Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Photo Memories = Tallinn, Estonia, June 2009

Tallinn viewed from the ferry from Helsinki, Finland


Note - I'm going to let the city views speak for themselves throughout, unless otherwise noted

Olde Hansa - traditional Estonian food, done medieval style (yeah, it's touristy)

Australian buddy Jason, digging in at Olde Hansa

Tallinn is mystical at night

Can't remember their names, but this Estonian couple was amazing - the girl's English was almost completely accentless, despite the fact that she had never left Europe

Sunrise, after a long night, uh, imbibing





Yours truly (in Yankees gear) in front of Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Cathedral

Old and New Tallinn



The alleyways of Tallinn are probably the most atmospheric I've ever seen

Hubba hubba...



Fun with English = "Kid's wieners served with fries" (ewwww...)

The guy on the left is a Finn living in Tallinn, while the couple is from Riga, Latvia - good times on night #2 in Tallinn


Going up...

Great views to be had from the Lutheran church towers


Look closely...

Here's a closeup!



Inside Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, I believe

I loved the mix of architecture in this alley

Tallinn might just be my favorite city in (Eastern) Europe

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Photo Memories = Minsk, Belarus, July 2009

My first photo in Belarus, after arriving in the vicinity of my hostel, not having a map and not knowing a soul

Fresh from Minsk Airport 2 - not a bad flight from Kiev

The amazing folks at Alpha Radio - they called my host to come and get me. Truly a godsend. They outfitted me with lots of Alpha Radio merchandise - still have the yellow hat.

The view from the hostel - Soviet housing complex, par excellence

The "hostel" was actually an apartment that a guy rented out - the only such place in all of Belarus, at least on the major hostel websites

Exterior of my hostel building

Principal square in Minsk - a World War II memorial

Eternal flame - with no fence to keep you from getting burnt

The top of the obalisk

The square

"I was here"

In the metro station under the square - war memorial

Lovely evening in Minsk (note the Soviet star)

Hammer and sickle - you see these still throughout Russia and Belarus

Lee Harvey Oswald's former apartment (obviously repainted)

If you wondered what their license plates look like... maybe it was just me

Museum in "downtown" (such as it is)
Nice fountains

Inside the metro station
Day 2 in Minsk - eternal flame again
My 3 Dutch amigos - we managed to all cram in that hostel the second night (I slept in the kitchen)
Minsk really is a beautiful city - and I'm not just saying that for the spies reading this blog

I really can't recall what this building is for - performance venue? Library?

Propaganda poster, stating that the USSR is united with the Allies against fascism (which was technically true)
The residence of President Aleksandr Lukashenko

"Ladies and gentlemen - a tank on a pedestal!"

"It's quiet... too quiet."

The ferris wheel was loads of fun

View from the ferris wheel

Another view

New York Yankees gear - spotted in Minsk

Different view of a building shown above

TGI Friday's!

The KGB building - yes, it's still called the KGB in Belarus

Felix Dzerzhinsky bust, across from the KGB building - truly a horrible human being

Can't remember if this is a Catholic or Orthodox church (I think it's Orthodox)

One of the most prominent churches in Minsk

Church holding its own against the modern buildings

Soviet artwork in town

Monument on the site of a Jewish massacre

Monument on the site of a Jewish massacre

Monument on the site of a Jewish massacre

"Minsk"

I could do without the Soviet legacy, honestly

Many nice places to walk in Belarus

Minsk is loveliest down by the lakes (manmade or no)

Monument to victims

Locks on the monument to victims

National Library of Belarus - quite a building, with one heck of a light show

Outside the train station

Church in the background, civil building in foreground

Motorcycle religion

Interior of Catholic church

Interior of Orthodox church

Family on a stroll

Opera house

Composer Maxim Bogdanovich


Interior of a monument to war victims

Monument to victims

Minsk is very charming

Paddleboats just add to the charm

Minsk is beautiful at twilight

Citizens crossing a footbridge

"To Minsk - cheers!"