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Blogs from: Russia

The Colorful Cathedral – St Basils – Moscow, Russia

 

Photo of the Day – The Colorful Cathedral – St Basils – Moscow, Russia

St. Basils Cathedral is one of the most iconic Cathedrals in the World. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is one of the most iconic buildings in the World, period.

What makes the Cathedral eye-catching and iconic are its 9 unique and colorful onion domes. These domes represent the 9 chapels within the Cathedral itself. While the exterior is unique and colorfully chaotic, the interior was a bit dull in my eyes. Perhaps it was seeing the outside and then going inside, but how many of you have ever seen a photo of the interior of St. Basils? Now, don’t get me wrong, the interior is interesting in its own way. I find most things that are over 400 years old somewhat fascinating, but it pales in comparison to the exterior.

The Colorful Cathedral - St Basils - Moscow, Russia
 

Sharp Onion Domes – Saint Basil’s Cathedral – Moscow, Russia

 

Photo of the Day – Sharp Onion Domes – Saint Basil’s Cathedral – Moscow, Russia

Saint Basil’s Cathedral is one of the few buildings on the planet that can sit dead smack in the middle of a crowded parking lot and still make a list of the top places to visit in the world. It’s for good reason indeed. When you cut through all of the noisy surroundings and focus on the cathedral, the beautifully ornate and colorful onion domes light up your insides and transform your mind into a cool state of tranquility.

Sharp Onion Domes - Saint Basils Cathedral - Moscow, Russia
 

Candy Land Castle – Church of Spilt Blood, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

Photo of the Day – Candy Land Castle – Church of Spilt Blood, St. Petersburg, Russia

Every time I look at this picture I immediately think of Candy Land! You know, the kids game with all of the different types of candy as the “players”. I played this game a lot and to me the Church of Spilled Blood makes me think of a giant real-life castle made out of candy.

The intricate painting of the domes and walls lend itself to M&M’s, Laffy Taffy, Hershey Kisses, Candy Canes and an assortment of other candy that makes my mouth water right now! Or perhaps I have lost it :)

What do you see?

Candy Land Castle - Church of Spilt Blood, St. Petersburg, Russia
 

Scandinavian Golden Hour – St. Petersburg, Russia

 

Photo of the Day – Scandinavian Golden Hour – St. Petersburg, Russia

The best photos are always taken during the golden hours – the hour before and the hour after sunrise and the hour before and after sunset. One special thing about visiting very northern parts of the world during the middle of summer is the days are very stretched out. If you go to the right place at the right time you can even experience days where it never gets dark!

These long days in effect stretch out sunrise and sunset, which means the windows of the day for great photography are greatly extended. This allowed Will and I to walk around St. Petersburg one day last June for several hours photographing the beautiful sunset light. We were able to grab this photo of the English Embarkment sitting on the Neva River, just out front of the famous Hermitage Museum.

Scandinavian Golden Hour - St. Petersburg, Russia
 

Blinded by the Light – Hermitage Museum – St. Petersburg, Russia

 

Photo of the Day – Blinded by the Light – Hermitage Museum – St. Petersburg, Russia

I’m not a big museum guy. There, I said it. The majority of the museums I have visited around the world have failed to really excite me. Too often museums are all about finding a few very famous pieces, that frankly if the museum brochure didn’t highlight the fact that the pieces were famous, you would find nothing extraordinary about them vs. the twenty other beautiful paintings in the room. I know this all sounds very unsophisticated, but I bet this is how nine out of ten people actually feel.

The Hermitage is different. It is more of a palace than an actual museum – although that comment is really unfair because it contains a great deal of absolutely stunning artwork. A visit to the Hermitage consists of walking around a massive palace for hours making your way from room to room in total amazement of what surrounds you. This photo is an example of one of the very “normal” rooms that we walked through on our visit earlier this year.

Blinded by the Light - Hermitage Museum - St. Petersburg, Russia
 

Mystery Photo – Stairway to Heaven

 

Photo of the Day – Mystery Photo – Stairway to Heaven

The previous three Mystery Photos (here, here and here) have all been guessed correctly by the same person (Mike Rubenstein) within several hours of us posting the photos on AbsoluteVisit. This week we are going to kick the difficulty up a couple of notches. Not only will the photo be much more challenging, but going forward we are only going to accept one guess per person and no incremental clues will be given by us in the comments. We will announce the correct answer and the winner the following day. Good luck!

Where was this photo taken?

Mystery Photo - Stairway to Heaven
 

Early Morning Shopping in Red Square – Moscow, Russia

 

Photo of the Day – Early Morning Shopping in Red Square – Moscow, Russia

After pulling an all-nighter in Moscow, we decided to get out on to Red Square for some clear shots of St. Basils and Red Square. During this shoot, I saw this shot which was taken looking opposite from St. Basils Cathedral. Some times there are some amazing scenes right behind you (look around!).

This photo feels very much like an early weekend morning (in this case a Sunday) with only a few people out and the sun trying its hardest to rise above even the lowest of buildings. The shimmer and glisten of the water on the streets would usually tell you that it rained the previous night – but in this case, the water is from Moscow’s street cleaners.

