A 3-day discovery of St.Petersburg, Russia: A walk (and cruise) through the historic centre – Day 1

Now that you’ve read an introduction to St.Petersburg, including tips for pre-departure, acquiring a tourist visa, transportation, first impressions and a recommendation of where not to stay, let’s move on to the actual itinerary of my 3-day adventure in Mother Russia. Question: why is it Mother Russia when countries like Germany are referred to as the Fatherland? Anyways, here goes.

As we left our hotel and made our way along the embankment, the first thing of interest we stumbled upon (after getting accustomed to the fact that nearly every building looks like a palace from the outside) was the Bronze Horseman and St.Isaac’s Cathedral. The statue depicts Peter the Great and was a gift from Catherine the Great who inscribed it with the words “From Catherine the 2nd, to Peter the 1st, 1782”. The statue was also the inspiration for Pushkin’s poem “The Bronze Horseman” written in 1833.

Bronze Horseman

Continue reading “A 3-day discovery of St.Petersburg, Russia: A walk (and cruise) through the historic centre – Day 1”

A 3-day discovery of St.Petersburg, Russia: Pre-departure, Transportation and Hotel

привет! That’s hello in Russian – and honestly, I had to Google it. I don’t speak a word of Russian and with no particular desire to start, I relied on a great big smile and hand gestures to get me through a week in Russia. The hand gestures worked – the smile, not so much.

How Russia landed on my travel map

Admittedly, I never had a pressing desire to visit Russia. For me, Russia was an even colder part of the world (remember, I’m Canadian) that came alive, now and then, via movies like Enemy at the Gates, an amazing film featuring Jude Law as the fictitious hero of the Battle of Stalingrad. Then, as I worked my way through university, taking courses like Eastern European Politics, and History (before and after 1945), I found that my interest in visiting Russia had finally been piqued.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to places with a troublesome pasts (and sometimes presents) but the rise and decline of the great Russian empire is so complex and so full of drama (father murdering sons, wives murdering husbands etc.), romance (Catherine the Great had a long list of lovers after her husband died), mystery (including subversion, spy games and espionage), and social and political turmoil (from the October Revolution through to the Cold War and the rise of the oligarchs) that I couldn’t help but want to see it with my very own eyes.

Thus, St.Petersburg was added to my travel bucket list and earlier this year, I was able to cross it off for good! Continue reading “A 3-day discovery of St.Petersburg, Russia: Pre-departure, Transportation and Hotel”

Street Eats, Toronto, Canada: Simply Street Meat

Street Eats, Toronto, Canada: Simply Street Meat

Welcome back to “Street Eats”! Join us, as we explore some of the best street food from around the world. We’ll share our favourite and our not-so-favourite dishes and would love for you to share your experiences with us, and the world! Leave them in a comment below or send me an e-mail with your post and links to your social media, or blog, at ardenjobling@gmail.com and create your own Street Eats post to share with our readers! Bon Appetit!

Today, our series hits the streets of Toronto, the busy, bustling capital of Ontario. Toronto may not be the culinary capital of the world but if you’re strolling around the city, you won’t find yourself starved for something to snack on! Whether you’re stopping to grab some peameal bacon on a bun (backbacon – a genuine Canadian treat) from the St.Lawrence Market or popping into one of the bakeries lining the streets of Chinatown, you’ll find something to keep you energized throughout the day as you tour the AGO, visit the ROM, climb the CN Tower, or stroll along on the waterfront. While these snacks are delicious, there’s only one thing you can get no matter where you are in the city! So, my vote goes to…

#1 Street Snack in Toronto: Street Meat

It may not be the most “Canadian” cuisine you can find, but Street Meat – that is to say delicious hot dogs and sausages – is the most common (and delicious) street snack for visitors to Toronto.

Street Meat, Toronto
image credit: emili(o)

Continue reading “Street Eats, Toronto, Canada: Simply Street Meat”