the delightful Miss K

the delightful Miss K

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Was it love, or just Paris?

After spending the better half of two hours dragging our heavy back packs, newly acquired giant babushkas, bootleg vodka and stomach bugs derived from too much cabbage, potato and said bootleg vodka about the largest round about I've ever seen looking for the airport bus, we gave up, had our last broken Russian conversation with the cab driver and flew out of Cyrillic land and into the land of the baguette. This..... is Paris!!!
This was our favourite bar that reminded me of my favourite cafe back home: The Gal. We wasted the better part of a rainy afternoon here, gotta love holidays!
Sacre Cuer
Roller cop! There's definitely an 80's film in this... or perhaps just a damn fine film clip. People tubes: Pompadour
K's store... I must have been here before....?
K in Paris Sea of tourists at Montmart
Montmart picnic
Montmart liquid lunch: Jan style.
Eiffel K
French pigeons....
Our fancy pantsy Parisian dinner. Bonn Appetite
Drinking the rain away.... Jan in Paris
Barks in Paris, looking the part I might add.
Kissing K

Rainy day in Paris #1
Rainy day in Paris #2
A K between 2 K's
Rainy day in Paris #3 Rainy day in Paris #4
How we spent our rainy day in Paris...
This amazing little bar was like a mix of marilyn in laopard on speed. The bar, and its owner, were fabulous. What better way to appreciate it than with a K-based photo shoot! This was the matradee...
Bar posing with Jan
Bar posing with Winks ...with Jan again...
...with Barks... Ok, enough already!!!

Well in a fast becoming tradition, I got sick the night before the day we were due to travel, so instead of kissing a fine Parisian gentleman on the River Seine, I instead found myself bent over its wall contemplating sending my 'delivery' over the ledge and wondering if it would make it... I'm sure I'm not the first to stand in that spot and contemplate that same dilemma. Needless to say, I made it home, spent the night riding the porcelain train and wishing I didn't have to leave the city that makes me feel like a lady and allows me to talk like I'm pretending to be Audrey Tattou. But as they say, the show must go on, Edinburg; you'd better be worth it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Beautiful St Petersburg

One last long-distance train trip and its goodbye strange, smoggy, smokey, smelly Moscow and hello St Petersburg: an instant inclusion to my favourite cities in the world list. It's definitely still Russia and holds all the same mix-matched culture that Moscow did, but unlike Moscow, St P avoided serious bombing in WWII (Thanks to Lenin for moving the capital just in time) and so canals, churches and amazing buildings adorn the streets instead of the communist-inspired concrete boxes of Moscow. Ladies and gentlemen: a Russian Supermarket! ok, so this was actually opposite our hostel in Moscow but I forgot to add it to that page, and figure we're still in Russia at least.....Russia's version of the P or L-plater symbol. I think it just means, 'get the hell out of the way, learner on the loose!' Coffee is served here with a straw! Meat chopping with an axe! St Petersburg, another city known for its glorious canals!
This church had the rather gruesome name of: 'The Church of Split Blood', so named after poor Alexander I who was not-so-subtly blown up out front. We could see this magnificent building from most angles of our travels of the city and I never stopped marvelling at its beauty. Believe it or not, this shot was taken at 11pm. What wonderfully long days we enjoyed here, although it was somewhat surreal partying till 'dawn' more often than we'd planned, but that's not hard to do when there's only 5 ours of official darkness... Europe was full of escalates that in the beginning, amused and thrilled me with their immense length but very soon annoyed and bored me with how bloody long they'd take. In St Petersburg, they were so long that I even fought my childhood fear of being sucked into them and actually sat down a couple of times whilst carrying particularly challenging hang overs, I could have knitted a scarf in the time it took to get from A to B! A fabulous little bar we found that claimed to be the smallest bar in St Petes. Whether that was true, (I'm sure we went to smaller), it was certainly the quirkiest, I'd never really thought of Lenin as a sex symbol or even a cult symbol before, but there you go. This was the first of many interesting bars that we 'crawled' to that night, the last being an underground underground underground eurotrash place that was very, very cool. A guy I'd met in another bar that night who looked like John Safran lead us there.... anyway, what goes on tour.. stays on tour in this case!

....and this was the advice written on the place mats, we followed it religiously that night resulting in me eating too many pickles! No, we haven't suddenly skipped over to ancient Greece, this is a church in downtown St Pete's believe it or not!Farewell St Peterburg, we'll come back some day!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Moscow Moscow, see the little teddy bears, dancing in their underwears, ho ho ho ho ho Hey!

Mmmmmmmm roomy night train!Our nerves are somewhat heightened, our adrenalin pumping at a slightly faster speed than before and the strange place between excitement and fear is where I seem to be permanently residing at this point. We are on the night train, heading out of my Mother Country and into a much talked about, little understood land called Russia. We are taking extra, extra care to make sure we all write the same thing on our entry cards and wonder at what time in the night will we actually cross into this most inhospitable place and be forced to face unsmiling, un-English-speaking boarder police... As it turns out, we got sniffed out by cute little doggies around 11pm exiting Ukraine and were awoken and shocked into attempted conversation and passport checking around 3am. Jan couldn't stay awake, it was almost funny (if I wasn't so scared, I'm no good with authority) seeing her constantly drift off right in front of them. Needless to say, nothing we'd done of questionable morals in the past had stopped us from entering the county, and at about 8am, we alighted the train, bleary eyed and sleep-deprived to breath in the smokey air (peat bog fires), take on the heat, (hottest temperatures on record... ever!!!) admire the haze and wipe the crust out of our eyes to see: Mockba!
Stalin's metro station #1 Subtle advertising #2 Smoke haze The Kremlin from a bridge. The Kremlin with a K
Red Square Russian parking. Arty Russia Look closely at the add on the right hand side for a strippers... risque much?! Map reading... it only made sense upside down.
Stalin's metro station #2 This was what I personally named: The Park of fallen heroes where all the communist statues came to rest after being ripped down in the 90's. RIP Lenin, Stalin and the rest of you questionable men! The Hermatage. The Director was quoted as saying 'I wouldn't say the Hermatage is the best art gallery in the world, but there are no better'
The queue into the Hermatege. Yikes! Try reading this timetable... this was one of many, many moments of carylic confusion where we were forced to use a mixture of Russian, English, Pictionary and Sherades to book our next train tickets. We did it though and always felt a sense of achievement upon completion. Stalin's metro stations #3 Starlin's metro stations #4 Beautiful Moscow The River This was a fabululous art gallery that was very 'Berlin'. The Jimi Hendrox blues bar... great spot, I felt like I was in Chicago! My first (and only) Russian date. 'Vadim' took me and my 3 escorts across the river to a place that tranlates as: 'not boring garden' for a spot of 'Hustleing' a dance style not unlike swing and a little bit of dirty. He made me go around the corner from our onlookers to practice until he felt I was ready and then dragged me back to 'perform' for them. The whole experience was very, very different! Verical (well barrel-like) garden Four travellers, the moon and our mate Stalin!