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Helsinki Trams

Helsinki has some nice trams.

I saw a great looking old one first but didn’t have my camera ready. Sadly it didn’t pass again.

All these are fairly modern:-

Helsinki Tram

A Helsinki Tram

There’s a bit more age here I think:-

Tram, Helsinki

This one had an advertising slogan on it. Don’t ask me what the Finnish means!:-

Colourful Helsinki Tram

Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

It was a longish walk out from Helsinki city centre to this. Unfortunately we arrived just after three tour buses had disgorged loads of Chinese tourists, each of whom wanted a selfie in front of it. It took ages before I could get a people-free shot.

Sibelius, Helsinki

Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

Sibelius, Helsinki, Finland

I must say that face reminded me of weel kent Scottish literary figure Hugh MacDiarmid.

From reverse:-

Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

Some of the other tourists:-

People at Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

So here’s a bit of Sibelius for you. Finlandia, Op 26:-

Helsinki, Finland

Next stop after St Petersburg was Helsinki, capital of Finland.

A lot of the buidings in the city centre are in the Art Nouveau style. These are the ones I photographed on the way to the Sibelius Monument.

Art Nouveau Building, Helsinki

Helsinki, Art Nouveau Building

Yellow Art Nouveau Building, Helsinki

Another Art Nouveau Building, Helsinki

The one in the centre here shades into Art Deco in the windows:-

Art Nouveau/Art Deco  Building, Helsinki

Note the giraffe figures on the balcony here:-

Giraffes In Helsinki

I have absolutely no idea what these were about:-

Giraffes in Helsinki, Close-up

Kotlin Island, Gulf of Finland

Kotlin Island (Ко́тлин) lies in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland, where the Neva Bay opens out to the Gulf itself. Its position made it a strategic point for the defence of St Petersburg from sea attack. It now acts as an anchor point for two arms of the St Petersburg Dam project, which carries the western arm of the St Petersburg ring road.

Kotlin Island, St Petersburg

The island is the site of the city of Kronstadt (Кроншта́дт) and its Naval Base. Note dome of Russian Naval Cathedral:-

St Petersburg, Kotlin Island

Cathedral dome and part of navy yard:-

Naval Cathedral and Navy Yard, Kotlin Island, St Petersburg

Kronstadt was the centre of a rebellion by naval personnel (hitherto staunch revolutionary supporters) against the Bolshevik regime in 1921. It was unsuccessful, crushed by the Red Army.

Russian Naval Cathedral, plus part of Kronstadt Navy yard:-

Russian Naval Cathedral, Kotlin Island, St Petersburg

Leaving Leningrad

Or leaving St Petersburg (as it is again.) I liked the alliteration though.

I snatched these through the coach window on the way back to the ship’s berth.

An old bridge over a waterway:-

An Old Bridge, St Petersburg

This one I realised later is on the corner of Nevsky Prospekt at the Anichkov Bridge over the River Fontanka and I had photographed it from the street:-

Palace, St Petersburg

A Fire Station:-

Fire Station, St Petersburg

This is the bridge almost hidden behind the building under construction I photographed from the ship’s prow:-

Bridge, St Petersburg

And this is the one between the ship and the Zenit Arena (aka Krestovsky Stadium) – see same link above:-

Bridge in St Petersburg

Bridge and Krestovsky Stadium:-

A Bridge  + Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg

Krestovsky Stadium/Zenit Arena plus part of the bridge, also two blurred birds:-

Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg (Zenit Arena)

