Industrial art

Today we tackle the little white public buses of St Petersburg. We are heading out into the suburbs to visit the Street Art Museum. Just after hopping on the bus a policeman in the middle of the street is blowing his whistle and waving us over, then trucks come along and block the road. Following…

Power, Utopia and Nastoyka

A rather disappointing visit to the State Museum of Political History of Russia. It was built up to be quite good by a number of people I spoke to and I had high hopes. Even the blurb about each section read really well at the museum, however the delivery of the material failed somewhat. The…

The Hermitage

After a little tourist souviner shopping we went back to the hostel for another coffee. I chatted to a young couple of university students. He was from Ukraine, she Poland. They said they were hitchhiker’s…initially I assumed they meant backpackers, but no they literally hitchhiked here. They told some funny stories about their travels. The…

Red Arrow and an endless boat trip

Walking down the platform to our first class carriage we were greeted by our young attendant for the night. He settled us in, showed us how to work everything and took our breakfast order. He is a student, studying trains in St Petersburg, what he meant is he is studying to be a railway engineer….

Riding the Metro.

We started our last day in Moscow having a late breakfast at a pavement cafe opposite the Tchaikovsky Conservatory with the sound of students practicing in the background. We have a long day ahead of us with our sleeper train to St Petersburg, The Red Arrow leaving late tonight. We have decided to explore the…

A market, some art and religion…

We ate our picnic lunch today out the front of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, a Russian Orthodox cathedral near the centre of Moscow. It seems that today was the day for coach loads of rural Russians to visit the city. There were lots of elderly people including heaps of little bent old ladies…

Gorki Park and Metro

We had our picnic in Gorki Park today and spent quite a bit of time just sitting in the lovely sunshine – Jeremy was reading, I was people watching. Moscow is not what I had imagined not to be and I realise I have possibly fallen victim to 80’s propaganda of what it was like…

Moscow, Moscow…

I have to admit to a little bit of nervousness about visiting Moscow…especially with Russias sometimes negative impact on world affairs. And the hastle of getting a Visa…needing to be invited by your booked hotel. On the morning of our flight to Moscow from Berlin our accommodation was cancelled which lead to a rushed search…

Berlin – Stasi and Templehof

The Stasi Museum is in one of the buildings where the Stasi operated out of during the years of the GDR, until the fall of the wall in 1989. Having read Anna Funders, Stasiland, I am a little bit familiar with the stories linked to the Stasi and in particular how they forced people into…

Berlin…art and memorial

Today was another massive day in Berlin. In contrast to Brussels which felt edgy and uncertain, Berlin feels edgy and certain, a city that doesn’t care what others think, a city where people can be themselves. A city that is comfortable in its dishevelled exterior. It has been rapidly rebuilt after the destruction of WW2,…

Walls of Berlin

We’re in Berlin so of course the first thing we do is see the infamous wall. We are in easy walking distance to the wall memorial where part of the wall has been retained plus other bits added to create an informative and thought provoking memorial site. Nearby is the Nordbahnhof, or north train station,…

Another serve of Brussels?

The ICE International train zooms, almost quietly, across the Belgium and then Germany countryside, heading to Frankfurt. We will get off at Koln (Cologne) to catch our next train to Berlin. I take the opportunity to read some more opinion pieces on Brussels, because I am still trying to process my feelings for this contradictory…