Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Wordless Wednesday - Peterhof Palace.

 Peterhof Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia.

The palace.

The Cascade.

"One of St. Petersburg's most famous and popular visitor attractions, the palace and park at Peterhof (also known as Petrodvorets) are often referred to as "the Russian Versailles", although many visitors conclude that the comparison does a disservice to the grandeur and scope of this majestic estate.

Versailles was, however, the inspiration for Peter the Great's desire to build an imperial palace in the suburbs of his new city and, after an aborted attempt at Strelna, Peterhof - which means "Peter's Court" in German - became the site for the Tsar's Monplaisir Palace, and then of the original Grand Palace. The estate was equally popular with Peter's daughter, Empress Elizabeth, who ordered the expansion of the Grand Palace and greatly extended the park and the famous system of fountains, including the truly spectacular Grand Cascade.

Improvements to the park continued throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Catherine the Great, after leaving her own mark on the park, moved the court to Pushkin, but Peterhof once again became the official Imperial Residence in the reign of Nicholas I, who ordered the building of the modest Cottage Palace in 1826.

Like almost all St. Petersburg's suburban estates, Peterhof was ravaged by German troops during the Second World War. It was, however, one of the first to be resurrected and, thanks to the work of military engineers as well as over 1,000 volunteers, the Lower Park opened to the public in 1945 and the facades of the Grand Palace were restored in 1952. The name was also de-Germanicized in 1944, becoming Petrodvorets, the name under which the surrounding town is still known. The palace and park are once again known as Peterhof."

I am joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for the blog hop.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Wordless Wednesday: Tallin, Estonia.

 Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Tallin, Estonia.

"The large and richly decorated Russian Orthodox church, designed in a mixed historicist style, was completed on Toompea Hill in 1900, when Estonia was part of the Czarist Empire.

The well-maintained cathedral is one of the most monumental examples of Orthodox sacral architecture in Tallinn. Tallinn’s most powerful ensemble of church bells is located in the church towers. It comprises 11 bells, including Tallinn’s largest bell, which weighs 15 tonnes. Carillons by the entire ensemble can be heard before services. The interior, which is decorated with mosaics and icons, is worth a visit."

I am joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for the blog hop.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Wordless Wednesday

 The red columns in St. Petersburg are called rostral columns. Since ancient times, and particularly Ancient Rome, architects used to “decorate” columns with trophies - the prows or rams of the defeated ships, which, in Latin, are called ‘rostrum’.

The more rostrums, the more enemies should be frightened to attack the navy. And more people would be proud of their country. 

Another famous example of the rostral column is the Columbus Monument at Columbus Circle in New York City. There are also rostral columns in French Bordeaux, on the place des Quinconces.

I am joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for the blog hop.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Wordless Wednesday, Stockholm Archipelago.

"The Stockholm archipelago is a cluster of some 30000 islands, skerries and rocks and begins just a few minutes away from the city of Stockholm."

This is one of our favourite places to sail through. Because there are so many islands with some being not much more than a rock with a house on it, the ship has to go slowly to avoid wash. It is very peaceful with just the gentle lapping of the sea against the ship. We like to bring food to our balcony and a bottle (or two) of wine and sit there all night instead of going to the restaurant.

A ferry between the islands.

I am joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for the blog hop.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Wordless Wednesday.

 St. Lawrence's Church by the Kennet and Avon canal, Hungerford, Berkshire.

I am joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for the blog hop.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Wordless Wednesday. Aarhus, Denmark.


The Lighthouse and Iceberg Houses in Aarhus docklands.I don't think there is an actual lighthouse there, but it has been called that because it overlooks the harbour. The Lighthouse skyscraper was completed in April 2023 and is the tallest building in Denmark. Construction still continues in the area. It is 42 storeys high which is 40 too many for me!

I am joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for the blog hop.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Wordless Wednesday, Baltics Cruise 2023.

Visby on the island of Gotland, Sweden.

