Well, here we go. The rest of the Russia pictures. You won't see any more for a while, but TRUST ME. This was the first, but NOT THE LAST trip to Russia. Maybe next time, you'll get to see pictures of Moscow!
So, here is Emma, and there are several of us not in the shot, trying to figure out how you're supposed to look at the sun in a partial solar eclipse without killing your eyes. We knew there was that thing you could do with poking a hole in a piece of paper and ... we didn't really know the rest. It clearly isn't holding the paper up to the sun and looking at the sun through the hole. We tried that. (We've figured it out by now. There's two pieces of paper...)
So I tried to take pictures of it. Then I tried to take a picture through my sunglasses, which worked pretty well.
Here is the Blagoveshenskii Most', which I walked over to get to school. I like bridge pictures. Brace yourselves for later in the post.
Friends, family, and other people I may or may not know, meet Pushkin.
We had a picnic on this island. So, thing is, there are a lot of stray dogs in Russia. This one, in particular, was kind of friendly. By 'friendly', I mean, he really wanted to jump on our food. So Adams, who is able to befriend any creature with stunning ease, played with him. Emma noted that it looked a little like a scene from 'Little House on the Prairie'.
I saw this truck a few days in a row. All of the letters are letters in English. It takes me about four attempts to pronounce this the way a non-Russian understanding American would. Kind of like that Hecla sign in Pennsylvania.
Adams and Hart, pretending to be in the Russian Navy in their Russian Navy shirts.
Aaaaaaand then, I walked around the night before I left and took 8 million pictures of bridges. Behold.
Dang, I just realized how blurry almost all of these night photos are. Dang. But here's some more anyway...
Don't ask me what these buildings are.
Did I successfully capture water texture, or no?
ZENIT! Dave has a Zenit scarf now, noting their championhood of 2007. Now he's a real football fan.
My favorite string of Firecones in all of Piter:
The stairwell of the apartment building. Not actually this dark.
The last day: a trip to the Hermitage. Outside.
Inside, with Rembrandt. I overheard a tour guide saying that there are Dutch people who come to the Hermitage just to see this painting. They might even come to Russia to see it. Next time I'm around, I'm going to try to go on a Wednesday so I can see that magnificent peacock clock in full glory. I know it's crowded, but that's got to be cool.
Now we're leaving the Hermitage. This is the big square.
Then I went and took more pictures of my favorite cathedral, the morgue/vegetable fridge cathedral, with pretty mosaics and towers that beg to become knitted hats. Here's more pictures of it. I'm pretty sure it was on about half of the postcards I "sent" to people. (For those of you who haven't gotten them yet - they're coming... via U.S. post.
Some closeups. I love it when architecture is pretty on the outside, too, and not just ornate inside. COLORS!
Meet Popugai. Popugai means parakeet. The parakeet is named Parakeet.
Meet Mish'. Mish' means mouse. The mouse is named Mouse.
Look at these fabulous stickers in the hallway. They're all over the apartment, and they're wonderful. Best decorating job ever.
The kitchen table.
Some more walking around, a few hours before they picked me up to go to the airport. I walked past a wedding reception, and they were pretty riled up and having a good time, and I wanted to tell them congratulations, just a person walking down the street, but I wasn't cool enough to do it.
I bought chocolate!...
Kay, guys. Four more. You can do it. Only wonderful people left (pictured with me, anyway), and some crazy firecones.
Me with my host sister, Inna.
Me with Tatya, one of the tutors.
Me with my head blocking Vika. She led a group about the mass media in Russia. I was really the only student in attendance most of the time, but it was still really neat.
AND. Not actually in Russia. In Germany. Frankfurt airport. GREEN FIRECONES, guys. GREEN FIRECONES.
After that, there's just nothin' more to say.