25 June 2008

It's Everybody's Favorite Time (Unless You Have Dial-Up)!

Photo Time! Whee!

I forget the name of this first one, but I know it's to the east, and the picture was from the bus tour we had upon our arrival in the city.

THIS is a gorgeous cathedral, Спас на крови, The Church of Our Savior on Spilt Blood. It was built on the site where Alexander II was murdered. It was finished in 1907, but built in an earlier style, modeling after another famous cathedral in Moscow. They were going to blow it up in the late 1930s and had gunpowder underneath it ready to go off, but then the second world war showed up and the found better uses for the gunpowder. It ended up being used as a morgue for a while, and also storage for vegetables, because it was cold inside.

This was taken inside the cathedral. Basically, everything you see is mosaics. (I feel the grammar's off at the end of that sentence, so help me if you'd like, but be polite.) There are 7,000 square meters worth of of mosaics.

I believe this was taken in Летний Сад, the Summer Garden. It's a beautiful park near the cathedral, with lots of statues (памятники).

So, you know how there's that whole stereotypical incredibly ugly sweaters that crazy old aunt Edna gave you for Christmas, and you have to grimace when you open the present and then feel like you should wear it when you know she's going to be around but it sits in the back of your ATTIC the instant her ride pulls out of the driveway? Well, similarly, this statue of Peter the Great was a gift. I'm pretty sure that's the only reason why it's still around and not melted into scrap metal. The hand looks a little like Señor Pettigrew, no? I'm not even going to mention this guy's head.

By the way, the people in this photo are some friends I met on the trip. Left to right: Ilya, Emily and Kalinda (and Peter the Great Pinhead).

I believe this is the cathedral inside Peter and Paul's Fortress (Петропавловский Крепость), which was last Thursday's trip.

On Sunday, we took a ferry out to Peterhof, which I believed I already mentioned as being like a Russian Versailles. The palace isn't that big (as palaces go), but the fountains are brilliant. I believe they were all Peter the Great's idea, though many of them were reconstructed or not built until years later. There are TRICK FOUNTAINS that spurt water sometimes (I think they might be triggered by walking on certain stones, I'm not sure). I love it when the elite has a sense of humor. Also, all of the fountains are natural (there are no pumps involved), since their source is about 90 meters higher than the ground at Peterhof. Along one section of path, there are 300 fountains that all go off at three times during the day, for about a minute. People stand out there with umbrellas (or without them) and get completely soaked. I stayed (dry) along the sidelines, but it was fun to watch.

Hee hee! It's Emma! And some other people that I can't identify from the thumbnail.

More pictures from Peterhof:

HEY LOOK it's Peter the Great again! With a normal size head!

Awww! (To Linden and Anna:) We're everywhere, guys! I think of you every time I see these, which is every day because they're on my way to school. I've decided that we spiritually inhabit all of the firecones in the world and when one of us (or anyone who knows us) is having a bad day, we send them happy, comforting thoughts through the nearest cones). An example: when some is walking down the main thoroughfare in St. Petersburg and guarding their bag, but catches a pickpocket trying to take something from a pocket (which was incidentally empty) below her bag and consequently less visible. Of course, she probably notices and makes eye contact for a few seconds and he shrinks back and never managed to take anything, but she feels a little shaken up, so much that after she goes to Дом книги (giant bookstore) to buy the first Гарри Поттер book (p sounds like r, give you three guesses as to what that is and the first two don't count), she doesn't want to take the metro home during rush hour and decides to walk home (which is long enough without that wrong turn she made back there). And she's wearing not the best walking shoes in the world. She kind of maybe needs a hug. And then she sees some firecones, and remembers that everything's gonna be okay. Not that that happened to anyone we know Monday or anything.

Aaaand, this is a bridge I cross (over the Moika) every day to get to school.

And this is my street (Pisareva).

And this is an artsier shot of a building on my street. Not my building, but the same side of the street.

Well, that's what I've got. Have happy afternoons.

1 comment:

Liz said...

SO beautiful.