on a sunny Friday afternoon, and it turned out that admission is free until 6 p.m every Friday (woohoo!).  Though this was a small victory, it also turns out that the majority of the territory is only available to be viewed on guided tours only given on Saturdays and Sundays.  Still, without the tour, we had a great time!  It was a nice way to kill a few hours and spend some time in the sun!!! Here are some photos from the excursion 🙂

This was one of my favorites, it reads, “I lost my memory.”< in big letters. “I can’t remember what happened tomorrow.” <in small letters


This one reads : you can never go back


The rest are photos of the exhibits!


  
  
  
  

I know I promised to write about my experience at the strange theatre, but I cannot find the photos and videos from the play.  I know they exist somewhere on my computer, but for now I will write about a festival I attended with my roommate.

My roommate and I decided to go to a festival run by V kontakte (which translates to in contact- this is the Russian version of Facebook). We had trouble buying tickets because both our cards were not accepted by the site.  We chose to try to attend, even though this park is located about an hour outside of the city center.  Fortunately, we were able to buy tickets at the door.

The day was sunny and slightly windy, but it was perfect weather to attend an outdoor festival.  There were so many things to do! Some stations offered different sports, aerial yoga, and some cooking classes! We participated in a competition to try and win tickets to a modern art museum (pictures below).  We had to come up with a “creative photo” and post it to instagram.  It was quite hilarious.  We also spent a lot of time eating at the different booths that were offered.

There were three different music stages with different performances throughout the day.  I really wanted to go because one of my favorite Russian rap artists was performing.  We spent the afternoon walking around the grounds and checking out the different sections of the festival.  Maks Korzh was the final performance to the event, which really was so so much fun!! Here are the photos from the day!

  
Artwork made from rubick’s cubes


Artwork made from tacks


I will soon be posting a blog about strange car designs in Russia (more to come)

In front of the electronic dance stage


Waiting in line for free coke zero
Wifi password: nocalories


The coke zero boys


Our competition photo
  
  

Final fireworks


Singing along like teenage girls

My roommate and I decided to make the most of the first sunny day in St. Petersburg and head to the botanical garden. I am not much of a walker, but Sara convinced me that the weather was nice enough to walk the 3 miles to the garden. On our way, we found a tiny church that we’d never seen open and had a look around. Pictures were not allowed inside, but the photo below shows the outside of the church. 

 
When we arrived at the garden, we were told that tours were sold out, but that we could buy a general admission ticket. Wandering around, we soon realized why the tours were sold out. The grounds were pretty, but the weather in Petersburg has been cold. This means that almost nothing grew in the short time it has been summer here. A “peony garden” was a grass field, and the rose garden had seen better days. We still had a nice time roaming around and enjoying the sunshine. We ended the day eating dinner at a vegetarian restaurant and walking another 2 miles home. 

Here are some photos of the day! 

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

I promised two blogs a month! As April looms closer (it might as well already be April), here is post number two!

I went to Moscow a couple of weeks ago.  I wasn’t going to go because I thought it was a bit expensive and was worried about finishing a paper due on the 27th.  The paper is now completed and turned in, and it was not so expensive after all! I traveled there on a night train that takes about 8ish hours to get to Moscow from St. Petersburg.  Below you can see my nice little cot, kinda like sleeping in a coffin.  It actually ended up being the best sleep I had in a few weeks.

coffin bed

coffin bed

After arriving around 9 am, I went to the metro station closest to the hotel I was staying at with my friend Chris for the weekend.  The one way I can describe Chris is probably a soul friend.  I have also made up this word.  It is similar to a soul mate in that it is someone you probably are meant to be with, but different in that it is not someone you’re supposed to marry. Chris and I had never met until this weekend.  He lived in the apartment the semester before I lived in it during my study abroad.  We bonded over the fact that we lived with an incredibly insane cat and an absolutely wonderful host mom.  My host mom is actually the one that convinced me to go to Moscow.  In her words, “when else would a friend be visiting for a week.”  She was right, and I am happy I took her advice.

