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Travelog for: Lucy the sheep

Samui, Thailand - 24th March 2012

By: Dangerousebeans

Hi, mom!
In my story about Thailand we move from one step to the next. At first I told about flight, now I pass to our settling. So, we live in Fair House Resort hotel in Chawengnoi beach. My host chose it, as a quiet place where it is possible to sleep sweet under palm trees. At the same time there is Chaweng beach some kilometers to the north – the most party place of the island. :cyclops:
The hotel is protected by two small gods – my host called them "kamnegryzy" - stone-nibblers. I don't know, the sculptor thought up them or they are from local folklore, but look scary. It seems to me, or he has hearts on his stone? :o
You know, what really amazed me after arrival? Reception! I never saw such fantastically beautiful building. It is all surrounded with greens (well, it is Thailand; there is A LOT of greens). And the Indian god – Ganesh meets us, for some reason. Hm, OK, maybe the majority of tourists are induist. I always thought that official religion of Thailand – the Buddhism.
There is a zoo around the reception-building – terribly dissatisfied elephant
and cheerful pig.
In general, as I understood, Thais adore sculptures and figures. Look – on a small corner of their table - four figures and all different!  :stare:
Geese are interested in a beautiful bouquet of flowers. And on a distant wall – a portrait of the emperor. It  hangs in each building. Nearby – a portrait of the queen, and on another wall – one of princesses. What a respect to royal family!
And more animals – small happy elephant. Elephants are on each corner there – a symbol of Thailand, by the way!
Group photo while waiting for registration. We were given a glass of fruit juice – there is a bar on reception, but it produces only this single glass – if you want to drink – go on a beach! B)
Finally a small automobile came and we are going to our house. It is interesting that we live further than everybody else  from reception – practically on the beach, on the very end of the territory belonging to hotel. Plus, reception (and near - the exit from the territory) is much higher than a beach – it is on a hill. So 1-2 times a day when we wanted to eat, we were necessary to lose couple of kgs at first, clambering upward on the street. But let's talk about it later.
So, it's our room. On the right another one, belonging to German tourists, and the beach begins. Disappointingly that there is no dryer – it is necessary to hang out swimsuits on a balcony. And so convenient – a basin for washing feet near every building. You are walking barefoot all the time and when you come home – simply dip feet in a basin. ;)
Our number is rather small, for three people. Such beautiful pictures hang on walls.
Lamps are very unusual and very badly shine. In general, number  isn't shined at all, it is hard to read books! We need to remove lamp shades from lamps or you can't see anything. By the way, on a photo – my host with the parents
As I show you a bedroom – I will show a bathroom too. Everything is excellent, but I'm surprised that there is no bath curtain. Of course, I do not splash strongly, when I wash, but if someone pours over all floor and slip? :(
And here there is our beach chairs on a beach. Look at this huge tree – many people are going to lie under it! Also what is that white foam plastic piece with a hieroglyph for? Perhaps "lifebuoy" or protective spell?

* Posted Apr 12, 2012, 9:45 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Samui, Russia - 26th March 2012

By: Dangerousebeans

Hi, mom!

Today I want to show you my hotel – in general. You can see that the main colour here is green. There are trees and plants absolutely everywhere and my host told me that they are “real” – grow by themselves. In Turkish and Maldivian resorts every tree was planted by human. But not here! So, welcome to Samui! B)

We started our walk at sunrise from the seashore. Even mountains are covered be trees!

Let’s lie down for a moment on a chaise lounge and enjoy sunbathe together, the beach is so beautiful!

Also we have a small pond, I think, it is intended for watering. Small fishes and beautiful lotuses swim here.
Our pool is very small and absolutely empty day and night. Who want to swim in the pool, when there is an ocean? ;)


The most interesting trees here are "sheaves". Lianas braid a tree very strong and even if it perishes from a lack of air, they don't fall, and continue to stand! :o


As I said, this island is absolutely fantastic. It looks like the most peaceful place on the Earth. And the hotel does a lot of things to help you enjoy good weather, like this cute pavilion. :D




* Posted Apr 18, 2012, 8:12 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Samui, Thailand - 28th March 2012

By: Dangerousebeans

Hi, mom!

In this post I want to describe you our ingestion. We chose hotel with only a breakfast, it helped us not to overpay. Thus, we have breakfast in hotel, during the lunchtime we have a bite fruit, and for a dinner we go to "city" and we enjoy local exotica. :rolleyes:
So, we wake up and go to the dining room.
It is very lovely, light and comfortable. There is a salad bar, some muesli-flakes, ham, bread, juice. Separately hot dishes and fruits stay. Besides, you can get a fresh omelette or fried eggs.
It is possible to gather such a huge plate in the morning to get myself fill for all day long :cyclops:
We pass to a dinner. The first few days we ate kgs of fruit. I ate the whole pineapple plantation! Very conveniently - you sit down on a verandah at a little table, cut pineapple, you can sugar it or water with a lime juice... Yum-yum! And every day you can try something new - Dragon fruit, Lychee, Lamai, Mango, Mangosteen - you will not list them all! B) In shop we bought some nuts so our meal was more substantial
But what should we do, if you used to eat densely and aren't satisfied with fruit? It is a terrible heat that goes from asphalt on the street and it is better not to leave. We should go to small restaurant on the beach. It is rather expensive there (if it is possible to consider 80 euros for three person with wine expensively), but the place is literally two steps away from your house and the cuisine is really tasty.
And the remarkable way to finish a good lunch - to sit, drinking coconut juice and enjoying a fine view of the sea. And if you want to swim - it is not necessary to go far!  ;)
At last, dinner!
We leave the territory of hotel and move up or down on the street. There are hundred tiny small restaurants here, in only 15 minutes of walking! You choose any of them; they are almost identical according to the menu and at its prices. Certainly, we preferred Thai cuisine, but for the variety, it was possible to choose German, Japanese or American small restaurant. And only 40 euros for three persons!
Often it’s family business - a husband cooks food, a wife is waitress, and a daughter stands up for the cash desk. Also I saw some Thais who eat there too, so quality of food is high. Once we came in absolutely local “ramen restaurant”, without the menu, without cloths on tables, and there ate for only 7 euros for three person! Soup was the most delicious in my life! :stare:

