Thursday, June 28, 2018

Baltics Cruise July/August 2014 Russia Pt. 5.

At last I have reached the final part of our two day stay in St. Petersburg with this post.
After we came out of The Hermitage there was a military display going on as it was Paratroopers Day. Our guide told us that after the marching it is a time for veterans and new recruits to let their hair down. They drink until they fall down and are left where they fall. He advised against staying too long once that started, because so do the fights.

After we left there we went to the Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood. It was built in memory of Alexander II who was assassinated in 1881, and stands on the very place where a bomb was thrown into his carriage by a man who opposed the Tsar's reforms. It took 24 years to build.

The interior is decorated completely in mosaics, each mosaic being a tiny piece. Below are some of the photos I took there. I had trouble getting clear photos because of the reflection from them.

Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral built between 1712 and 1733. It was built during the rule of Peter the Great and has the world's tallest orthodox bell tower.

The remains of almost all of the Russian Emperors and Empresses are buried here since Peter the Great.

Nicholas II and his family were finally laid to rest here in July 1998.
You can read more about it here.
That ends our stay in Russia. Next is Helsinki, Finland.

Monday, June 25, 2018

British Percheron Centenary Event 2018

We took a cruise to Scandinavia in the beginning of June (which I haven't posted yet). When we got back to Southampton we knew that Virginia was over from France again because her Percheron, Vidock, was taking part in the British Percheron Centenary event which you can read about here. It was being held at the South Weald Living Museum which was also holding the centenary of the First World War.
 As it was less than an hour from the port we had decided we would go on to it instead of going home.
Vidock was the War Horse and followed the gun.

It was interesting to see so many horse drawn vehicles from 100 years ago.

The St. Giles steam fire engine.

Vidock having a well earned rest between appearances.

We took the opportunity to talk to Virginia,

And give Vidock some treats.

Ivor and Vidock.

This is the Musical Ride ride performed by visitors from France.

They had a very moving re-enactment called Letters from the Field where letters were read by the wife to her husband who was away fighting and his replies to her. It was made even more poignant by having the different horses and carriages to illustrate the letters.

Vidock's return to the arena following the gun carriage.

He and his rider, Mr.S really looked the part. Vidock did everyone associated with him and particularly Virginia proud.

There was some medieval jousting afterwards but I couldn't get any good photos of the action.

There was also a lot of other things going on showing life through the ages and it made a very enjoyable day out.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Bucklers Hard.

While we were staying in the New Forest we visited the old ship building village of Bucklers Hard, and after walking around the village and museum we took a river trip.

Gypsy Moth IV in which Sir Francis Chichester was the first person to sail solo around the world in 1966.

Thursday, June 21, 2018


As I said in my last post, I am taking a short break in my Baltics posts to catch up with more local trips.
I am already 4 years behind with my cruise posts so a week or two more won't make any difference.
Earlier this year an online friend said she would be taking one of her regular trips to see her handsome Percheron horse who is being trained in England.
As he is kept only 3 1/2 hours away from our home it would be an ideal time to travel up and meet her and the magnificent Vidock. She was coming over for the Southern Counties Heavy Horse Event.
We decided to make a 3 day break of it and stayed in the New Forest.

There were many different breeds of heavy horses, but the highlight for us was the team of 12 Percherons pulling the roller and chain harrows.

After that we were taken by Virginia to see Vidock at the farm.

After seeing so many photos of him on their blog, it was a treat to see him face to face.
The weather that day was awful and Vidock had made the most of the rain and the mud, and although not looking at his best he still stood proud and magnificent.
We were to meet him again a few months later and this time he would look very different. Hopefully that post will follow in a few days.