Flowers everywhere, no graffiti and everything kept spotlessly clean. A pleasure to be there.
Park with the remains of the old town wall in the background.

The entrance to the old town

A very popular sea food restaurant.

I am joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for the blog hop.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Wordless Wednesday

 "Oslo was renamed Christiania in 1624 after Christian IV of Denmark and Norway ordered its rebuilding after a fire destroyed the city for the 14th time. It was rebuilt near Akershus Festning (Castle). The original name of Oslo was restored in 1925. The statue is of Christian IV’s glove pointing to where Oslo was rebuilt."

I am joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for the blog hop.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Wordless Wednesday.

 We have just come back from a Baltics cruise. This time Poland was substituted for St. Petersburg for obvious reasons. We had a couple of meals in the Crown Grill where the steaks and lobster are delicious. At the end they have a taster menu of all the desserts but I was too full for that. Ivor gave it his best shot though!



I am joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for the blog hop.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Wordless Wednesday - Peterhof Palace.

Peterhof Palace.

The Menager Fountain.

The Cascade.

You can see these and more photos from Peterhof Palace on my original post of our 2014 cruise.

Click here

I am joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for the blog hop.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Wordy Wednesday - St. Petersburg, Russia.

As we will never revisit Russia I thought I would do it with selected posts from our 2014 cruise.
The embankment on the Neva River with one of the pair of Sphinx in the background.

I hadn't realised how old the Sphinx were until I looked it up. I knew they had come from Egypt originally but was amazed to learn how old they were. This is what I read about them:

"The two magnificent sphinxes on Unversitetskaya Naberezhnaya (University Embankment), in front of the Academy of Fine Arts, are roughly 3,500 years old and are considered among the finest examples of Ancient Egyptian colossal sculpture kept outside Egypt. They once stood on the Alley of Sphinxes in front of the tomb of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. For nearly two centuries, however, it has been the waters of the River Neva rather than the Nile that reflect in their bottomless eyes."
"The sphinxes were discovered during excavations in the 1820s, and were soon written about by the great French Egyptologist Jean-Francois Champollion. At the beginning of the 1830s, they were bought in France on behalf of the Russian Emperor and shipped to St. Petersburg. Carved from pink granite, the sphinxes weigh around 23 tons each, and the great neo-classical architect Konstantin Ton designed their pedestals and the granite pier, with its bronze lamps and griffins."

One of the gryphons (griffins).

The English Embankment.

The Imperial Academy of Arts on the Academy Quay of the Neva River.

I am joining Sandee at comedy Plus for the blog hop.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

(Not) Wordless Wednesday - St. Petersburg

 These photos are from the first time we visited Russia in 2014.

If you do your own thing in Russia you need to get a visa, not that many people would want to under the current conditions in that part of the world now! The ships tell you that you have to take their tours but that is not true. We booked with a registered Russian tour company and had eight in our group as opposed to ship tours with forty people.

St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral built in 1753.

We weren't allowed to take photos so I stood in the doorway with the flash turned off and hoped no-one would notice.

I took so many photos there so more will most likely be appearing here. I am glad I did though as we obviously will never return there.

I am joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for the blog hop.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Wordless Wednesday.

Our second and now obviously final visit in 2018 to St. Petersburg, Russia.

 The Lakhta Center is an 87-storey skyscraper built in the northwestern neighbourhood of Lakhta in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Standing 462 metres tall, it is the tallest building in Russia, the tallest building in Europe, and the sixteenth-tallest building in the world.

The second day we were there England were playing Croatia in the football World Cup semi finals (they lost!). We had been asked if we wanted tickets but declined, and looking at the huge queues I am very glad we did.

I am joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for the blog hop.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Wordless Wednesday - Clapper Bridge

 Old 1780s bridge at Postbridge, Dartmoor and known as New Bridge.

Much older bridge, thought to be 12th century! Tin was mined on the moors and carried by pack horses who crossed the clapper bridges to take it to Tavistock, an ancient stannary town.

I am joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for the blog hop.