* Posted Apr 22, 2012, 7:15 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Samui, Thailand - 30th March 2012

By: Dangerousebeans

Hi, mom!

Today we decided to stop lie on a beach like vegetables. Thailand is such a beautiful country, it is necessary to see more! :D As excursion we chose is a trip to local small islands, snorkeling and swimming.
Everything begins near this small mooring. There are about 10 people with us; we float on one of these lovely boats.
It looks wonderful already. Other islands are seen on the horizon, but we will float much further, on the island Coh Tao "Turtle Island". Ko Tao was named by its first settlers for the island's turtle-like geographic shape. Coincidentally, the island is an important breeding ground for Hawksbill turtles and Green turtles. Development of tourism has negatively impacted the health of these grounds but a breeding program organised in 2004 by the Royal Thai Navy and KT-DOC, a coalition of local scuba diving centres has reintroduced hundreds of juvenile turtles to the island's ecosystem. :(
Oh, it’s a mad speed! It is necessary to keep and not to fall overboard! B)
So we are on a place. Beautiful! There are small tourist bungalows and local court boats. Such amusing - ordinary boats with the fan on a pole.
There are hundreds of fishes here! What a pity that I have no mask for a snorkeling, but from a water surface everything is perfectly visible. They are multi-colored, big and small.
You come into water from a sand beach, then by swimming reach a place surround by anchor buoys. There begins the real reef, dangerous and sharp. My host cut a foot while reached there. Thank God, sharks don’t live nearby. :cyclops:
We leave this hospitable island and come to another one where we will have lunch. Islands are far apart, you need to float an hour on our small board.
Mmmmm, bon appetit!
Excellent lunch - a plate of rice and four different curries - with meat, bird, fish and vegetables. My host was so happy; she hates to leave on a plate what she can't eat (she’s a vegetarian) :)
While we ate, the storm began. It began... then changed its mind and ended. Even a rain didn’t start. We are luckies!
Away, to the last island!
So, the last point of our travel - "The threefold island". Imagine two mountains growing from the ocean, like this one. And they are connected by a beach strip - white-white sand. Our guide suggested us to get on top of the mountain and to look at this beautiful island entirely. Well how is it possible to refuse? ;)
And we climb upward on the wooden bridges which don’t inspire trust. Scary boulders are piled up one on another around us. Somewhere the bridge is broken, it is necessary to look for other ways!
Then up and up and up…
But the finish worth the spent efforts, if you see this view once, you’ll never forget it. :stare:

Oh, after such mad ascension it is necessary to have a rest.
Let's go to swim? These stones are visible again on this photo - why they don't fall?
Here, as I understand, it is possible to order a lodge. Islands are so small- I don't know, if there is even one cafe! And the unique entertainment - to rise up by the mountain every day!
And last fantastic photo. So quiet and calm.

* Posted Apr 27, 2012, 10:12 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Samui, Thailand - 1st April 2012

By: Dangerousebeans

Hi, mom!

Today we decided slowly walking around our hotel – we have already seen beautiful and green places – maybe, it’s time to look closer and deeper? Unfortunately, it’s rainy, the sky is grey. But is we can’t swim and take sunbathes, what are we going to do? Making photos, of course! So let’s take the biggest umbrella we have and don’t afraid of bad weather! By the way, do you see a funny frog behind us? It’s a special gadget for getting water - a hose can be connected with a mouth and it spits out water. Creatively! :)
Oh, look, whom did I find! Because of rain local snails decided to walk around - I counted three only near our verandah. And they are so huge!
And today there are awful waves! My host worries, but her mother adores swimming during in storm like that, even now it is possible to notice her head on water... Oops, where is she?  :o
It seems, the rain comes to end, and we go deeper to the territory. I like these flowers in bags - very conveniently – you can take it simply and at once plant on a flowerbed.
Or this variant- for hang plants. Never saw it before!
There grow... vegetable marrows-mutants? I don't know what plant is it, do you? They are so heavy that it’s necessary to support them, or they will fall down.
Flowers here are grown up directly on palm trees. Imagine, the shell of a coco is taken, attached to a palm tree; the sprout is inserted inside and voila! It's big business here - the heap of a coconut shell is visible from afar. Also imagine, how many nuts tourists drink daily, probably it will suffice to tie each palm tree.