So, why on earth did I title this “Early Morning Shopping in Red Square”? Well, the building on the far-left is the Glavnyi Universalnyi Magazin or GUM (pronounced ‘goom’). It means “Main Universal Store” and is a high-end shopping mall that acts as one of the borders to Red Square. Although we did not go inside, its facade is beautiful.

Early Morning Shopping in Red Square - Moscow, Russia
 

Golden Kremlin Domes – The Kremlin, Moscow, Russia

 

Photo of the Day – Golden Kremlin Domes – The Kremlin, Moscow, Russia

Inside the Kremlin Walls there are 3 different Cathedrals – Cathedral of the Dormition (1479), Cathedral of the Annunciation (1489), and Cathedral of the Archangel Michael (1508). Specifically what you are looking at are domes from the Cathedral of Dormition.

I suppose what I really like about these domes is that they are unique and of course beautiful to look at. Other than in Russia, I have never seen this architectural style.

Where else does this architecture exist?

Golden Kremlin Domes - The Kremlin, Moscow, Russia
 

Domed Ceiling of The Hermitage Museum – Saint Petersburg, Russia

 

Photo of the Day – Domed Ceiling of The Hermitage Museum – Saint Petersburg, Russia

Where do I begin?

First of all, realize this is a ceiling.

Secondly, understand that the ceiling was designed and painted in the 18th Century.

Lastly, this ceiling is located in The Hermitage Museum which was the Summer Palace for Russia’s Royalty.

I am not sure if that is helping to give you a better understanding of this photo, but just look at it, enjoy it, and get lost in it!

Domed Ceiling of The Hermitage Museum - Saint Petersburg, Russia
 

Pickled Foods Galore – Kuznechny Market – St Petersburg, Russia

 

Photo of the Day – Pickled Foods Galore – Kuznechny Market – St Petersburg, Russia

Out of a necessity to store food during the cold Russian winters, Russians pickle a wide variety of foods to greatly increase their shelf life. On a visit to Russia you will find something pickled on the table at every traditional Russian restaurant, especially if you put in an order for vodka!

I posted a photo a few weeks back of some delicious food we picked up at the central market in St Petersburg. On the plate there were lots of pickled items which were all purchased from this nice (although not so friendly looking here) lady in the market.

Pickled Foods Galore - Kuznechny Market - St Petersburg, Russia
 
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The Top 100 Places in the World
1 Great Wall of China
2 Pyramids of Egypt
3 Machu Picchu
4 Serengeti Migration
5 Galapagos Islands
6 Grand Canyon
7 Angkor Temples
8 Antarctica Cruise
9 Taj Mahal
10 Iguazu Falls
11 Amazon Rain Forest
12 Great Barrier Reef
13 Bora Bora
14 Victoria Falls
15 Bagan
16 Petra
17 Potala Palace
18 Karnak
19 Mt Everest
20 Cappadocia
21 St Peters Basilica
22 Fjords of Norway
23 Jerusalem Old City
24 Burj Khalifa
25 Borobudur
26 Forbidden City
27 Kashmir Valley
28 Li River Cruise
29 Ladakh
30 Alhambra
31 Louvre Museum
32 Perito Moreno Glac.
33 Banaue Terraces
34 Colosseum of Rome
35 Easter Island
36 Venice Canals/Alleys
37 Kathmandu Valley
38 Wat Phra Kaew
39 Yellowstone NP
40 Pompeii
41 Rio Panoramic View
42 Palace of Versailles
43 Dubrovnik
44 Golden Temple
45 St. Basils Cathedral
46 Vatican Museum
47 Florence Cityscape
48 Acropolis
49 Amalfi Coast Drive
50 Kremlin
51 Hong Kong View
52 TerraCotta Warriors
53 Mezquita Cordoba
54 Chichen Itza
55 Damascus Old City
56 Shwedagon Stupa
57 Sahara Desert
58 Mont St Michel
59 St. Marks Square
60 Egyptian Museum
61 Hagia Sophia
62 Angel Falls
63 Delphi
64 Teotihuacan
65 Baalbek
66 Banff NP
67 Santorini
68 Matterhorn
69 New York Skyline
70 Neuschwanstein
71 Chartres Cathedral
72 British Museum
73 Prague Old Town
74 Burj al Arab
75 Yangtze River Cruise
76 Yosemite NP
77 Hermitage Museum
78 Torres del Paine
79 Chambord Chateau
80 Lijiang
81 Portofino
82 Great Ocean Road
83 Tongariro Alpine
84 Las Vegas Strip
85 Tikal
86 Topkapi Palace
87 Sydney Opera House
88 Eiffel Tower
89 Luxor Temple
90 Kerala Backwaters
91 Golden Gate Bridge
92 Cinque Terre
93 Metropolitan Mus
94 Uffizi Gallery
95 Ayers Rock
96 Cliffs of Moher
97 Pacific Coast Hwy
98 Shanghai Skyline
99 Glacier Bay NP
100 Wulingyuan
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