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Messages - Cathy

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The Feodorovski Cathedral & Gorodok / Re: Feodorovsky Cathedral
« on: January 03, 2009, 10:26:52 AM »
I think that the Russian word not translated above means "...outdoor merrymaking on a public holiday..."

Forum Announcements / Re: Travel Advice to St. Petersburg & Russia
« on: December 23, 2008, 08:10:33 AM »
Hi Laura
The ATM at the Astoria Hotel is a great place to get money! And the bathroom is to die for!!
And another travel tip - take little cards, cheat sheets, with you. Pull out the Russian for AP and show the driver and he will know exactly what you can not say yet but will soon be able to!!!

The Alexander Palace / Re: Tsar's valet or valets
« on: November 25, 2008, 06:20:35 AM »
The site seems to go up and down - try again. I get in 1 out of 3 times.

The Alexander Palace / Re: The Horse Tomb of the Tsars
« on: November 24, 2008, 10:28:15 AM »
It's OK now - I think the site may have had a problem but it is up now.

Forum Announcements / Re: Travel Advice to St. Petersburg & Russia
« on: November 23, 2008, 08:10:36 AM »
Glad you enjoyed your most recent trip - where did you stay? And for how long? What was your favourite experience?

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: November 22, 2008, 02:25:13 PM »
I think that Nick is right - if one looks at the watercolour painting on the cover of the book Tsarskoe Selo, The Imperial Summer Residence, 2005 Alfa-Colour Art Publishers, one can see the yellow between the white pillars but as a closer image to the eye - the blue is clearly visible on most of the palace. I think that it is only there to clearly show the pillars.

It is common in Russia for many buildings (from homes to offices to palaces) to be constructed in brick, covered in a white stucco or cement-like stuff :-) and then painted the famous pastel or the darker shades and colours.

Has anyone ever seen an image of the winter palace in yellow?

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: November 19, 2008, 07:53:35 AM »
I have seen the Catherine Palace 'in real life' 3 times now. Each time the colour blue has been a different shade (at least in part) and the gilding has been different tones. There was still much to do in 1996 because the back sections had not been restored completely. In 2006, the blue was lovely but the gold was very strong and bright. Now, in 2008, the blue is not as pretty as it was in 2006 but the gilding has been toned down to a dull colour which I like better. Not all mind you - the roof is bright.
The Smolny has been (and actually still is) many shades of different blues.
I loved the shade of blue of St. Nicholas Cathedral the best but even it changes with every painting.
I love seeing pictures of the Winter Palace, Peterhof and the Anichkov in dark red but I like the current colours best.
I've seen the Stroganov green and pink and I liked the green best but my Russian friends like the pink.
I would love to see a picture of the Winter Palace in yellow.
I LOVE the many colours in St. Petersburg. 
They repaint buildings a lot!!!

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: November 18, 2008, 02:12:52 PM »
I think that Rastrelli remodelled the Winter Palace (he completed the previous reincarnation under Empress Anna) and completed it just after the death of Elizabeth in 1762. Under Rastrelli it was painted yellow and white. He then went on to create other palaces in St. Petersburg and the Catherine Palace in TS so it would not surprise me the learn that he had it painted yellow and white too.

The Alexander Palace / Re: Tsar's valet or valets
« on: November 17, 2008, 08:01:39 AM »
"...In Nicholas II's reign - the Imperial Suite had 2 classes of officials, the first had 150 officers and the second had 73 - working 24 hours accompanying the emperor throughout the day..." This has been taken from the book 'The Court Of The Last Tsar' by Greg King. It is an amazing book, well written, full of details of the who and when and where of the daily life of the Tsar. I would recommend that you read it if you really want to know about a valet of NII.

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: The Farm Palace, in Peterhof
« on: November 11, 2008, 10:59:28 AM »
The photo was forbidden to me too!!!

Forum Announcements / Re: Travel Advice to St. Petersburg & Russia
« on: November 11, 2008, 10:51:00 AM »
Newfan - great advice!!!
Laura - winter tips for a Canadian!!!! But if I were going in January I would take a pair of the crampons that they sell (in CTC for example) to put on the bottom of your boots to avoid slippery and icy walkways. The bridges over the Neva are icy in the winter because the wind blows around them very strongly. Though, judging from the amount of sand on the streets and roads in April, I think they do a lot of road clearance/safety. But the crampons help you walk in the parks on icy snow as well. I use them all winter where I live.

Forum Announcements / Re: Travel Advice to St. Petersburg & Russia
« on: November 10, 2008, 07:57:21 AM »
Helen Rappaport:
I would also seriously warn travellers about using the Metro.  It is brilliant, quick and efficient but difficult if you don’t speak and read Russian – no concessions whatsoever to foreigners, so none of the signs to platforms etc are in English. And my god it is like going down into Hades.  It is so crowded and people push and shove you on and off trains with tremendous force. It is an absolute paradise for bag thieves and pickpockets.  So take care. It is also unbelievably hot and stuffy – so if you are prone to claustrophobia, don’t go there!  It is also quite difficult travelling with luggage – people moan and push and shove at you if your bags are in the way. So if you can afford it take a taxi. Having said that, it is an experience not to be missed if you want to see the real Russia.

Yes, by all means take car of yourself and your belongings. Travel with a companion. Look out for each others safety.
However...I live on a rural street with no traffic. I hardly ever get to a big city and have only travelled on the metro twice in the past 10 years - very safe in Canada. So I am NOT used to the hustle and bustle of the crowds and the noise and the fast pace of people etc. etc. In St. P's I felt completely safe on the metro. I had my trusty metro map that gave me the name in Russian and the transliteral. I counted the number of stops I had to travel and checked the names at each stop. Every one was nice or at least typical of people in a rush on the subway. I was not travelling alone but we do not speak Russian. The trains and stations were clean. It was VERY fast. The distance between stops is long. I think that the escalators were the scariest. But I thought it was a good, cheap, safe, exciting way to travel to our further destinations.

The Feodorovski Cathedral & Gorodok / Re: Feodorovsky Cathedral
« on: November 08, 2008, 05:23:40 AM »
Further to EmmyLee ...."Does anyone know what state the original shrine is in today (if it still exists)?"...
Yes, the shrine is still there, between the AP and the cathedral/gorodok. There is a path that one would take past the pond in front of the palace out of the grounds through a fence entrance. Follow the path created by lots of feet! It is to the left of the path to the gorodok in a grassy area. Today it is red brick, unmaintained but in excellent shape. You can see the Cathedral through the opening at the upper part of the shrine. Very dramatic.

russiameg - your pictures are lovely. How did you get to Vyborg? A tour bus as a group or by train?
Victor - St. Petersburg is a very "walkable" city if you go to the main attractions in the heart of the city. We walked for miles except for the times that we had friends taking us on the trams or mini buses (which are wonderful) and there is a great metro (subway) system that takes you almost anywhere.
My goal on my last trip was to walk the stairs to the top of St. Issac's so I trained last winter by walking up/down my stairs at home 17 times every day. We walked approx. 3 hours taking pictures the morning I went to St. Issac's but I managed to climb to the top without stopping. I was so proud of myself and the view from the top was glorious.

The Alexander Palace / Re: Portrait Hall
« on: October 06, 2008, 02:19:24 PM »
Vladimir - you are right :-) I have just looked at my pictures and I have a great one of just the ceiling with the chandelier but the lights were on and the picture is dark (indoor without flash 2 years ago) and it looked like the chandelier from the crimson drawing room to me! My mistake :-)

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