So beautiful. Feelings like you are in the national park, instead of in small hotel in Thailand - neither asphalt, nor flowerbeds - only the nature.
As another model of communication with the nature - a lodge for home spirits. One of the biggest that I saw. Here they are placed near each significant building - restaurant, receptions - for protection - they were constructed earlier, than the main buildings, thus alluring spirits. And this, huge, is probably for all hotel complex! Inside there is food, water, beautiful flower wreaths and tapes. I am especially impressed that inside everything is really made for little men - a ladder that helps them to rise, the tubule into a bottle with water that helps them not get a shower. Thus the majority of the population shrives the Buddhism; such "paganism" is very amusing. B)
It is possible to rent cars and motorcycles in hotel, and then put them in this convenient and beautiful parking. By the way, motorcycles are extremely popular among local population and they drive with awful speed. Very dangerous. :thinking:
It is. As I can understand, local esteemed God - I don't know his name. We often put coins on a plateau near it, probably, therefore our rest passed so perfectly.
In this small multi-colored house some Thais do Thai massage. My host never used this offer (she is not delighted with massages), but, maybe, if I arrive to Thailand next time, I should visit this place?
Well, it's enough to wander on the hotel territory, it is necessary to get outside! Here such beautiful view opens directly near our gate. Cars rush like meteors. There is our traffic controler. If someone decides to cross the road, he whistles in a whistle for a long time to passing cars, creates a corridor and then transfers you to another side. He can even call for a taxi if it's necessary.
On sidewalks through every 20 meters such "little shops" stay, where you can buy... Guess, what is it on sale in bottles? It is gasoline! I thought that it is home-distilled alcohol at first. :stare:
Another small lodge for spirits. I said that they are everywhere here!
Wow, look, whom we met in a yard! We were afraid at first, but it appeared that the bull is attached to a column therefore we could approach closer and make a photo.
And palm trees, palm trees, palm trees... If to depart from the main road, everything around is surrounded by palm trees!

When we came back home, we found a lovely cat on our verandah! Though the rain ended long time ago, it, probably, dozed off and filled warm and safe. :D

* Posted May 1, 2012, 11:40 am Last edited May 1, 2012, 11:48 am by Dangerousebeans [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Samui, Thailand - 3rd April 2012

By: Dangerousebeans

Hi, mom!

Today we decided to take excursion on Samui entirely! It is very small island therefore it takes only half-day on all its survey. But as we here, it is necessary to learn more about this island. Besides, we’ve already been tired to lie on a beach. We ordered this service directly in our hotel so it is extremely cheap. Only 12 euros for one person for 6 hour journey by the comfortable bus. Fantastic! :stare:
Then we can take a view over the longest beach on Koh Samui 7 km. of white sand, clear water and nature. Our hotel is nearby from here.


I don't know, what is this - a sundial? lunar calendar? planetarium? and a pond with golden fishes in addition :)
Telling about lodges for spirits, this one brightest we met. It is visible from the road therefore each passing car signal, expressing the respect.
Then we saw the Monkey Show. The monkeys here used to be seen all over the island when selling coconuts was the main income for the local people. Now you can visit them and see the working relationship between man and monkey in harvesting the coconut trees.


Here you can see Wat Khunaram temple – the most known and esteemed on Samui. I do not know what does this image mean – maybe a demon? And why then he is over the entrance of the temple? :o
You know, why it is well-known? The mummified monk! A native of Koh Samui he enjoyed a long prosperous family life until he was 50 years old when he decides to devote the last part of his life to the monkhood. After being ordain in 1944, he became reknown for his meditation practice for about 20 years. He was also able to foresee his own death in 1973 when he was 79 years old. After his death his body remained undecomposed so his family and deciples decided to place his body in an upright position with in the casket as requested by him in written instructions. To keep as a symbol to aspire the future generations to follow Buddhist teachings and be saved from suffering.

Despite that we don’t have enough time, I took a second to make a pair of beautiful photos.

Namuang Fall is famous on Koh  Samui. It originates from the Mountain in the heart of the Island and falls from the Cliff 30-40 metres high. You can enjoy swimming and Jungle around the Area. It’s an important site because kings in Chakri dynasty have visited the place several times.

Also what I see? Oh, my God! People riding on elephants! Tell me, would you refuse it? Would you?  :cyclops:
We choose an elephant and stand near this "elephant stop".

Now we sit down on the elephant and let’s go! Certainly, photos aren’t too impressing as I was afraid to fall down very much - the elephant awfully shakes! But believe me, I received tons of pleasure! :D
It not the end of our travel - we saw many temples then! But I will tell about them next time – too many photos B)

* Posted May 8, 2012, 12:22 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Samui, Thailand - 6th April 2012

By: Dangerousebeans

Hi, mom!
Finally I can continue my tale about Samui Island!
Here I am near a huge temple complex. Wat Phra Yai (Big Buddha Temple) is one of Koh Samui’s most famous landmarks. Located near the airport, the site boasts an immense 12 meter tall golden Buddha image that can actually be seen from the plane as visitors fly into the island. :stare:
Construction of the temple was commenced in 1972 and since then, it has gained in popularity, now experiencing a healthy number of locals and tourists who come to pay their respects and take some amazing photographs.
Other attractions at the temple are a set of dragon-like naga that flank the stairs leading up to the Big Buddha itself and hmmm… green demon on an elephant? :thinking:


