Russia
Neva River

Here you’ll find travel reports about Neva River. Discover travel destinations in Russia of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

5 travelers at this place:

  • Day12

    Санкт Петербург

    May 25, 2017 in Russia

    Fast jeder kennt die Youtube-Videos von russischen Autofahrern. Unfälle, Verlust der Ladung, usw. Wir haben irgendwann aufgehört, diese Videos zu schauen, um uns nicht verrückt zu machen. Wird schon nicht so schlimm sein. Es ist noch viel schlimmer.

    Gefahren wird, was der Wagen hergibt. Überholt wird quasi ständig. Sollte Gegenverkehr kommen, wird eben noch eine dritte Fahrspur aufgemacht. Das ganze Land scheint mit dem Auto unterwegs zu sein. Bei den Straßenverhältnissen verwundert es uns nicht, dass wir in Sankt Petersburg an einem Fahrzeug mit Achsbruch vorbei kommen.

    Das Fahren wird langweilig, haben wir uns gedacht. Die Straßen gerade und endlos lang. Am Ende ist gerade für Motorradfahrer eine echte Hausforderung: Schlaglöchern und Längsfurchen umschiffen und den Verkehr im Blick behalten. Wenn man das auch noch im Regen schafft, bekommt man die goldene Biker-Sichel am Band. Hier fährt übrigens fast jeder Dritte mit Spikes - bei +16°! Das ist sicherlich auch ein Grund für die kaputten Straßen.

    Heute haben wir wieder einen klassischen Sightseeing-Tag. Zu Fuß! Die 20km-Marke verfehlen wir nur knapp. In der Stadt, die sehr Mitteleuropäisch geprägt ist, wimmelt es nur so von Menschen. Da sind die japanischen Touristengruppen auf ihrer Tour "20 Städte in 3 Tagen", Stände mit Matroschkas in allen erdenklichen Ausführungen, Pantomime, Live-Musik und auch der ganz normale St. PetersBürger.

    Am Abend dann wieder Völkerverständigung in einem Restaurant mit einem Russen und zwei Franzosen (die sogar Englisch sprachen - incroyable).
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  • Day17

    Strutting around St Petersburg

    September 29, 2016 in Russia

    Day 2 in Russia and OMG I love this place.

    After a brief introduction to the Russian Way of life yesterday, today was a day to get fully immersed.

    The first item of business was a visit to the hotel gym, and man do the Russians know how to work out. I was in awe of the new machines I have never seen especially machines made especially to test your flexibility. I can now confirm that one leg is more flexible than the other and I can now not feel the other leg.

    After a quick shower and breakfast complete with a bellini (alright 3 bellinis), it was time to hit the streets. Our first stop was Saint Issacs Cathedral. For 400 rubles (5 pounds) you could climb the dome to get an unobstructured view of central St Petersburg and enter the Cathedral itself. The climb was approximately 190 steps which isn't anything like the climb of the Duomo in Florence in 40+ degree heat but the view was pretty spectacular nonetheless.
    We then entered the Cathedral and it was probably one of the most spectacular sights I have ever seen (and the 4th largest in the world - the 1st being St Peters in Vatican City).The entire cathedral was adorned with marble, granite and gold and comprised a variety of colours (see photos). I was trying to take in all the beauty when Jamie ran over to me to inform me that 200,000 slaves died making the cathedral but then corrected himself saying that actually its ok he was wrong, they died building the whole city - totally makes it better.

    After I decided that I was never leaving this building, Jamie bribed me with more Mojitos and 5 seconds later I found myself outside walking towards our next stop Church of the Savoir on Spilled Blood or in lamens terms another church. I made a few observations on our walk as follows:
    1. There are weird people that sit in boxes everywhere across this city - at the bottom of the escalators in the metro stations (apparently to stop the mile long escalator if someone falls down the stairs), in parks and on certain streets. They all make me feel extremely uncomfortable.
    2. The emergency sirens on the police cars sound like a child is behind the wheel turning on and off the siren or a really horrible DJ mash up.
    3. Like the UK and most European cities, the traffic lights have a warm up orange light to indicate the light is about to turn green, but they also have a countdown timer here showing how long the light will remain green for - very cool.
    4. There are Army, Navy and Air Force personal everywhere in what can only be described "very Russian" uniforms.

    On arrival at the Church I was in awe of the "onions" on top of the buillding and upon entering the church the beautiful mosaics that adorned the entire interior. The Church was built on the site where Emperor Alexander II was fatally wounded in 1881.The church was built between 1883 and 1907 and the construction was funded by the imperial family (estimated at 4.5 million rubles!).