National Library of Russia Reading Rooms

When the coach pulled to a halt for our visit to Nevsky Prospekt in St Petersburg it actually parked up in Ostrovskogo Square (which Wiki has as Ostrovsky Square,) right outside a buidling containing the National Library of Russia Reading Rooms:-

aNational Library of Russia reading room 2

National Library of Russia reading room

The nameplate on the right is in Cyrillic but the one on the left is written in English, complete with opening hours:-

aNational Library of Russia reading room 3

There was some impressive ironwork on each side of the door:-

aNational Library of Russia reading room 5

View of building down the street:-

aNational Library of Russia reading room 4

Buildings off Ostrovskogo Square, St Petersburg

Alexandrinsky Theatre:-

Alexandrinsky Theatre, St Petersburg

Side view 1:-

Side View, Alexandrinsky Theatre  2

Side view 2:-

St Petersburg, Alexandrinsky Theatre Frontage

Buildings opposite Alexandrinsky Theatre (to left):-

Building Opposite Alexandrinsky Theatre, St Petersburg

Buildings opposite Alexandrinsky Theatre (to right):-

Opposite Alexandrinsky Theatre, St Petersburg

Catherine the Great Statue, St Petersburg

In Ostrovskogo Square, just off Nevsky Prospekt.

The building in the background is the Alexandrinsky Theatre:-

Catherine the Great Monument, St Petersburg

Monument to Catherine The Great, St Petersburg

A lamppost nearby:-

Lamppost in Ostrovskogo Square, St Petersburg

Planting in Ostrovskogo Square:-

Planting in Ostrovskogo Square, St Petersburg

More planting, between the statue of Catherine the Great and the Alexandrinsky Theatre Building.

Planting Ostrovskogo Square, St Petersburg

ПОБЕДА

Victory!

Today is Victory Day. In Russia the end of the Second World War in Europe (what Russians call the Great Patriotic War) is celebrated on May 9th, not the May 8th VE Day we know. The Soviet Union, as it then was, was the country that both suffered the most in that war (26.6 million dead) and also did the most to defeat Nazi Germany on the ground.

I’ve seen it suggested that the German surrender to the Allies in the West came late in the evening so that it was one day later in Russia. However that surrender to Eisenhower understandably somewhat miffed the Soviet Union which wanted a surrender of its own, which duly happened the day after, to Marshal Zhukov in Berlin. So May 9th is Victory Day, ДЕНЬ ПОБЕДЫ (DEN’ POBEDY.)

It is celebrated every year but there were special plans for this year’s 75th anniversary. As elsewhere, coronavirus put a hold on those.

Just off Nevsky Prospekt, St Petersburg, last year, we found this memorial garden:-

Victory Day Memorial Garden, St Petersburg

Beyond the tulips in front of the protruding wing of the building the Russian word for VICTORY was picked out in hedging beside a red star. ПОБЕДА:-

Victory Day Memorial Garden, St Petersburg

Beyond the gates and off to the right was this modern building which was displaying Victory Day banners. My reading of Cyrillic is much too insufficient to decipher what sort of exhibition was taking place inside:-

Modern Building, St Petersburg

Moskovskiy Vokzal (the Moscow Station,) St Petersburg

Московский вокзал, (Moskovsky Vokzal, the Moscow Station, aka St Petersburg-Glavny) would dominate Vosstaniya Square, St Petersburg, if it were not for the Leningrad Hero City Obelisk (see previous posts.)

It’s a pity that woman is in the photo but I was pressed for time:-

Московский вокзал, (Moscow Vokzal,) St Petersburg

Russian railway stations supposedly got their designation, Vokzal, from the visit a Russian official made back in the day to observe the new-fangled railway stations at first hand. He was shown Vauxhall Station in London and said to be mightily impressed by it. It is possible that the name actually comes from Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens as Vauxhall was used in Russian for such attractions and the first railway line in the country terminated near one.

Moskovsky Vokzal is where you catch the trains to Moscow (or alight from if you came the other way):-

Interior:-

St Petersburg station

I spotted this frieze further into the station but couldn’t get any closer due to the barrier:-

St Petersburg station, Russia

At first I thought the sign in the photo below was for no smoking. But it’s a heart that’s struck through, not a cigarette. Since it says Rapiscan I assume it’s a security scanner and if you have a pacemaker you’d best avoid it:-

St Petersburg station, Russia

There was also a quite impressive set of doors on to Vosstaniya Square:-

St Petersburg  station doors, Russia

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