With the amount of tourists coming in, the temple is constantly getting upgraded too, thanks to the large number of donations. If you wish to give money, there are plenty of ways to do it from buying floral garlands to getting your fortune read. We choose this one – you pay 2$ and “buy” a piece of tile. You can write something on it and give to a monk. Then with those tile the temple will be reconstructed. I hope, it will bring good luck to us! :cyclops:
The base of the statue is surrounded by several restaurants and shops selling snacks, jewelry, clothing and other souvenirs.
This place is so peaceful! There are hundreds of animals here, and no one tell them a bad word! :D
Near a river there are some statues that Thai adores so much. Probably it’s a folkloric scene from local history? :o

Here's a sample of how unusual the statues of the deities at those temples are. This 14 armed deity looks more like it belongs in India than in Thailand. She keeps a certain tool which helps to put things in order to a man in each of 14 hands. Best thing is, it's free entrance but dress conservatively if you want to show respect to the local people.
This is a look on the main building of temple, the Bot. It's beautifully decorated inside, with stories about Buddha's life painted on the walls and the ceiling.

Demons-guardians again. But they are blue this time :p
Also there is a pond with huge carps who are fed by tourists. You should pay $1/3 for a forage pailful13

Here is another part of complex – with Happy Buddha statue. So beautiful! :)

* Posted May 16, 2012, 11:21 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Samui, Thailand - 12th April 2012

By: Dangerousebeans

Hi, mom!

Today is our last day on Samui, so we decided to visit a local restaurant – to taste some extra-food, not just noodles and rice.
So, I went to the reception and bring a free special guide – the best restaurants of this island. Yes, Samui is really small, but there are at least 45 gourmet-restaurants!
So, let’s choose…
We had a little dispute here – where should we go? My host advised us to visit Amala – vegetarian restaurant. Guide said that it’s in an exceptional location at the western end of Big Buddha Beach and serves vegetarian cuisine “fine-dining” style.
So, we’ve never gone “meat-less” before, may be this place is good to start a new culinary adventure?
The restaurant looks fantastic! It has natural rocks and solid wooden features with modern stressed-concrete walls. On the back side you can see small kitchen garden where cooks can take some grass and vegetables for their delicious dishes!

And I can’t tell you much about cuisine… You should taste it by yourself, because it is absolutely fantastic! I took “Amala Antipasto” – soft rice paper rolls packed with fresh herbs vegetables and grilled tofu satay served with various sauses and “Zuppa di Pomodoro” – classic Italian-style tomato cream soup served with homemade garlic. I’ve never believe that vegetarian food can be so various and nourishing!
As this restaurant concerns the Indian culture, it is possible to see some beautiful bas-reliefs on a wall
And, of course, location. You can enjoy swimming in 15-metre infinity pool which runs along the small resort’s beach frontage and use their day-beds for a spot of sun-bathing and relaxing.

The restaurant was excellent. And now we have a rest on a bench, near a pond with goldfishes, waiting a taxi to return to hotel and to start to pack things to the airport.

* Posted May 20, 2012, 11:55 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Samui, Thailand - 13th April 2012

By: Dangerousebeans

Hi, mom!
Let me finish my story about Thailand today. It was an unforgettable adventure and so a pity that it ended, but experience is amazing!
Here we go to the airport by the car. I want to take a rest and lie down on kindly provided sofa - so convenient and soft. :)
The tiny and lovely airport on Samui. Compare with my first photos from the Moscow airport. And what are those mad lamps on a ceiling? :stare:
Now in the airport there is an exhibition of the children's drawings devoted to the king. He is extremely popular among the people; it takes root since the childhood.
Just look, how many things people should leave at customs! Unfortunate tourists forget to put them in their suitcases. I am impressed especially by a huge heap of scissors :o
Airport is so unique! It is similar to the Moscow one, only imagine that 2 floors are stretched like one and a roof is demolished
Here it is possible to take rest on such remarkable small benches and admire a flowerbed with tulips.
Even indexes here are special - lovely monkeys. And flowers are everywhere.
And also ponds loved by Thais. How many of them I’ve met since the travel beginning?
A little bit more flowers
It is a waiting room. Certainly, not so grandiose, as at the Moscow airport, but very light and bright
Eh, last view of greens and broad lands. I hope, I will return here again! :cyclops:
We get on a bus, which will bring us to the plane.
And, here it is. The smallest and the cutest plane I’ve ever seen. I hope, it will reach well? :thinking:
We are loaded into luggage...
And the last whom we see in Thailand - the security guard of the airport – Virulhok. It’s a giant with a dark blue body. He was the ruler of Maha anthakarn – the subterranean world. Bye-bye!!  ;)

* Posted May 26, 2012, 1:16 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Moscow, Russia - 15th April 2012

By: Dangerousebeans

Hey, mom!

Let me break my Thai photos with some common one – it’s Orthodox Easter today! In Russian it is named Paskha.
My host isn't too religious, but we visited her grandma and had a lot of fun. ;)
It's religious feast at first, so the main action happens on a Saturday night - people put on their best clothes and come together in dark churches that symbolize a gloomy world without the light of faith. In the past, satanic creatures were believed to turn especially evil in the night before Easter. People didn’t dare to go outside after sunset as they feared every cat could be a witch and every dog a devil! :o
So, it’s interesting, that there is not Easter rabbit in Russia! They don't go search eggs; they just change them with their friends and family and kissed 3 times. My host’s grandma don’t paint eggs – she bought special plastic paintings and stick them with boil water. Looks so beautiful! :stare:

And there is special food on Sunday: Paskha and Culich
(Easter - is made from spesial cottage cheese, nuts and raisins
Little easter cake - is a bread with a lot of sugar and candied fruit.) Mmmmm, yummy!

