Favorite thing: One of my most treasured memories of visiting Leningrad is the trip we took to see the Palace and Gardens of Peterhof. To get there we had to travel by boat. The fountains in front of the palace with their stunning gold statues were quite amazing to see.Related to:
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
St.Petersburg on the budget
Favorite thing: Can you believe it - St.Pete has beaten both Spain and Greece as budget travelling goes!
Here is what the Backpacker Index says, placing our Northern capital as # 14 - between Vilnius and Zagreb:
While struggling to develop enough hostels and tourist-friendly businesses, Saint Petersburg is still definitely in the bargain category for those who can pull it off. Most things are very affordable, and the city would seem even cheaper if its incredible Hermitage Museum/Winter Palace didn’t (justifiably) cost so much. Hotels and tourist restaurants aren’t so cheap, however.
Currency: Russian ruble
Cheap/good hostel: Base Camp Hostel – 370/night
Daily Backpacker Index: RUB1,348 = US$40.97/day
- Budget Travel
At Peterline Checkin
Favorite thing: Ferry checkin and Customs
We were at the checkin as soon as it opened. this is really best , since there were huge lines behind us . one Asian tour had 200 people.We checked in with St Peterline and got our boarding pass , then on to Customs. We presented our passport , departure card , Part Two of our immigration form and boarding pass ,to the customs official ( who was quite gruff) .A quick stamp and we walked to our room.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Gay and Lesbian
Customs and immigration
Favorite thing: We docked on time .It took about 25 minutes to clear customs . we showed our arrival and departure cards and passport .They give back your departure card ,and you keep that on you for your whole stay ...it shows the tour you booked with St Peterline and they take on side of your immigration paper. they din t even look at our hotel receipt. The people in fron of us had trouble though. I think they had a private tour booked and they were questioned and taken out of the line.....no worries though saw them at the Hermitage so they must have straightened it out.
We exchanged money in the terminal , there is an ATM as well and went outside where the shuttle van was waiting.Related to:
- Women's Travel
The Russian alphabet
Favorite thing: It is very useful to be able to read the Cyrillic characters as most signs in Russia are not written in Latin letters, but in Cyrillic only, and it is very funny to try as well ! I loved to spell myself through words in Cyrillic (made me feel like a preschool child again:-)) and I loved the fact of discovering familiar words written in an unfamiliar way.
It is really not difficult, once you have learnt the letters you will be surprised at how fast you make progress understanding more and more every day!
If you want to learn the Russian alphabet, there is a very good App called Russian alphabet on Apple Store (price around 4 USD) You can download it on Iphone, Ipad and Ipod, and it is very useful as you have a sound and can learn the exact prononciation of each letter, and it comes with a test, so that you can test your own progress afterwards.
Fondest memory: Name of the App: Russian alphabetRelated to:
- Study Abroad
- School Holidays
- Budget Travel
Favorite thing: My guidebook said that mosquitoes are a complete nightmare between May and September. It told me to go armed with 'at least 95% DEET' which I dutifully stocked up on. I went to St, Petersburg in August and I think I saw 2 mosquitoes in the entire time I was there and so therefore did not bust into my DEET. HOWEVER, one of those mosquitoes took a bit of a shine to me and attacked my right leg. I actually got an infection bcause of this and it was exceedingly painful to walk. I ended up having to go to a doctor who gave me medicines and creams... he spoke very little English but that was more than my Russian. I have no idea what the medicines were but I took them and they helped... 6 weeks after returning, my foot is only just returning to normal and not hurting whenever I walk on it.
Moral of the story ... if you see a mosquito... remember all is fair in love and war, this is war and it is the enemy... blast it with DEET!!!! :-))
Alfabeto Cirílico - Cyrillic Alphabet
Favorite thing: Este alfabeto está basado en el alfabeto griego y toma signos hebreos para los sonidos que no existían
Según la tradición este alfabeto fue inventado por dos hermanos San Metodio y San Cirilo en el siglo IX cuando estaban en Bulgaria y tradujeron la Biblia al eslavo .
Se utilizó en sus inicios para la literatura eclesiástica , pero con el tiempo fue evolucionando y las diferencias entre la lengua hablada y la escrita fueron cada vez más grandes , fueron apareciendo nuevos términos de la vida cultural , científica... que no se podían expresar así que sufrió grandes cambios en la época de Pedro I y posteriormente hasta que al llegar al poder, los bolcheviques impulsaron la reforma de la ortografía que eliminó algunas letras y aproximó la escritura cirílica a la versión hablada del ruso
En los pueblos eslavos la división entre la Iglesia oriental y la occidental viene dada, por la clase de alfabeto que utilizaban, el alfabeto latino donde predominaba la Iglesia Católica y el cirílico donde predomina la Ortodoxa.
