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A Tale of Two Russian Cities..It was the worst of times and....

A Tale of Two Russian Cities..It was the worst of times and....

Sep 8th, 2008, 12:29 PM
  #21  
 
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sallyjane3, I am very glad that you ignored Aramis' extremely rude post and kept sharing your thoughts about your trip. They are quite thought-provoking.
bobludlow is offline  
Sep 8th, 2008, 12:44 PM
  #22  
 
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Well, I've ridden several different metro systems, including London, Moscow and Beijing (although not Tokyo), and the Moscow system was definitely the biggest crush - not because the carriages were the most crowded, but because there weren't enough escalators to cope with the numbers. I also felt that it was quite a route march to change lines (even worse than London), and that the time between stations was longer than I was used to.

I also agree that many people are not better off under the current regime. Some people are doing very well, but others, especially the elderly, are not. Gorbachev is definitely not a hero to many people. I also found the infrastructure to be in poor shape - city streets, for instance, were much worse than those in Chinese cities.

"anyone would fall in love w/St Petersburg" - I didn't! Of course, arriving on a very rainy day, having a big fight with G&R International over registering my visa, and having a home-stay a good kilometer from the nearest metro on Vasilevsky Island didn't help. (In Moscow I was lucky enough to spend one night in the now-vanished Rossiya hotel, right on Red Square.) And as I said above I'm not a fan of baroque. Actually, my favorite cities in Russia were neither Moscow nor St. P., but Novgorod and Irkutsk.
thursdaysd is offline  
Sep 8th, 2008, 04:13 PM
  #23  
 
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I wouldn't say she ignored my post bob - she stopped challenging people who had a different impression.

That is all I suggested.

I do get a kick out of people who think their views on a place, or people, are the only valid ones. They usually claim their own comments are just opinions yet they will aggressively defend them and can't stand people who might not agree completely.

Read afterall's response to the first post - a very genuine thoughtful response that revealed a different experience than the OP. It di not deserve the sanctimonious defence that it got. Since when is this forum about people blurting out a condescending response to someone's experience that differed from yours with;

"I clearly labeled this as MY impressions of THIS trip."

Okay, if someone's impressions are only "theirs", keep them them. If one wants everyone to agree with them, stop posting in a public discussion forum - pretty simple.

Poor rude me.






Aramis is offline  
Sep 8th, 2008, 04:45 PM
  #24  
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Thanks, Lovejoy, you're right. I sure FELT like it was colder!

And thanks to you, too, bob.I appreciate the comment. I would imagine Aramis will reeeaaallly think I'm santimonius when I reveal that I have prayed for him/her today, specifically asking that something be done to disarm his/her anger. It appears he/ she read a tone of voice into my response that simply was not there. I just did not care for what seemed like a correction/challenge to an observation that afterall could not have been able to make since afterall was not there at the time. I went on to ignore Aramis b/c I have read enough posts to know that just like my Grandmother used to say, "It takes all kinds....." and this forum certainly reveals that on a daily basis.

But, for every angry poster, there is a multitude of very nice ones.

BTW, if there are any Daniel Silva fans out there, I think you might enjoy his new book MOSCOW RULES. I read it on the trip, especially on the plane. I liked it so much that I began rereading it right away, since I could then have mental images of the places he spoke of.
sallyjane3 is offline  
Sep 8th, 2008, 05:28 PM
  #25  
 
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I rest my case
Aramis is offline  
Sep 9th, 2008, 12:24 AM
  #26  
 
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Hi Sal - I am well, thank you, and always pleased to hear of you visiting new & interesting places ! We just can't resist Italy Is your daughter still in Africa ? Where do you think yor next trip will be ?

Your hotel in St P does sound ideally placed & I will remember your recommendation if I ever manage to go. Did you go to any performances while you were in either city ? The PILs went to a ballet excerpts show but at the Hermitage theatre, not the Mariinsky; although we did see the opera company here during this last Festival. It would be nice to see them on their home turf.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Sep 9th, 2008, 01:36 AM
  #27  
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Good to hear from you, caroline. DD is still in Africa but will be coming back to the States next month. She is getting married to a wonderful man who, unfortunately, has some health problems that would prevent him from following her around the world in a diplomatic career so she's leaving the State Dept.

Did not go to any performances. Friends cannot wait to get home from work to be with baby each day and I didn't care to venture out alone (or take them away from baby!)And, b/c my days were so full. I needed the down time in the evenings to rest enough for the next day. I'm not as young as I used to be!

No idea where the next trip will take me. What do you have in store?
sallyjane3 is offline  
Sep 9th, 2008, 03:00 AM
  #28  
 
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We have lived in Central/Eastern Europe for many years and have found the no smiling thing fairly constant. Currently, we live in Riga, Latvia and they are very `grimī on the streets. We have heard it say that when you see someone out and about smiling, they are a foreigner. You canīt automatically assume the lack of facial expression is due to a hard life.

And Seaurchin, how rude of the floor manager! I would have told her off (in universal terms) with a big smile on my face.

SloJan2 is offline  
Sep 9th, 2008, 04:11 AM
  #29  
 
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It's been an interesting thread. Hope Sallyjane doesn't mind if I come back again.

I mean, SJ, the fact that I wasn't there by your side doesn't invalidate my response to your thoughts, does it? Surely not. We had a very similar first response. I just amended mine in the light of subsequent experience and a bit of reflection.

I took the metro in St P as well where, of course, the escalators aren't as long, the stations aren't as awesome and there are "no photography" signs on the walls.