Should pay more attention - what great embroideries are created by the grandmother! It’s her hobby and all walls of the apartment are covered with such “pictures”! And pillowcases on pillows too were embroidered by her. Super needlework! :D

* Posted Apr 16, 2012, 3:39 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Moscow, Russia - 2nd June 2012

By: Dangerousebeans

Hi, mom!
Today we are visiting one of the most famous place in Russia – the Red Square. It separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod. As major streets of Moscow radiate from here in all directions, being promoted to major highways outside the city, Red Square is often considered the central square of Moscow and all of Russia. :stare:
At first we will pass an entrance. Resurrection Gate is the only existing gate of the Kitai-gorod in Moscow. It connects the north-western end of Red Square with Manege Square and gives its name to nearby Voskresenskaya Square (Resurrection Square). The gate adjoins the ornate building of the Moscow City Hall to the east and the State Historical Museum to the west.
The State Historical Museum of Russia is a museum of Russian history, opened in 1872. Its exhibitions range from relics of the prehistoric tribes inhabiting present-day Russia, through priceless artworks acquired by members of the Romanov dynasty. The total number of objects in the museum's collection numbers in the millions. But my host tells me that she doesn’t like its color – pink or red… It cannot be compared with Kremlin. :(
Kazan Cathedral Russian: Казанский собор, also known as the "Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan", is a Russian Orthodox church located on the northeast corner of Red Square. The current building is a reconstruction of the original church, which was destroyed at the direction of then General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, in 1936.
It is well known and extremely disputable place - Lenin's Mausoleum also known as Lenin's Tomb. It is the mausoleum that serves as the current resting place of Vladimir Lenin. His embalmed body has been on public display there since shortly after his death in 1924 (with rare exceptions in wartime). Aleksey Shchusev's diminutive but monumental granite structure incorporates some elements from ancient mausoleums, such as the Step Pyramid and the Tomb of Cyrus the Great. :o
The Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat also known as Saint Basil's Cathedral, is a Russian Orthodox church erected on Red Square in Moscow in 1555–61 on orders from Ivan the Terrible. It commemorates the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan.
St. Basil's marks the geometric center of Moscow. It has been the hub of the city's growth since the 14th century and was the city's tallest building until the completion of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in 1600.
There is a well-known statue, it commemorates Prince Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin, who gathered an all-Russian volunteer army and expelled the forces of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from Moscow, thus putting an end to the Time of Troubles in 1612.
The Spasskaya Tower is the main tower with a through-passage on the eastern wall of the Moscow Kremlin, which overlooks the Red Square.
The Spasskaya Tower was built in 1491. The tower's modern name comes from the icon of Spas Nerukotvorny (The Saviour Not Made by Hands), which was placed above the gates on the inside wall in 1658 (it was removed in 1917) and the wall-painted icon of Spas Smolensky (Smolensky Saviour), which was created in the 16th century on the outside wall of tower (plastered over in 1937, reopened and restored in 2010). The Spasskaya Tower was the first one to be crowned with the hipped roof in 1624–1625. According to a number of historical accounts, the clock on the Spasskaya Tower appeared between 1491 and 1585. It is usually referred to as the Kremlin clock  :)
Near Kremlin there is "Zoo" of fairy-tale creatures. You can see "Princess-swan". Its' fairy-tales that every child in Russia knows - their famous poet Pushkin recreated it in poetry and made so excellent and funny!
2rd sculpture’s name is "Ivan-prince and frog-princess". It's a funny story about one king, who wanted 3 his sons to marry. They took a bow and arrows and each made 1 shot. 2 first arrows went into houses of princesses. But the 3rd son's arrow flow far far away and fall into a bog and a frog found it. So, he has to marry her (it was a rule of his father). But of course, it was a bewitched princess, and after some adventures they were happy  :cyclops:
This beautiful fountain is main in sculpture complex on Manezhnaya Square. The group of a fountain includes sculptural composition "Four seasons" Z.Tseretelli where each horse symbolizes spring, summer, autumn and winter. Now, unfortunately, the fountain is closed, but, I hope, I will see, how it works! :rolleyes:

* Posted Jun 2, 2012, 12:13 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Moscow, Russia - 10th June 2012

By: Dangerousebeans

Hi, mom!