    After a mulled wine in the nearby park, it was time to walk to the other side of the river to Peter-Pavels Fortress. This park is, for the most part, free, but had little side attractions including the surrounding wall which had to be paid for. After a brief walk around, we sat on a wall alongside the Neva River and shared an Irish Creme Magnum that was boozy as hell. I swung my legs carefreely over the edge and enjoyed the view not realising in the process I had also managed to cover the majority of my pant leg in bird poo. Jamie just laughed at me and then suggested it could be chocolate, but was almost certain it was bird poo.

    After a quick clean up job with a few tissues, we made our way along the waterfront back to our hotel ready for a spa/sauna afternoon. Our hotel happens to have an insanely good spa complex complete with about 5 different types of saunas including the fabled Russian Log Room which apparently sits at about 90 degrees and a Snow Room where you are subjected to -15 degrees. Donned with our sexy white hotel bathrobes, we made our way down to the spa to try them all of them and the snow room was surprisingly quite enjoyable after sitting in a furnace.
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  • Day18

    Peter the hof

    September 30, 2016 in Russia

    Day three in Russia today, and we marked the occasion by heading to Peterhof Palace, a wee bit outside of St Petersberg. As we set off from the hotel, the skies were blue, and the breeze rather fresh, but nothing that a few years of living in London hadn't prepared us for.

    To get to Peterhof Palace, we settled on a hydrofoil as the transportation option of choice. It set off from close to our hotel (ten mins walk away), and took us to the foot of the palace gardens, right by the water. Because of the fresh breeze, sailings were running a bit behind, and it was also made clear that there might not be a return sailing if the weather worsened much more. Being hardened travellers, wise in the ways of the world, and possessing the knowledge from research we had done months ago, we thought "Meh - we'll be fine" (can you see where this is going?) and so we bought our one-way ticket to the palace, and boarded the hydrofoil. FYI - the company was so concerned that they wouldn't be able to honour return tickets, that they weren't selling them.

    The ride out to the palace was pretty comfortable, despite what had been decribed as bad weather. The swell was ~5-6 ft, but thanks to the wonder of the hydrofoil largely sitting out of the water, it was only the odd wave that actually connected with the hull. As we sailed, we watched ominous rain clouds float across the horizon, and head towards us, though it wouldn't be until later than they came to anything at the palace.

    Having arrived at the palace we walked our way up the worlds longest water feature (record unconfirmed by Guiness), from the dock, to the palace. As you'll be able to tell from the photos, the recurring theme of this particular palace was gold. There was so much gold around, that you'd think when they built it, they various Italian architects involved reached back in time, grabbed Midas, and forced him to wander the estate, touching everything he could, like a small child.

    You'll notice that there are no photos from inside the palace. That's because you aren't allowed to take any inside. However, given the inconspicious wealth displayed by the exterior of the palace and it grounds, I am sure that you'll be able to image what the inside was like. Midas hadn't just wandered the grounds, they let him in to the palace itself too, and what wasn't gold, was mahogony, ebony, silver, or silk.

    There are times when you are forced to wonder, what the purpose of such a palace is. It is all very well being able to wander around one that was built hundreds of years ago, but what would possess someone to build such a place, and is anyone in the world building something similar now? I hope not, but I fear, yes.

    And after a couple of hours of wandering inside the palace itself, and being castigated by numerous Nurse Ratchet-type ladies for various unknown infractions, as well as wandering through the grounds, it was time to head back to St Petersberg itself. We made our way back to the dock to get our return ticket, but the booth for our hydrofoil company was closed. Moving to another booth, we were informed that there were no more return sailings, and that we would have to find some other way of getting home. This was somewhat strange, given that there were still a few Hydrofoils leaving for St Petersberg, and there were still some people getting on them, but for every ten people trying to get on the return hydrofoil, only one would be able to make it on. Not sure what tickets they had, but they must have been pretty special, maybe Midas was back and they were also made of gold. Or, I suppose, they were returning to a different part of St Petersberg.

    Anyway, at that point, we decided that we had better make a move, and make sure we got back to the hotel at a reasonable hour. Both of us remembered that there was a nearby train station, so using what little available info had been cached on Google maps, we headed towards the railway tracks. As we walked in the general direction of the railway tracks, the area became less and less touristy, and more and more coucil estate-y. But we are hardend travellers, and we had done our research a few months ago, so we puched forward, until we got to the railway track.

    And then we got to the railway, and there was no station. So we had to choose, do we go left or right? We went right, and started walking. Unfortunately, the railway promptly dissappeared into the forest, within about ten minutes of walking along side it. We found ourselves in a bit of a quandry. How to get home now?

    So after circumnavigate=ing a rather large Soviet era estate, and losing close to an hour of our livea, we ended up back where we started, at the palace. By this point, we had experienced our first set back (however minor), of the trip back. We were away from the touristy area, had no access to data via phone, and no idea what bus we needed to catch.