Two stories - a young man offered me his seat on one of my Moscow metro trips (not during rush hour I hastened to add). Scary, because I don't think I look all that old (ha ha) but I probably did look very tired (true) - so that was kind.

I also took the metro in Kiev during a very short stay, and on my way back to the station to catch the train to Moscow I was admiring the lamps and watching the faces and holding on to the polished wood handrail. Just as well, cos next thing I know I am peripherally aware of a commotion a few steps up; luggage flying; people moving. Someone up ahead had lost their footing and was tumbling backwards - into me. I would have gone too as the tumbler was a large heavy man. But the bloke behind me stuck his arm across my back and held on. I smiled, he smiled; smiles and shrugs exchanged all around. And at the top of the flight we nodded goodbye.

As for favourite places in those two cities. Like Thursday, I am not a big Baroque fan. I found myself admiring the intereriors in the Hermitage not because they fit my idea of beauty but for the exquisiteness of the restoration workmanship. So for my own reasons, the Hermitage; seeing the Kirov on home turf; walking there along some of the canals; and watching the raising of the bridges over the Neva. But the images that will linger longest come from an exhibition of black and white photographs. I walked past a poster outside a doorway on Nevsky Prospekt one day. I couldn't quite work the caption out, but made a point of passing and eventually found the door open. Wonderful! Just wish I could have bought just one print or a small booklet as a memento. But there was only a large bound catalogue which I was invited to sit down and examine. I was the only person there.

Now I don't know if this will work, but if you'd like to see the poster, the only image I have, please try:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/darlingdaze/2842105835/

Cheers.
afterall is offline  
Sep 9th, 2008, 06:24 AM
  #30  
 
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Let's review: afterall compared Moscow to London. sallyjane3 replied that SINCE SHE HAS ALSO SPENT TIME IN LONDON that she did not believe that the comparison held water. I'd understand (not appreciate, but understand) aramis' boorish comments if sally's response did not explain that she had personal experience with both cities...but it did. Sorry aramis, you're still getting a demerit.
bobludlow is offline  
Sep 9th, 2008, 01:36 PM
  #31  
 
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Rude or boorish, make up your mind Bob.



Aramis is offline  
Sep 9th, 2008, 03:45 PM
  #32  
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afterall, you are most welcome wherever you wish to roam. Tell you what:
Consider the simple letter d.

If you add that letter to the word Conclude, it has a different feel. Without it, it reads like I'M supposed to conclude what follows. With it, it means it's YOUR opinion.

Peace, (And glad you're back)
sal
sallyjane3 is offline  
Sep 9th, 2008, 03:51 PM
  #33  
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Oh, yeah, afterall, thanks for the link. I like the poster. I took a photo of a great print in a cafe inside GUM , a man looking out a window toward the Cathedral Square. The frame was made of 4 different colored pieces of wood. I do love creativity. Glad you found the place open. It's little happenstances like that that make travel special.
sallyjane3 is offline  
Sep 10th, 2008, 03:41 AM
  #34  
 
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Hello again Sal. Shame about DD having to change careers but great to hear she has met a lovely husband-to-be ! Since banking's in the doldrums at the moment I've only so far planned a week's hol in Italy next year, in Venice for the Biennale again, but we are planning also to visit friends who have moved to Cyprus for a week Apr/May. But my list of places I want to go just gets longer & longer... All the best, Caroline.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Sep 10th, 2008, 04:58 AM
  #35  
 
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Thanks for sharing your impressions, sallyjane3. I'm delighted to hear that I'm not the only one out there who takes tours of subway systems! And I do find myself trying to get a feel for how people live and whether they're happy and so forth during the ride, especially as one leaves more affluent and/or touristed areas.

Therese is offline  
Sep 11th, 2008, 03:46 AM
  #36  
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MY list gets shorter, caroline, as I react more and more to jetlag! I'm envious of your proximity to places I'd love to see! Have a GREAT time on your holidays. And if you and P ever want to see Atlanta, let me know. I have a spare bedroom! (That's not a hint to invite me to your home. I'd STILL experience jetlag!!)

You're most welcome, Therese. I love the ancient reminders of civilizations, but cherish getting to see what NOW looks like!
sallyjane3 is offline  
Sep 11th, 2008, 04:48 AM
  #37  
 
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How kind, Sal ! I do hope we will meet again somewhere one of these days.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Sep 12th, 2008, 04:55 AM
  #38  
 
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Therese,

Agree, of course. Please tell us which less affluent/touristed areas you visited in Moscow or St Petersburg, and your impressions.

They would be very valuable.
afterall is offline  
Sep 14th, 2008, 04:48 PM
  #39  
Sox
 
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I am finding most postings extremely helpful. My husband and I will be in St.Petersburg and Moscow 14 November-24 November. We are on our own. We are thinking of staying at the Couinthia in S/P and Le Royal Meridan in Moscow. Thoughts?? Any recommendations for English speaking guides? Are taxis really a rip-off? Subways REALLY crowded? Suggestions for restaurants welcomed. Feel free to discourage me from going--only reason for going is that #1 son is conducting a modern classical concert with his ensemble.
Thanks for all suggestions.
Sox
Sox is offline  
Sep 14th, 2008, 10:18 PM
  #40  
 
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Sox, isn't your son conducting enough of a reason to visit. There are many wonderful things in both of the cities of course. They are big cities and have big city problems, no big deal.

SeaUrchin is offline  

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