Today we visited one of my host’s the most favorite places in Moscow - the Novodevichy Convent! Its name, sometimes translated as the New Maidens' Monastery, was devised to differ from an ancient maidens' convent within the Moscow Kremlin. Unlike other Moscow cloisters, it has remained virtually intact since the 17th century. In 2004, it was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. :stare:
The Novodevichy Convent was founded in 1524 by Grand Prince Vasili III in commemoration of the conquest of Smolensk in 1514. It was built as a fortress at a curve of the Moskva River and became an important part of the southern defensive belt of the capital, which had already included a number of other monasteries. The Novodevichy Convent was known to have sheltered many ladies from the Russian royal families and boyar clans, who had been forced to become nuns. :thinking:
The Preobrazhenskiy church is constructed over a northern entrance of the monastery. It is well visible from the neighboring area.
We can get a bird's eye view of a monastery at the beginning of excursion.
The oldest structure in the convent is the six-pillared five-domed cathedral, dedicated to the icon Our Lady of Smolensk. Extant documents date its construction to 1524–1525; yet its lofty ground floor, magisterial proportions, and projecting central gable are typical of monastery cathedrals built at the behest of Ivan the Terrible. Most scholars agree that the cathedral was rebuilt in the 1550s or 1560s; it was formerly ringed by four smaller chapels, in an arrangement reminiscent of the Annunciation Cathedral in the Kremlin. Its frescos are among the finest in Moscow.
The cathedral may be a focal point of the convent, but there are many other churches. Most date from the 1680s, when the convent was thoroughly renovated at the behest of the regent Sophia Alexeyevna (who, ironically, would be incarcerated there later). The blood-red walls and crown-towers, two lofty over-the-gates churches, a refectory, and residential quarters were all designed in the Muscovite Baroque style, supposedly by a certain Peter Potapov. In the old cathedral, a new bowl for holy water and gilded carved iconostasis were installed in 1685.
An arresting slender belltower, also commissioned by Sophia, was built in six tiers to a height of 72 metres (236 ft), making it the tallest structure in 18th-century Moscow (after the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in the Kremlin). This light octagonal column seems to unite all major elements of the ensemble into one harmonious whole.

Especially interesting story is connected with this tower. After Peter I dethroned his elder sister, tsarevna Sofia, and forced her to the nun in 1689, she lived in this Naprudna tower. The kind brother decided to entertain his sister, and hanged out dead soldiers and her guards on trees under windows of her cell. :(
But you cannot hang everybody. Even having become nun, Sofia found possibility to leave a wall of the dungeon for the purpose of love adventures. Today it is considered that the tower (or spirit of tsarevna Sofia) can grant the desires connected with love! It is enough to write it on a wall, to enclose a note between bricks or simply ask very strongly. Do you believe in it? ;)
Like other Moscow monasteries (notably the Danilov and the Donskoy) the New Maidens' Monastery was coveted by the Russian nobility as a place of burial.  The Napoleonic hero Denis Davydov is also buried in the grounds. In 1898, the so-called Novodevichy Cemetery was opened without monastery walls. Anton Chekhov was one of the first notables to be interred at the new necropolis, and Nikolai Gogol was later reburied there too. During the Soviet epoch, it was turned into the most high-profile cemetery in the Soviet Union, with the likes of Peter Kropotkin, Nikita Khrushchev, Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, Konstantin Stanislavski, Boris Yeltsin, and Mstislav Rostropovich being interred there.
Especially I like figures of angels - often it is female graves,  the inconsolable spouse gave them a statue :rolleyes:

Now we left the monastery constructed 500 years ago. At once behind a local pond the modern city begins - skyscrapers are seen on the horizon. Two different worlds incorporate here. Hey! Can you see a duck? :D
Let's take a farewell look at monastery walls - how beautiful it is!
Monument "Let pass to ducklings" was established in Moscow, on the square avenue opposite to the Novodevichy Convent in 1991. It is an exact copy of a monument in Boston, in the USA. The sculptural composition was created by the architect, the sculptor and the restorer Nancey Shen. The plot is taken from the old fairy tale written for the American kids by writer Robert Makkloski many years ago. In it it is told about mother duck looking for a convenient and safe place for the family. On the way they meet many people. Someone treats them with a peanut, and policemen block off traffic to help ducklings quietly cross the road. In Moscow the monument appeared as a sign of friendship between the USA and the USSR. It was Barbara Bush a's gift to Raisa Maksimovna Gorbacheva.
Now the monument is adored by children - I hardly found second for a good photo! :cyclops:

* Posted Jun 10, 2012, 6:32 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Moscow, Russia - 17th June 2012

By: Dangerousebeans

Hi, mom!
Today we decided to visit the well-known and beautiful churches of Moscow to familiarize with its architecture better. They are absolutely different - big, small, grandiose, modest, multi-colored, bright. It was unforgettable walk! My host is the big fan of the Moscow churches; she considers that they give pleasure and piece to those who admires them. Unfortunately, in orthodox churches it is impossible to photograph inside therefore we will be limited to appearance.  :(
The first church which we met on our way - the temple of an icon of the Theotokos «Joy of all who Sorrow». This icon is widely known as wonder-creating since 1688. This year it cured for the first time a sister of the Moscow patriarch - Efimiya Papina. This girl had had a serious illness for more than a year and already prepared for death. She constantly prayed to the Theotokos for healing. And once Mary came to the girl in a dream and ordered to bring in the house the icon which has recently appeared in the temple nearby. After the icon was established in the house, Efimiya was wonderfully recovered.  :o

The Resurrection Church in Kadashi Sloboda is a major Naryshkin Baroque church in Moscow, formerly the tallest building in Zamoskvorechye, which may still be seen from Red Square.
A wooden church on this site was documented as early as 1493. The elongated five-domed church with an elegantly "laced" belfry was constructed between 1687 and 1695. Napoleon's soldiers desecrated the church, turning it into stables. In the 19th century, the icon screen was restored, the galleries and apses were expanded, and several outsize domed porches were added. The church was closed by the Soviets in 1934 and was adapted for accommodation of a KGB archive. It was not returned to the Russian Orthodox Church until December 2006.
There was much media focus on the Kadashi Church in 2010 when Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov ordered the demolition of several old buildings near the church, including a deacon's house from 1813, in order to replace them with an elite apartment complex. The decision was viewed as Luzhkov's latest attack on Moscow's architectural heritage in the interests of building companies and sparked a resistance campaign labelled the "battle of Kadashi" by the Russian media.  :stare:


Especially I like this photo - the set of posters around cries - "Go away from church in Kadashi!", and here it is simply shown, that Moscow was so beautiful town before, without skyscrapers. And what a considerable influence churches had – if you lifted your head you always saw a spike with a cross!  :rolleyes:
The following church which we visited has Saint Clement’s name. Clement (d. c.100) was pope and martyr. Bishop of Rome after Peter, Linus, and Cletus, Clement is known today mainly for his Epistle to the Corinthians. Clement was exiled to the Crimea for the skill and extent of his apostolic activities in Rome. While in exile he was compelled to work in the mines, he opened a miraculous supply of water, he preached with such effect that again he made innumerable converts so that there was need for seventy-five churches. He was killed by being thrown into the sea with an anchor round his neck: angels were said to have made him a tomb on the sea-bed, which was uncovered once a year by an exceptionally low tide.
Seven centuries later, the missionary brothers Cyril and Methodius, who were apostles of the Slav countries, ‘miraculously recovered’, they claimed, the body of Clement, piece by piece, together with the anchor. These relics were translated to Rome and buried in the fine church of San Clemente.


And the last church I will discribe to you today - Saint Nikolay's Church. It is one of the most esteemed in Russia sacred man and he has many interesting and instructive stories about his life.
One legend tells how a terrible famine struck the island and a malicious butcher lured three little children into his house, where he slaughtered and butchered them, placing their remains in a barrel to cure, planning to sell them off as ham. Saint Nicholas, visiting the region to care for the hungry, not only saw through the butcher's horrific crime but also resurrected the three boys from the barrel by his prayers.  :cyclops:
In his most famous exploit, a poor man had three daughters but could not afford a proper dowry for them. This meant that they would remain unmarried and probably, in absence of any other possible employment, would have to become prostitutes. Hearing of the poor man's plight, Nicholas decided to help him, but being too modest to help the man in public (or to save the man the humiliation of accepting charity), he went to his house under the cover of night and threw three purses (one for each daughter) filled with gold coins through the window opening into the man's house. The third time the father lies in wait, trying to discover the identity of their benefactor. The father confronts the saint, only to have Saint Nicholas say it is not him he should thank, but God alone.


About other beautiful churches I'll tell you next time!  :D

* Posted Jun 17, 2012, 2:02 pm Last edited Jun 17, 2012, 2:14 pm by Dangerousebeans [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Moscow, Russia - 1st July 2012

By: Dangerousebeans

Hi, mom! Let me continue my story about wonderful Moscow churches.
At first this unusual Marfo-Mariinsky Convent. It was founded in 1908 by Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna (sister of Alexandra Feodorovna, the last Empress of Russia—both of whom are counted among the Russian New Martyrs) to assist sick, wounded, and maimed soldiers in their recovery, and to provide for the needs of the poor and orphans.  :rolleyes:


Grand Duchess Elizabeth (you can see her statue) was the widow of Grand Duke Sergeii Alexandrovich, who had been assassinated by terrorists in 1905. After her husband's death, she gave away her magnificent collection of jewels, including her wedding ring, and sold her other possessions. With the proceeds, she opened the Convent of Ss Martha and Mary and became its abbess. Her vision was to begin a religious community, made up of women from all social strata, that would merge the ideals of saints Martha and Mary, dedicated both to prayer and to serving the needs of the poor. She purchased a tract of land in Moscow and constructed a hospital, an orphanage for girls, and quarters for the nuns. Working in conjunction with church authorities she developed the monastic rule and habit—which differed somewhat from the traditional habit of Orthodox nuns—that would be used at the convent. At its peak, the convent housed 97 sisters and served 300 meals daily to the poor.  :)
Next church is known by its famous icon - the Panagia Portaitissa or the Iveron Theotokos. The original of this image is found in the Georgian Iviron monastery on Mount Athos in Greece, where it is believed to have been since the year 999.
A unique characteristic of this icon is what appears to be a scar on the Virgin Mary's right cheek or her chin. A number of different traditions exist to explain this, but the one most commonly held by Orthodox Christians is that the icon was stabbed by a soldier in Nicaea during the period of Byzantine iconoclasm under the Emperor Theophilus (829–842). According to tradition, when the icon was stabbed, blood miraculously flowed out of the wound.
According to the Orthodox Church's Sacred Tradition, the icon was at one time in the possession of a widow in Nicea. Not wanting the icon to be seized and destroyed by the iconoclasts, she spent all night in prayer and then cast the icon into the Mediterranean Sea. The widow's son later went to Mount Athos, where he became a monk and recounted the miracle of the bleeding wound, and how the icon had been placed in the sea. Much later, (ca. 1004) the icon was recovered from the sea by a Georgian monk named Gabriel (later canonized a saint in the Orthodox Church), who was laboring at the Iveron Monastery on Mount Athos. This occurred on Tuesday of Bright Week (Easter Week), and is commemorated annually on that day (as well as the fixed date of March 31). The icon was taken to the katholikon (main church) of the monastery from which the icon gets its name.  :stare:
The tradition goes on to say that the following day, when the monks entered the church they could not find the icon. After searching they discovered the icon hanging on the gates of the monastery. This occurrence was repeated several times, until St. Gabriel reported that he had seen a vision of the Theotokos, wherein she revealed that she did not want her icon to be guarded by the monks, but rather she intended to be their Protectress. After this, the icon was permanently installed above the monastery gates, where it remains to this day. Because of this, the icon came to be called Portaitissa or "Gate-Keeper". This title was not new for the Virgin Mary, but comes from a verse of the Akathist to the Mother of God: "Rejoice, O Blessed Gate-Keeper who opens the gates of Paradise to the righteous." Orthodox monks and nuns throughout the world will often place an icon of the Theotokos Iverskaya on the monastery gates.  :thinking:
And the last church has name is a Holy Trinity Church.
It was built, probably, in the 1630th in connection with settling of the southern suburbs of the city by the Streltsy covering the defensive line of the shaft. The first documentary certificate on new church is dated 1642; Last name "Veshnyaka" or "Vishnyaka" is also connected with streletsky commander Matvei Vishnyakov. The first stone temple was built in memory of Fight under Chigirin. The belltower was taken out to the red line of Pyatnitskaya Street which was considerably more narrow, than today.
In 1804 consecutive replacement of constructions of the old temple began.  During a fire of 1812 the temple burned and was restored roughly in 1815, completely — to 1824. In 1826 Pyatnitskaya Street was expanded, and the old belltower disturbing to journey, took down. The church at the time when Zamoskvorechye was wooden, was the largest town-planning vertical of the Pyatnitsky part.
The church was closed not earlier than 1929, and again opened in 1994 at Sacred Tikhonovskiy orthodox institute.