De hecho hoy en día lo utilizan más de 250 millones de personas y en Rusia y en diferentes países
El alfabeto Cirilico , consta de 33 letras: 21 consonantes, 10 vocales, y dos letras sin sonido
Hay algunas letras que son comunes a las del alfabeto latino pero pueden sonar muy distinto y hay muchas otras que son inteligibles para nosotros , así que algunas recomendaciones para cuando visites Rusia , donde prácticamente todo está escrito en cirilico , pueden ser :
- Si estudias un poco el alfabeto Ruso antes del viaje , te puede ayudar a localizar las palabras
- El cirílico tiene gran similitud con el latín y con el griego , así que muchas palabras te pueden resultar familiares cuando conviertas las letras al alfabeto latino
- Cuando compres una guía asegúrate que tiene los nombres y direcciones escritos en cirílico , pues siempre se lo puedes enseñar a cualquier persona para que te oriente
- Cuando preguntes por algo en la calle , la gente es muy simpática y trata de ayudarte , busca a gente joven pues tienes más probabilidades de que hablen algo de Inglés
- Hay alguna persona que intenta ayudarte en perfecto Ruso y pueden estar dándote consejos y direcciones durante varios minutos sin que te enteres de nada. Paciencia
This alphabet is based on the Greek alphabet and it uses some Hebrew signs for sounds that did not exist
According to tradition this alphabet was invented by two brothers St. Cyril and St. Methodius in the ninth century when they were in Bulgaria and translated the Bible into Slavonic.
Fondest memory: It was used in the beginning for Religious literature, but over the time evolved and the differences between spoken and written language became increasingly large, were appearing new terms of culture, science ... that could not be expressed , so the language underwent great changes in the time of Peter I and later until , the Bolsheviks period that promoted the spelling reform which eliminated some letters and approached the Cyrillic script to the spoken version of the actual Russian
In the Slavic countries , the division between Eastern and Western Church is given by the type of alphabet used, the Latin alphabet dominates the Catholic Church and the Ciryllic the Orthodox or Byzantine .
In fact today is used by more than 250 million people in Russia and in ex soviet countries
The Cyrillic alphabet consists of 33 letters: 21 consonants, 10 vowels, and two letters without sound
There are some letters that are common to the Latin alphabet but can sound very different and there are many others that are intelligible to us, so here are some recommendations for your visit to Russia, where almost everything is written in Cyrillic :
- If you study a little the Russian alphabet before the trip, it can help you find the words and to understand them
- The Cyrillic is very similar to the Latin and Greek, so the meaning of many words may be familiar to you when converting the letters into the Latin alphabet
- When you purchase a guide make be sure that it has the names and addresses written in Cyrillic, as always you can show them to anyone to help and orient you
- When you ask for something in the street, people are very friendly and try to help, if possible try with young people because you have more chances that they speak some English
- You will find people that is trying to help you in perfect Russian, and they may be giving you advice and directions for several minutes without you understanding anything. Patience
Favorite thing: La música de la Liturgia Ortodoxa está escrita para ser cantada por un coro “a capella”. Los fieles no pueden cantar y para ello hay un coro
No hay instrumentos musicales , pues consideraban la música como una especie de don divino que no podía ser “contaminado” por los instrumentos, hechos por el hombre
Por esto se ha desarrollado tanto la polifonía , donde hay que destacar a los "octavistas" ( Basso Profondo ) que se llaman así pues pueden cantar una octava por debajo de la voz de bajo que dan un sonido muy especial a la música Rusa
Tuvimos la suerte de escuchar un coro en un pavellón del Palacio de Catalina que tenía una acústica muy buena y fue una experiencia muy buena
The music of the Orthodox Liturgy is written to be sung by a choir " to capella ". The public inspectors cannot sing and for it there is a choir there are no musical instruments, since they were considering the music to be a kind of divine gift that could not be "contaminated" by the instruments done by the man
For this reason the polyphony has developed so muchin Russia , but it is necessary to emphasize the "octavistas" (Basso Profondo) that are called this way because they can sing an octave below the voice of a "basso"and they give a very special sound to the Russian music .