    After talking some time to collect our thoughts, we employed some good old fashioned observation. We waited by the bus stop across from the palace, and tried to work out which of the buses passing through, would get us close to St Petersberg, as they all looked like suburban buses. After a bit of time, and the observation of some Japanese tourists that had joined us at the stop making a move for a particular bus, we quickly assessed the available information, and jumped on the same bus. It had Japanese people on it (likely tourists), it had Metro in the destination (albeit in cyrillic lettering), and it was heading in the general direction of St Petersberg. Based on that information we got on. And based on that information, we made it to the St Petersberg Metro system, and managed to get ourselves back to the hotel.

    If we had got the hydrofoil back to St Petersberg, we would have been back at the hotel within 40 mins of leaving the palace. In the end, it took us just over three hours. It was an adventure, and some nerves were a bit frayed, but we made it, and had a laugh at the fact this was not the last time this would happen on the way home. We had a drink at the hotel, to celebrate our triumphant return to room 468, after such as long arduous journey, and that was really our day.

    The story of the day - don't freak out, be cool man.
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  • Day16

    Rubles in Russia

    September 28, 2016 in Russia

    It was an early start this morning, as we headed to Helsinki's central train station, to get the 0620 train to St Petersberg. And just like that, two hours after leaving Helsinki, we we had left the EU, and arrived in Russia. Our first stop in Russia, was Wyborg, where we picked up a small army of Russian customs, immigration, and police, for the hour or so train in to St Petersberg.

    The Russia staff that boarded did their best to maintain the stereotype of the archetypal Russian government representative. They were curt, they were officious, and apart from demanding Courtney looked at them, they processed us with no issue. Other people on the train though were not so lucky.

    After passing through the gaze of Sauron's eye, that is Russian border control, we arrived in St Petersberg. The train station used for travel to and from Finland, can best be described as older, and underdeveloped, but this is understandable to some extent, given that it is not the main train station for the city.

    It was then time for a trek, via the St Petersberg Metro system, to our hotel. After a lot of time faffing around to get cash out of an ATM, and train tickets out of a machine, it was time to make our way down into the subway. Having sampled the wares of many cities around the world now, when it comes to underground public transportation, we can safely say that the St Petersberg Metro, is spacious, well lit, and very well decorated. A very stark contrast to the Tube in London, and certainly a win for communism over capitalism. We are realiably informed that the Moscow Metro systems is even nicer, but we can safely say that St Petersberg is many orders of magnitude better than the Tube. Teemu got a little bit frightened when we got on the escalator to the street exit and realised we were about 300m underground (maybe a slight exaggeration).

    After dumping our bags at the hotel, it was then time for a walk through the streets. On the way we wandered passed, just a few of the magnificent buildings in the city. Every corner you turn down at in the central city, seems to reveal yet another beautiful and magnificent building. The photos attached show but a few of the things that we saw, like the green-ish WInter Palace, which now houses the State Hermitage Museum, which we viewed from Palace Square. It turns out though that Wednesday is like Sunday in Russia though, with a number of key attractions shut down for the day.

    We also made a stop at the Yusupov Palace. Why is the famous I hear you ask? Well - this the palace where Rasputin was poisoned, then shot, then escaped from, then was recaptured, and shot again, and then hauled away from to be dumped into the flowing waters around St Petersberg. Incidentally, Rasputin was dumped into the water just along from our hotel. So much history within walking distance, and this all happened before the Bolshevik Revolution, which added quite a few more stories to the streets of St Petersberg. The interior photos attached are from the Yusupov Palace.

    We also had a good look at many, many cathedrals. St Petersberg, it would appear, is a very religious city. There are wonderful cathedrals everywhere, and they are used by the general populace, even during the middle of the day on a typical Wednesday. Many people would just pop in to say hello to their god, which felt quite weird to the atheist heathens just as ourselves. The big blue photo of the church, and its onion-shaped domes is the Nicholas-Epiphany Naval Cathedral.

    At the end of the day, we headed out to a local bar, where a band was setting up for a evening gig. Their style could be described as rock, in the same vein as Joe Cocker, or perhaps Bruce Springsteen, but Russian. We only really got to see the sound-check, and first few warm-up songs, before heading on to get some dinner. The mojitos, were very good though. Courtney enjoyed them so much, she had a couple. Price check: 400 rubles for one Mojito which roughly equates to £5 or about $9NZD.

    And with the consumption of dinner, the day was over. Both being tired, after an early start, it was time to repair to bed.

    Distance travelled from Helsinki: 390km
    Total distance travelled so far: 1,750km
    Distance to Auckland, NZ: 16,411km
    Phone update: Courtney's phone has arrived in the UK!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Neva, Neva River, Neva (awin), Newa, Rio Neva, Нева

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