Hospitable and Helpful

Saint Petersburg Travel Blog

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My old set of St.Petersburg postcards: Summer Garden

 I have visited Russia more than once. I stayed in Leningrad (now St.Petersburg) for over a year when I joined the Soviet Army at the age of 23 as a soldier and had to serve for 18 months to fulfil my "sacred duty" as a Soviet citizen. It was a memorable stay in that city and in Russia on the whole. I had a wonderful opportunity to explore the city and its environs on my own on weekends, to see my cousin who lived in the city and to visit my friends in Leningrad region who used to live near Lake Narva on the border with Estonia.

I have also visited Moscow many times and have stayed there for about two months all in all.

My friends and I used to visit the village of Yelan in the neighboring Rostov region.

Place Square, Saint Petersburg
We visited that  village as Orthodox pilgrims following the steps of our beloved local saint - Elder Philip of Luhansk.

Luhansk region, where we live now, has a very long border with the Russian Federation - about 700 km. The border is called "transparent" now and I do not need my foreign (travel) pass to cross it, but only have to endure all the formalities of the border with due patience.

The nearest huge city of Russia is Rostov located on the Don, a great Russian river. I was there only at the airport on my way home when on account of the bad weather the plane landed in Rostov instead of Luhansk.

Wherever I went in Russia, I always met sincere hospitable people, saw wonderful architecture and heard nice folk music. Russians are fond of singing, especially the Russian Cossacks who live in the neighboring Rostov region.

A view or St.Peter and St.Paul's Fortress
There is no party without fascinating Cossack songs there. Even in Luhansk region one county center is called Stanitsa of Luhansk. "Stanitsa" means "a Cossacks' village". The Cossacks living in stanitsas could be compared with "minutemen" of the American Revolution. The Cossacks have always been freedom-loving warriors serving God and their Motherland and always prepared to defend their sacred freedom. I am thinking of making an exciting trip both to Rostov, a big city, and to a Cossack village to feel the air of Rossiya again.

"Rossiya" is the way the country's name is pronounced in Russian. "Rossiya" is also written on all Russian stamps, if you noticed. Russians believe the English word "Russia" has long ceased to convey the exact pronunciation and the nature of the name and even sounds somewhat insulting to all Russians for it rhymes with a bad Russian word denoting a jail restroom.

The Hermitage, Saint Petersburg
Therefore, if you come to Russia and speaking with the locals always remember to mention you have come to Rossiya and you enjoy your stay in Rossiya, they will be awfully glad to hear that and will remember that for years.

Russia is a huge multinational country consisting of dozens of federal republics, autonomous regions and counties. More than two hundreds peoples, both populous and small, inhabit this country. They are all called Russians, although they may not all be ethnic Russians. Please take a look at the a song about Russia I found once. I think this song, like no other similar song, fully conveys some good deep feelings of the Russian people about their Motherland. What's more, this song is provided with a good English translation. Here it is.

Rossiya Is My Motherland

Moscow's forests always glisten

At dawn.

My handmade postcard of Saint Petersburg
In autumn and in May

To Nature's song of love I listen,

A song to Russia's bright new day.

When dawn first shines on the horizon,

To touch the trees with autumn's glow,

I hear the birch, as in my childhood,

She tells me singing very low,

Rossiya, Rossiya,

My land so beautiful and free.

Rossiya, Rossiya,

The dearest land a man can see!

When down the Volga I go boating,

And birds are flying high above,

I hear a song, and it is flowing

To those green trees, the land I love.

Now down the Volga River going

And seeing much I've seen before,

I hear the dear song go flowing

That I shall sing for evermore.

Rossiya, Rossiya,

My land so beautiful and free.

Borisoglebsk, Russia

Rossiya, Rossiya,

The dearest land a man can see!

I always remember taking part in bread and salt welcoming ceremony that is an old tradition to greet dear guests with bread and salt. The bread and salt has long been a traditional Russian and Slavic ceremony of welcome. In Russian churches and homes there is a good custom: to greet the visiting bishop or a guest at the steps of the church/house when he arrives for a visit with bread and salt. The guest is presented with a big loaf of bread, called karavay in Russian, placed on an embroidered towel. A salt holder is securely placed on top of the bread. The arriving guest is supposed to help himself/herself to some bread dipped into salt. He or she might pronounce a traditional Russian greeting "Khleb da sol!" ("Bread and salt!"). It is uttered by an arriving guest in Russia as an expression of good wish towards the host's household.

HORSCHECK says:
Victor, congrats on your featured blog, which I have already checked out a few days ago. Well done and well deserved.
Posted on: Apr 03, 2017
DAO says:
You have the featured blog today!
Posted on: Apr 03, 2017
HORSCHECK says:
Very interesting blog about your several visits of Russian cities.
Posted on: Apr 01, 2017
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My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
Place Square, Saint Petersburg
Place Square, Saint Petersburg
A view or St.Peter and St.Pauls F…
A view or St.Peter and St.Paul's …
The Hermitage, Saint Petersburg
The Hermitage, Saint Petersburg
My handmade postcard of Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pet…
Borisoglebsk, Russia
Borisoglebsk, Russia
My handmade postcard of Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pet…
Luhansk-Rostov highway
Luhansk-Rostov highway
My handmade postcard of Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pet…
My favourite bridge in Saint Peter…
My favourite bridge in Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pet…
Bread-and-salt ceremony at the chu…
Bread-and-salt ceremony at the ch…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pet…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pet…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pet…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pet…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pet…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pet…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pet…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pet…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pet…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pet…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pet…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pet…
The Winter Palace
The Winter Palace
Church-on-Spilt-Blood
Church-on-Spilt-Blood
The monument to Nickolas I
The monument to Nickolas I
Winter Palace
Winter Palace
St.Isaacs Cathedral
St.Isaac's Cathedral
A view of St.Isaacs Cathedral
A view of St.Isaac's Cathedral
My handmade postcard of Saint Pete…
My handmade postcard of Saint Pet…
Palace Square
Palace Square
Winter Palace
Winter Palace
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of t.Petersburg postcar…
My old set of t.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of t.Petersburg postcar…
My old set of t.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…
My old set of St.Petersburg postca…
My old set of St.Petersburg postc…