* Posted Jul 1, 2012, 11:06 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Moscow, Russia - 5th July 2012

By: Dangerousebeans

Hi, mom!

Today we decided to visit one of the most well-known church of Russia - Cathedral of Christ the Saviour! With an overall height of 105 metres (344 ft), it is the tallest Orthodox church in the world.  :stare:
When Napoleon Bonaparte retreated from Moscow, Emperor Alexander I signed a manifest, 25 December 1812, declaring his intention to build a cathedral in honor of Christ the Saviour "to signify Our gratitude to Divine Providence for saving Russia from the doom that overshadowed Her" and as a memorial to the sacrifices of the Russian people.  :)
The cathedral took many years to build and did not emerge from its scaffolding until 1860. The painting were overseen by Evgraf Sorokin and thereafter some of the best Russian painters continued to embellish the interior for another twenty years. The cathedral was consecrated on the very day Alexander III was crowned, 26 May 1883.
After the Revolution and, more specifically, the death of Lenin, the prominent site of the cathedral was chosen by the Soviets as the site for a monument to socialism known as the Palace of the Soviets. This monument was to rise in modernistic, buttressed tiers to support a gigantic statue of Lenin perched on top of a dome with his arm raised in the air.
On December 5th 1931, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was dynamited and reduced to rubble. It took more than a year to clear the debris from the site. Some of the marble from the walls and marble benches from the cathedral were used in nearby Moscow Metro stations. For a long time, these were the only reminders of the largest Orthodox church ever built.  :(
The construction of the Palace of Soviets was interrupted owing to a lack of funds, problems with flooding from the nearby Moskva River, and the outbreak of war. The flooded foundation hole remained on the site until, under Lucy Khrushchev, it was transformed into the world's largest open air swimming pool, named Moskva Pool. :mad:
Finally, in February 1990, the Russian Orthodox Church received permission from the Soviet Government to rebuild the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The restorer Aleksey Denisov was called upon to design a replica of extraordinary accuracy.
A construction fund was initiated in 1992 and funds began to pour in from ordinary citizens in the autumn of 1994. In this year the pool was demolished and the cathedral reconstruction commenced. About one million Muscovites donated money for the project.  B)
The monument is located in the city center therefore you can enjoy such beautiful views of the old, not reconstructed quarters of Moscow around!  :rolleyes:
Especially I like this bridge - very popular place for wedding ceremonies and simply walks.  :D
On the right you can see one of the chocolate factories oldest in Moscow, and also Peter the Great notorious statue on a ship. So many people consider that it is ugly, but it can't be demolished. The designer Zurab Tsereteli is known as a friend and favorite of Moscow's former Mayor, Yury Luzhkov, and the artist has received many municipal art commissions in recent years, such as the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
The Peter the Great Statue in Moscow was designed by the Georgian designer Zurab Tsereteli to commemorate 300 years of the Russian Navy, which was started by Peter I of Russia. At 94 metres, it is the eighth tallest statue in the world.
And at the left - a view which is often printed on postcards - the Kremlin ashore. Do I need to say anything else? Fantastic!
And the monument to emperor Alexander II the Liberator of Russia from a serfdom, in fact, from slavery, is located near the temple. Alexander is represented in a military uniform and with an imperial cloak.
The five-meter bronze figure is placed on a stone pedestal with a graceful colonnade. Behind the back of the emperor two bronze lions sit. They, as a plan of author Alexander Rukavishnikov, symbolize old traditional Russia.


* Posted Jul 5, 2012, 9:56 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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