Friday, 28 June 2013

Visual recap: Riga, Saint Petersburg, and points in between

So, as promised, a whole slew of photos summarizing our recent goings on abroad. Happy weekend everyone!


After having explored Estonia we continued to Latvia, the Baltic coast, and Saint Petersburg, where, amongst other things, we overdosed on architecture, from medieval to art nouveau to distinctive Russian orthodox...

Ratslaukums, Riga

Church of the Spilled Blood, Saint Petersburg

Doma laukums, Riga

Riga's Freedom Monument
Peter and Paul Fortress, Saint Petersburg

Art nouveau Riga

Art nouveau Riga
We hiked and climbed...

Sigulda, Latvia reach spectacular views.

Turaida Castle and Gauja river valley

We caught glimpses of the region's communist past in it's monuments...

Monument to the Revolution, Riga

Lenin Monument, Saint Petersburg

Helsinki Station, Saint Petersburg

....and of it's abiding and deep religiosity too.

Trinity Cathedral, Saint Petersburg
Church of the Spilled Blood, interior

St. Isaac's Cathedral, Saint Petersburg

We dined on local specialities, from farmers markets selling the freshest, simplest products...

Central market, Riga hedonistic temples of culinary decadence...

Yeleseevskiy Gastronom, Saint Petersburg

...and had more than one such riverside picnic:

Champagne, caviar, blinis, strawberries and chocolate

We overdosed on art of all kinds...

Krimulda, Latvia

The Hermitage, Saint Petersburg

Etelaesplanadi, Helsinki

...and saw some weird shit too.

A popular treat for the kids in Saint Petersburg, it seems

Why is this baby so angry? I can't read cyrillic script, so we'll never know

Because what's more fun than old ladies on dirt bikes?

We gawped at the bling of the Romanov royals...

The Hermitage, Saint Petersburg
...and visited the palace where Ra-Ra-Rasputin, Russia's greatest love machine met his grisly end.

Yusapov Palace, Saint Petersburg

 We strolled the canals of Saint Petersburg, which earns its title as the Venice of the North...

Nab Reki Fontanki, Nevsky Prospekt

Nab Kanala Griboyedova

We breathed the clean, salty air of the sea...

Helsinki harbour

...bathed in the heat of the sun...

Parnu, Estonia

...and then watched it set over the beautiful Baltic coast.

Parnu, Estonia

The weather was almost unendingly beautiful, but one day a flash thunder storm hit, and when it was gone, this is what it left...


  1. Wow- great pictures! I have heard that Russians are not very friendly- did you find that? I have also heard it is very expensive to travel there- is that true?

    1. I think Russia was much like any country you visit; it's possible to find friendly and unfriendly people. But I think because often the norms of service and of social interaction are different from culture to culture (and especially so compared with American society), that can be read as unfriendly. Russians certainly have the brusqueness that is characteristic of so many eastern European countries I've visited. And yes, Saint Petersburg was really quite expensive (of course not compared with London), but so worth every penny! The city is breath-taking.

  2. I LOVE the church pictures. So beautiful!

  3. Wow! I am beyond jealous! I love all the pictures, especially the rainbow at the end.

  4. A bit behind on commenting, so you're getting two for one. ;)

    First off, welcome back! It sounds like the trip was amazing and the photos above are the proof. Simply beautiful and breathtaking.

    As for the what not to do while trying to conceive post: I FULLY support each and every activity. Think of it this way: there are plenty of women out there who do all the wrong things and end up with an "oops" while there are equally many women in the ALI community who do everything to the letter of the law with no result. In short, we all need those breaks and I'm glad you took each and everyone one of them.

    Finally, the photo at the end brought tears to my eyes. The power of rainbows and I think that one was especially for you.

    1. Oh Cristy, that is so sweet. I really hope you're right; it felt special for us too.

  5. OOOOohhhh My GOSHHHH!!! It sounds like you had an amazing trip, and the photos are so beautiful. I've always wanted to visit Russia... maybe someday! I've always loved visiting churches when I travel. Thanks for sharing and I'm glad to hear you are doing so well :)

  6. Amazing photos. This was clearly a vacation well-spent!

  7. So So So SO SO jealous. Russia is on my hit list of places to visit. Looks like you guys had an amazing trip :) xxxx

    1. It was for me too, and I can honestly say it was SO worth the effort. A truly amazing, overwhelming place, and so beautiful! You have to go ;)

  8. wowwowow. all of this looks incredible. and also, i want a riverside picnic. i'm inspired. we have rivers here. if it's not raining, i'm doing it tomorrow.

    1. I can highly recommend riverside picnics for injecting a bit of bucolic romance into your day. I hope you acted on your inspiration!

  9. That is amazing! What was your favorite part? Did you love St. Petersberg? I've wanted to go there since I was in high school, but somehow still haven't made it. One of these days! AMAZING!!

    1. I LOVED Saint Petersburg. It was fascinating and overwhelming and beautiful. Absolutely impossible to pick a favourite part, but I was enchanted by the sense of history palpable in every space (the imperial excess and the revoluntionary zeal alike). I also loved how visible it was that a country the crazy huge size of Russia, which encompasses cultural minorities that are more Asian and Middle Eastern than European, held such clear influences from that rich diversity. That was unexpected and really interesting!

      Just go! You won't be disappointed!

  10. Yay for hedonistic temples of culinary decadence! :) Glad you had such a wonderful trip.


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