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Thread: My Trip To Russia

  1. #1

    My Trip To Russia

    I am going to put up several posts about my August trip to Russia.

    First, a few general comments. In view of our fraught diplomatic relationship, it might seem a risky move. Nothing could be further from the truth. My experience was positive in every way (except the consequences for using tap water to brush my teeth. More about that later.)

    There were quite a few Chinese groups visiting and our Russian guides were very hostile toward them. They bring their own guides in violation of the tour regulations and are notably pushy and loud. (Americans have had the loud and pushy rap in other settings--but not in Russia.)

    Moscow and St.Petersburg appear to be very affluent. After reading about the economic downturn, I was expecting to see people shabbily dressed. In Moscow especially, the average man or woman on the street was far and away more elegantly dressed than you will find anywhere locally. I was impressed.

    There is a fashion among young people to wear shirts with English words on them. It is not about brands, it is probably just a fad.

    Traffic jams are common when workers are going and coming from work. Eight lane highways are common in both major cities. Moscow has a serious pollution problem that interfered with my photography as much as the cloudy weather.

    No, I didn't see Putin.

    More later.

  2. #2
    Administrator Bill Wyatt's Avatar
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    Looking forward to more "Stories from Russia!" Be sure to post up pictures too! I'd love to have the experience.
    It's a happy enchilada... (John Prine)

  3. #3

    The Kremlin as seen from the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

    The attached photo is a view of the Kremlin from a platform on the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The church was rebuilt in the 1990's after Stalin had destroyed the old one. He had planned a massive state structure but the ground was too soft to support it. For many years there was a huge public swimming pool on the site. The Orthodox Church, with state support, has rebuilt and restored many churches across Russia and the process continues. If you look carefully at the photo you will notice the heavy traffic along the Kremlin embankment. In addition to the massive office building (Putin's office is here) there are three major churches inside the Kremlin on Cathedral Square. One was where royal babies from the Tsarist era were baptized, one was where they were married and one was where they were buried (or, as our guide put it: "hatched, matched, and dispatched"). Looking into the distance beyond the Kremlin in the middle of the photo you will see the monumental Foreign Ministry building, one of the skyscrapers built during the Stalin era.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Administrator Bill Wyatt's Avatar
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    Beautiful! I can't help but notice the building front and center (just to the left of the bridge) with the two older C-Band satellite dishes mounted on the roof.

    What camera do you use? Very sharp image!
    It's a happy enchilada... (John Prine)

  5. #5
    Thanks for posting,very interesting.

  6. #6
    You see those satellite dishes everywhere--in the countryside on the most dilapidated houses as well as on the most elegant buildings in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

    My camera is a Canon Rebel EOS T5i, but the picture has been heavily manipulated. The smog plus the cloudy conditions in Moscow did not make for attractive photos. In the Golden Ring towns and St. Petersburg the sunshine presented a much better photographic environment. In fact, during our stay in Moscow we enjoyed the heaviest rain recorded in 50 years. We happened to be attending a lecture at Moscow State University on foreign policy no less and walked a mile in the downpour to get to the lecture room.

  7. #7
    Administrator Bill Wyatt's Avatar
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    How long were you there Solon? Anyone of significance presenting the lecture?

    I got my wife a T1 a number of years ago. Got one for myself when the T3i's came out. Sister-in-law needed to get our niece (her daughter) a camera for a college class and I recommended the old Rebel. She has a T5i also. They are great dependable cameras.
    It's a happy enchilada... (John Prine)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Wyatt View Post
    How long were you there Solon? Anyone of significance presenting the lecture?

    I got my wife a T1 a number of years ago. Got one for myself when the T3i's came out. Sister-in-law needed to get our niece (her daughter) a camera for a college class and I recommended the old Rebel. She has a T5i also. They are great dependable cameras.
    It was a 17 day trip http://www.roadscholar.org/find-an-a...western-russia. Our speaker was Dmitry Savkin who is relatively young but has an international resume http://www.ion.ranepa.ru/en/about/st...ELEMENT_ID=930.

    I took over 3,700 photos most of which are not memorable for anyone but me. A few are worth viewing and I will post some of the better ones as I discuss the trip. Without a great camera like the Canon it would have been impossible to take so many photos--several of my favorites were taken from a moving bus. I also carried a small pocket camera and those photos are atrocious. The Canon has deceived me into thinking I am a good photographer. The pocket camera keeps me humble.

    IMG_6565.jpg

    The photo above (also heavily edited) shows the Kremlin and its churches from across the river on the opposite embankment. The tall dome is the bell tower. Russians love(d) their bells and often there is a separate bell tower beside the church(es) especially in the monasteries. This photo was taken from a moving bus with the Canon T5i. I select the sports mode and it stabilizes the movement. That may slightly diminish the quality of the photo, but I was pleased with this one.
    Last edited by Solon; 10-06-2016 at 08:56 PM.

  9. #9
    The Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow is a repository for Russian art. While Russian novelists of the 19th and 20th centuries are widely known, painters are not. The Tretyakov has a particularly fine collection of works by the "Wanderers" who traveled across Russia in the mid to late 19th century painting landscapes, portraits, and historical works. One of the more famous artists is Ilya Repin (1844-1930) whose dacha we visited on the Baltic coast outside St. Petersburg. Below is one of Repin's works.

    Ivan IV (The Terrible) killed his son and heir in a fit of rage. This picture, depicting that event is entitled Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581. Repin completed it in 1885.
    IMG_7003.jpg

    Because I admire the landscapes of the "Wanderers" I took some photos that mimic their realism. This one is a country scene (always with a church) somewhere between Suzdal and Yaroslavl, two cities that played an important role in the development of medieval Rus.
    Somewhere between Suzdal and Yaroslavl.jpg

    This is Ilya Repin's dacha.
    IMG_9962.jpg
    Last edited by Solon; 10-10-2016 at 01:48 AM.

  10. #10
    Administrator Bill Wyatt's Avatar
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    What an incredible trip! Just awesome! Keep the pictures coming.
    It's a happy enchilada... (John Prine)

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