Soul friends

Soul friends

Chris and I spent the weekend visiting all the typical sites such as Red Square, and the Novodivichi (sp?) monastery.  The monastery had a freak fire the day before we visited, so I have attached a picture of the damage.  We also visited the cemetery located on the grounds where Tchaikovskiy and Yeltsin are buried.  Bulgakov is also buried there, but we realized this upon a google search we conducted after being there.  We also were able to see the bridge where Boris Nemtsov was shot.  For those of you who do not know Nemtsov just do a quick google search on him, and you can find out more about who he was.  Overall the trip was absolutely wonderful.  I had such a great time (Thank you again, Chris!!!!) Attached there are lots of photos for your viewing pleasure!! Also, I took a Sapsan train back to Petersburg.  This is a fast train that takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes to arrive to Petersburg.  It is a wonderful invention and definitely a nice way to come back after a long weekend.

Love you all!

Chilling with Lenin

Chilling with Lenin

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Red square at 2 am

Red square at 2 am

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Yeltsin's grave

Yeltsin’s grave

Tchaikovskiy's grave

Tchaikovskiy’s grave

Lenin's Library

Lenin’s Library

Monastery

Monastery

The damage done to one of the kupols at the Monastery

The damage done to one of the kupols at the Monastery

Man with a cool shirt

Man with a cool shirt

Metro station that looks like the Soviet star from above

Metro station that looks like the Soviet star from above

can't get the image to turn, selfies at the Kremlin

can’t get the image to turn,
selfies at the Kremlin

P.S. you can click on the photos to enlarge them!

Unfortunately, last Sunday was the last day of the incredibly amazing weather here. A sharp 15 degree (Fahrenheit) drop made that very clear on Monday morning. Luckily, Sasha had the great idea of heading to Kranshtadt, a small island on the north end of Petersburg, for the day. The only thing to see there is this church that just recently celebrated its 100th birthday! This church is the naval cathedral of Saint Nicholas (the saint that watches overs sailors and the seas). It is absolutely beautiful! Here are some photos from the excursion 🙂

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Everyone who knows me well knows that I turn into a five-year old child when it comes to needles. Blood tests, shots, i.v’s: I hate them all. So, when I was told upon arriving that I would have to take a second HIV test to get my visa extension, I was shaken to say the least. I avoided it as long as I could, but without my visa extension I cannot stay in the country longer than 90 days. (Just a note, Russia requires HIV tests for anyone staying longer than 90 days because there is an incredibly high rate of HIV in the general population and this is a way to stop new cases from entering the country.) Anyways, last week I finally went to get it done. Joined by three other girls from the university we went into an invitro fertilization clinic (of course) to get our blood drawn. Walking through a room of pregnant women, the four foreigners trekked to the back office to sign up and pay. When it was my turn I took my friend Sara into the room and told the nurse that I was very scared and nervous. The entire time I hyperventilated, and the nurse stared at me like I was crazy (what a great experience this was). Needless to say, when I went back for my results both the nurse and the reception laughed at me. Germans say (at least this one German I know told me this :)) that shared pain is half the pain. Maybe since there are 4 of us it was 1/4 of the pain? I would like to think so 🙂 I promise to try and put a new post up once a week
(Here is a photo of all of our arms post-blood draw)

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In Russian class, I was always taught that if a Russian offers you something it is best to say yes. I learned quickly that even if you say no, you will eventually be eating or drinking whatever you were offered. You might be thinking, why would this be a problem? Well when you’re like me, you choose to say yes to everything out of politeness and don’t make a fuss about it. As I am currently a guest at someone’s apartment, I feel an obligation to take what is given to me with a smile. An example of when it might have been best to say no is the first day I arrived. After an incredibly rough day (think constantly throwing up on a 10 hour flight), my host picked me up at the airport and we continued to drive two hours to get to the apartment. When I arrived I was offered some soup, which I gladly took. Then I heard something about language (I would like to make note that the word for tongue is the same word for language). So I said yes, my language is good. Out comes an entire cow tongue. Yes, I ate cow tongue slices on an incredibly uneasy stomach with a smile on my face. Another example is last night. I was eating some cheese slices and my host mom gave me some bread to eat them with. This bread smelled kinda funny to me (think nail polish and acetone), but I decided to just eat it anyway. Then my host sister took a slice and made a face and said, “this smells like acetone!!” She then turned to me and said, “hell why are you eating this??!” I just laughed and said that it did indeed smell kinda funny. Turns out the bread was rotten. Go me. Politeness, I hope you didn’t make me sick.