14 July 2008

It's that time again...

Photos! So many photos! Because I haven't posted any in a long time.

First up, we have some more photos from excursions around Petersburg. This is Isakievskii Sobor' (St. Isaac's cathedral). A couple of pictures from the walkway around the dome, showing some of St. Petersburg, and then the square in front of the cathedral.

This one is inside Isakievskii Sobor'. This is an extremely colorful church, also with mosaics on the inside. The mosaics here, however, took many many years to finish, since (I think) each tile was placed individually. That's Nathan, Asja, and Tess (and Emily's head) in the foreground.

Firecones!, inside the door of Yusupovsky Palace, where Rasputin was killed. He wasn't killed where the firecones were, though.

The Hermitage from across the Neva.

Then, one day, when I was walking home, there was a boat race down the canal, I guess. There were a couple of guys doing tricks, or at least doing the boat equivalent of popping wheelies, which always ended in a big splash, sometimes soaking the people watching from the sidewalks.

Next, we have some highlights from last weekend (not the one we just finished, the one before that), which we spent in Pskov. Pskov is hecka old. First, the fortress and cathedral at Pskov. It's got centuries on North American historical structures.

Honestly, I forget what this is. It's across the river from the fortress.

Locks, across the river from the fortress. Couples come here and fasten a lock around the gate, and throw the key in the river.

The river and main bridge in Pskov.

Stone walls and grass just outside the fortress.

An intriguing building not far from our hotel. I'm sure it was mentioned on the tour, but I'm pretty sure nobody remembers everything they say on the tours.

The second day of the Pskov trip, we drove out into Pskov the region (having been in Pskov the city) and the bus dropped us in the middle of some fields. We walked through a big field, not really knowing what's going on, and then saw this.

We walked for a little while along this gorgeous, expansive countryside (which is extra beautiful after having spent three solid weeks in a city), and came to the more touristy area. These are the magic springs, and several of my fellow students in front of them. Different springs have different properties (money, health, faith, love), and drinking from them will bring you good luck in that arena of your life. Oddly enough, Hart (who's been with Smolny since last summer) and Philip (who studied there a few years back and works there now) both said that the like the water from the Neva, the people who drank from last year got sick. (In retrospect, I don't think that happened this year.)

Another shot of the springs. Ignore that guy's feet.

Then, Emma and Louis, the other two Oberlin students, went swimming. This was taken before someone accidentally knocked Adams' camera in the water.

A big tower in the fortress in Pskovland. We walked up this tower to the lookout on top...

Ilya & Kalinda (who both left yesterday morning), and Emily (who's still around for four more weeks, like me).

Hey, it's me. (I still look the same. It's only been a month.)

This is the monastery we went to after the springs and fortress. It was gorgeous, but since there were so many people (not even factoring in the monks) who were clearly there for non-touristy reasons, I didn't feel much up to taking pictures. This is all I've got.

Another phenomenon in Russia (this particular photo taking place after lunch after the monastery, before the five hour bus ride back to Petersburg): there is a good number of stray dogs, and they're really friendly. Sometimes they just sit and people-watch, and other times they come over for some attention.

Well, that's Псков. I think this past weekend (the one that just ended) merits another post.

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