Collections: Thoughts and Things Celebrate, Create, Contemplate. Repeat.

From Russia, With Love

The 2014 Olympics have wrapped up in Sochi (Adler) Russia.

So please, hum a little Beatles with me, perhaps a few bars of “Back in the USSR”, and enjoy a collection from the CCCP.

I visited Leningrad and Tallinn just before the Soviet Union un-united.  It was during a study abroad program and my long awaited first trip to Europe, so of course I ventured on a value priced Finnish weekend bus tour to Leningrad.  And Tallinn was a ferry ride across the Gulf of Finland. I was buzzed on Rick Steves’ preparation to finally see “Europe Through the Backdoor“.  So I handed over my passport speaking neither Russian or Finnish. However, most Finns speak English. And Swedish, often Russian and usually one or more languages.   I figured if I had questions, I would get an answer. Plus, this was back before I needed to over-think things.  Memories: an incredibly deep** journey down to the metro in Leningrad; the Hermitage, the palace and the art; ultra strong coffee; caviar; Ladas; showers that could have used a few instructions; and finally for a West Coast girl, a magical medieval walled city.  I am a map girl, and surprisingly I do not have a map from either city. Plus the ‘student’ part means that I purchased just a few classic souvenirs, postcards and some mementos that follow here:

Matryoshka dolls.matryoshka setQuite a bit smaller than the giant doll inhabiting one of the Olympic snowboarding courses. (Seems counter-intuitive to have it desirable to hit the doll during your run.)

Caxap cubes (sugar)

Wrapper from a chocolate bar, a gift from a student from Thailand. (The Swiss and Belgians need not be too worried. . .) Pocket calendar from Leningrad; A Rouble

Set of cards with childrens sewing projects.Russian kids sew 1

Other projects included tea cozies, puppets or pencil holders.

Paperwork.

CCCP formPostcards, Scarf, Painted Wooden Eggs, Matchbox

My mini splurge were these two 5×7″ paintings of Tallinn.Tallinn 2 Tallinn 1

Tallinn’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. St. Olaf’s Church was the tallest building in the world from 1549 to 1625

Quarter-sized sticker. peace stickerСпасибо (“spa-see-ba”) Thank-You

Россия (“ross-SEE-ya”) Russia

 **How deep? The Metro is one of the deepest in the world. The Admiralteyskaya station has two escalators (one 410 feet long and the second 82 feet) carrying passengers 282 feet/86 meters below the ground.  **Sugar Cubes c/o Dr. Walsh.

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