Breaking A Rule in Russia~


Check out these fascinating old fortifications in the Gulf of Finland, off the coast of St Petersburg.

These abandoned fortresses provide eerie silent testimony to Russian history.

They are quite beautiful,

like man-made floating islands in the massive gulf.

Catherine the Great’s Palace has some remarkable architecture. In Empress Elizabeth’s time these statues were gilded in gold.

The over-the-top, huge, amber-room in the palace is entirely covered in amber, and taking pics is strictly verboten, probably to entice people to buy some picture books. I did my James Bond best and quickly and secretly, purloined this pic for your enjoyment! It was my Bond moment in Russia……


The Chinese wall paper and Delft stoves in the palace were very beautiful.

Catherine’s bath house and reflecting pool were lovely too.
If you are interested in Catherine the Great, you may want to check out:
We leave tomorrow for Switzerland, but until then, it’s still…..
Cheers to you from Russia!

128 thoughts on “Breaking A Rule in Russia~

        1. You know your Russian history! Probably why she needed to take so many baths!!! 😉 Did you know Empress Elizabeth had 18,000 dresses? I just don’t know what I’d do with more than 15,000………..

  1. I’ve not seen the fortresses, but Catherine’s place blew me away. Such lavishness at a time when people were very poor was overkill, beautiful though.

  2. I am SO living my life through your travels at present but I have to ask, has the diet of cucumber and tomato in Russia with every meal changed for this century? Safe travels to Switzerland!

  3. Catherine the Great, Prussian woman born in Stettin, Pomerania ( today in Poland- Szczecin), is a quiet known tsarica in Poland and the Baltic states- I have just returned from Lithuania and Latvia, many Russian-speaking people in Riga. Enjoy your trip and remember the Beatles’ song “Back in the USSR”. Love. Wanda

    1. Could never possibly forget this song!!! Humming it now! Even though I just left! 🙂
      I am quite an admirer of your country woman, the astoundingly intelligent Catherine the Great. She was a thinker of the enlightment, spoke seven languages, wanted to free the serfs, stop their physical abuse, and wrote probably the most impressive body of legal reforms of any sitting monarch up to her time, none of which she was able to codify into law because she met resistance from the nobility and aristocracy. Amazing woman!

  4. Whoa, I’m still digesting the comment about Elizabeth I’s 15,000 dresses — a new dress every day for 41 years. Discounting maybe 15 years of her childhood years from her 70-year life leaves 55 years, so it’s a safe bet she seldom wore a dress that had been washed even once…

      1. I went to school in Fribourg, a university town about 20 minutes from Bern. You’re just in time for a plum wähe, a traditional Swiss plum tart. Really good. If you’re a literature geek, you might stroll into the cathedral in Fribourg and take a look at the organ. It’s mentioned in George Eliot’s MIDDLEMARCH, one of the sights, if I recall correctly, seen on the honeymoon of the unhappy marriage between Dorothea, the main character, and Casaubon, her much older, controlling theologian husband. How’s that for a happy travel note? 🙂 Ken

        1. That is an awesome travel note occurring in real time! I am huge fan of Middlemarch. Poor misguided Dorothea learned too late what she really wanted, and poor Casaubon stuck in his stifling stiffness. Such a fabulous book, so of course I am would like to go to the cathedral to see the organ. I remember they went to Italy on their honeymoon and did not know she came to Switzerland. As for the plums, I saw them growing from the train and the restaurants open in 20 minutes! Perfect timing Ken and I shall definitely try the tart and post a photo to you too!!! Thank you my friend!

  5. These last two posts from Russia have been fascinating, Cuz. I have a special tie to St. Petersburg. Were you able to attend a symphony there or no? Be safe…… hugs !!!

  6. Congrats to you for the Amber room success. I was sadly “caught” and the Russian Scolding was significant and rather frightening. Altho I didn’t know what she was saying, I sure got the point!

  7. Such amazing photos of such beauty. You know, now the whole world knows what you did! Let me know if any Russians show up at your door! 😆 I’m glad you did it, though, it’s so amazing! Thanks for sharing your trip and I’m anxious for more!

  8. If you purloined the photo, then I guess it’s our “gilt-y” pleasure, eh? Of course, you and I both have homes finished in rubies and sapphires rather than mere amber, and solid gold as opposed to gilding, so it’s all rather ho-hum to us. 😉 These palaces really do boggle the mind, as do the amazing engineering feats of the fortresses. Thanks again for sharing your journeys with us! 🙂

    1. Oh you are making me laugh. I may be gilty of the act but you of the visit to the post ehh??? Pretty complex philosophy, and I am still laughing. And yes, I have decided to incorporate an Amber Room into the hacienda motif of The Holler. I have it all planned out. First, I will need to get the amber……….

  9. Greetings, I have a question for you.

    Today, you clicked “like” on my post titled: “New EP “I’ll Be Back” by Rick McCargar now available for streaming or download “, and I’m curious if you read this line:

    “The EP will be free to download for the first twenty-people who contact me at and ask for a free download code from cdbaby!”

    It was the very first line in the post, and of the four people who “liked” my post, not a one asked for the download card.

    I realize that the “like” may have been for support, without actual interest in the music, but I’m curious to know if the first line was read and ignored, or not read at all?

    Of course most of us know that all clicks help us get found, but I tend to think that clicks for the clicks sake, or clicks for no reason other than to get a click back, are in the end, not really that useful.

    So I’d be really interested to learn, if the post about new music was liked, why would a person not request the free music offered? If one doesn’t like the music, and clicks like for the support, though appreciated, I’d rather be told that the music wasn’t good, or interesting, or their style, or just be ignored.

    Thanks for your time,

    1. Hey Rick, I am traveling now in Europe and using public wifi and didn’t want to bug people in the library with your music even though I am certain they would love it as do I! Cheers to you my friend and keep the faith~

      1. Thanks Cindy, I’m just trying to figure out what makes sense in all of this. I get so many likes that I presume are just attempts to get me to “like” their page, that when I offer something for free that is liked but not requested, I start to wonder if this makes sense to do.

        Thanks for taking the time to respond, and enjoy your trip.

      2. I don’t think that is why people like your posts. There are times when I travel and can’t like anyone’s posts and people still like mine and more than 50% of the people who view my posts aren’t even in wordpress and can’t like me and I don’t even know who they are. Check your stats page and you may notice the same thing. I have felt the same concern though. One wants to know people actually do pay attention to one’s post. Have no fear, people do. If you get a lot of likes? Accept it man. You just may have to get your brain around the fact that people generally like you and your posts even if they don’t (in my case look at each pic) or in your case listen to every lick.
        Take your likes and believe them. Cheers to you~

  10. Liebe Cindy ich muß dich einfach danken für diese wunderschönen Fotos einfach herrlich ganz toll ja Russland hat schon eine bewegte Vergangenheit und mit so vielen schönen Gebäuden und so schön gestaltet herrlich anzusehen einen super Donnerstag wünscht dir Klaus mit ganz vielen lieben Grüßen Klaus

    1. Sie sind sehr freundlich und Klaus Ich schatze Ihre freundlichen Worte. Ich werde bald ein paar Fotos zu posten von Warnemünde und Rostow Deutschland. Sie sind so schöne Städte. Ich bin jetzt in der Schweiz. Danke, dass du mein Freund. <3 <3

  11. “LOL” So, you purloined a James Bond style secret pic. Love it.
    It seems truly “From Russia With Love”.
    You certainly get around. It won’t surprise me if you do a post from the moon one day….. of course WiFi will be crummy! “LOL”

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