We were lucky to listen to a choir in a pavilion of Catalina's Palace , that had very good acoustic and it was a very good experience
Guías - Guides
Favorite thing: Normalmente estamos acostumbrados a viajar por nuestra cuenta, pero unos amigos nos recomendaron ir con una guía para visitar San Petersburgo, por lo que hemos investigado este tema, y es muy caro
Decidimos hacer la visita por nuestra cuenta y creo que para nosotros es la mejor manera de hacerlo
Sólocontratamos la guía para visitar los palacios que se encuentran en las afueras (Catherine y Pavlovski). Nos llevaron en coche y nos hizo una visita agradable.
Sólo tuvimos una queja, que la guía era muy buena y profesional durante las visitas, pero cuando se terminaron , ella no volvió a hablar nada más, como si tuvieras una máquina que funciona con monedas y en cuanto pasa el tiempo ya no funciona más. Noconseguimos ninguna información sobre San Petersburgo para los próximos días, a pèsar de que tratamos de hablar, se ve que no debería estar en la tarifa
En caso de que estés interesado , Anastasia fue nuestra guía y la web es http://www.peterguide.com/
Normally we are used to travel on our own but some friends recommended us to take a guide to visit Saint Petersburg , so we investigated this issue , that is very expensive
We decided to make the visit on our own and I think that for us is the best way to do it
We only took a guide to visit the palaces that are in the outskirts ( Catherine and Pavlovski) ,they took us by car and we did a nice visit .
We had only one complain , that the guide was very good and professional during the visits , but when they were finished , she didn´t speak any more , as if you had a machine working with coins and after the time it finishes and does not work any more .We didn´t got any information about Saint Petersburg for the next days even if we tried to speak , it should not be in the tariff
In case that you are interested in this company , Anastasia was the guide and the web is http://www.peterguide.com/
900 days Blokade of Leningrad
Fondest memory: The 900 days siege of Leningrad is the most tragic period in the history of the city. This Blockade lasted for a total 900 days, from September 8 1941 until January 27 1944. On that time city has 3 million civilians (400.000 children) refused to surrender. Food and fuel stocks were limited to mere 1-2 month supply, public transport was not operational and by the winter of 1941-42 there was no heating, no water supply, almost no electricity and very little food. From January 1942 to February 1942 - 200.000 people died of cold and starvation.
Some people were evacuated from the city across Lake Ladoga via Famous “Road of Life” - only route that connected the besieged city with the mainland.
About 600.000-800.000 people had died in Leningrad during the Siege. In the Piskariovskoye Memorial Cemetery today resting over 500.000 people reminder of the tragically deeds of the city.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Revolutions in Russia
Favorite thing: In 1917 there were actually two revolutions in Russia. One was the February Revolution in which the Tsar abdicated his throne and the Provisional Government took power. The other was the October Revolution in which the Provisional Government was overthrown by the Bolsheviks.
The Russian Revolution of 1917 played a very important role in world history and also a major role in the history of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Baltic peoples also played a major role in the 1917 Revolution, particularly the Latvian Bolsheviks who comprised a key portion of the Red Guards that defended the Bolsheviks at a crucial time in its early existence
Take a Private Guide to see St. Petersburg
Favorite thing: If like us you're not so young anymore, then our tip is to hire a private guide. It may cost a little extra, but we found it well worth the cost. You will avoid the lines to museums, the huge crowds of people coming from cruise ships - and best of all you will be able to go at you own pace. No need to rush to keep up the the group tour guide and others in the group. We used Tatiana from Russian Adventure - www.russianadventure.com and can thoroughly recommend her. Her personal service, kindness and knowledge really made our trip a pleasure.
Fondest memory: Walking along the Neva embankment in the evening. It was such a beautiful sight.Related to:
Favorite thing: I just came from Moscow & St Petersburg last week and the consulate did not ask
for any specific insuriance. What i did was i wrote the name of insuriance & policy Number and the Visa was issued.The above answers are also quite correct..
No need to worry and enjoy S P
a beautiful not very Russian city
Favorite thing: St. Petersburg is regarded by nearly everyone as the most beautiful city in the world. It has many nicknames, among them Venice of the North and Paris of the East.; and this is its fault, obviouly in my personal opinion. It's everything but Russian, which is something I'll never forgive.
Fondest memory: It's a living museum, like it or not. But as a city I found it quite cold and very little vibrant. When I visited, large parts of it were covered in scaffoldings, which did not help in improving its charm. I liked it, but was far from being in awe.Related to:
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: There are some awesome daytrips possible from St Petersburg, out to Pushkin, Pavlovsk, Peterhof and Kronshtadt.
I'd recommend spending at least a week in St Petersburg so as to be able to do all these trips in addition to the attractions within the city itself.
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