Saturday, September 30, 2017

Please, mind the gap... In London with the Wandering Writer

In London, there are many parks and green spaces…” So, it stated one of the readings in my first English language books, back in those days. And indeed, there are many and each of them is extremely well kept and gives a good reason to sit down, admire the birds, squirrels and think about the meaning of life in that oasis of pure calm and peace.
At that time, when I was at the school, I was too young to even think about traveling around the world, but certainly, London was one of those cities, which somehow attracted me in a particular way.
And it did so much that I go there every now and then attracted by the beauty of the city and its parks, inspired by the gentle and sweet topography of its land, the history, and the incredible blend of old and new.

Whatever your reason to travel to London, you will find yourself delighted as you walk through its streets and relax in one of its many parks. I have many times wandered around without any quarter admiring the traditional architecture that made me fall in love with Britain.
Something that made my visits quite unusual from all the holiday trips is that I prefer to travel there alone. The reason is that I feel like walking the streets in London gives me the time to get inspired for my novels. I feel like I can be fully immersed in my thoughts without any disturbance, as I walk the streets, observe people walking by and admire the architecture.
I know, you might say that this is possible wherever, but London well, London is different, and it is something that I can not really explain in words. It is almost like going for a walk in the woods, where I generally go by myself. The only time when I was there with m husband was when we went to see the concert of the german band, Rammstein at the O2 arena. I remember that the band was also going to perform in Helsinki, my hometown, but the tickets were all sold out. The few available were those at the black market, which would have cost a fortune. With the same price, we could get buy the tickets for the concert in London, the flight tickets and the hotel. Guess what did we do? 
Dont miss the most popular destination there, as nothing in London is just obvious; not the Big Ben, the Westminster Abbey, the Buckingham Palace and so on. Each of them deserves a good picture to remind you of something that will continue to inspire you for the times to come.

Of course, do you think I can forget to tell about Stonehenge? Certainly not. You cannot miss visiting one of the most mystic places on Earth.  Nobody knows the exact time when this complex was built, perhaps from 3000 BC to 2000 BC, and the way it was constructed, remains a mystery, particularly if we think that experts believe that the stones are not original of the building place. Therefore, the main question that comes to my mind is: how did they transport those monoliths and how did they build the complex?

One thing is for sure, you will remain speechless at the view with such an impressive complex. My mind started to race with all the stories and myths that I heard about it, and those I could make up in my mind.
I am sure I will go to visit many more times London, but also next time, I will start to move around and check other great cities I am sure I will fall in love with.
And of course, every time I will go there, I will have to MIND THE GAP!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

St. Petersburg, the Venice of the North with the Wandering Writer

Hello, everybody.
Like I promised last time, I am going to continue telling about my wanderings around the world, and this time I am going to tell about Russia, In particular, St. Petersburg.
This is the second largest city in Russia after Moscow and was founded in 1703 by the Tsar Peter the Great, and it was originally the capital of Imperial Russia. With the time passing by, the revolutions, cultural and political changes, the name of the city changed at least other three times from St. Petersburg to Petrograd, to Leningrad, and back to St. Petersburg in 1991 (and we all hope there wont be any other changes in the name).
The city I considered the cultural center of Russia, and it is also known as the Venice of the North. The comparison between the two cities comes, in fact quite natural as we are walking along the Neva River and its channels that cross the city.
The beautiful bridges that connect one side of the river channels and the beautiful architecture give, at times the idea of being transported, for one second, to the Italian city.
The big difference is that despite being extremely beautiful and rich in history, it is not as expensive as Venice, and this is a great plus, giving a chance to the tourist to enjoy to the fullest the city without having the feeling of being robbed at every step. St. Petersburg offers beauty, culture, and fashion at every corner, people are friendly, and the food is awesome. Just like in Italy, Russian people do not generally speak a good English, but they are ready to help, and with a bit of patience you will get the information/direction/restaurant you need.

Walking the streets, you will come across to the very different type of architectures typical of each political/cultural change that happened in the country. Although, the most impressive, are those of the Imperial Russia.

One of the must-see and visit is the Winter Palace, which was until 1917 the official residence of the monarchs. Today, the palace hosts the Hermitage Museum, which hosts an impressive collection of artifacts coming from the whole world. Likewise, all the biggest museums in the world, be prepared to spend an entire day to visit it; believe me, you won’t regret.
The palace itself is a great artifact of architecture and its history, together with that of all the people who had been playing an important role in the history of Russia, can be felt as you walk the large rooms, the corridors, and halls.

Another great architecture’s jewel is the Church of the Savior on Blood, and it has many names. However, the reason behind the name it seems to lie in the fact that it was built on the same site where the Emperor Alexander II was fatally wounded in 1881. 

You will have the best view of it coming from the other side of the Griboedov Canal.
St. Petersburg was able to entice me, and I am for sure going one more time to visit Russia. Next time, perhaps it will be Moscow… we’ll see.

In the meanwhile, I wish you a great weekend and see you next time... STAY TUNED!

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