weekly photo challenge: containers

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If you are following us on Instagram, you may have already seen the photo we are using for the Weekly Photo Challenge this week.

Having just spent a week in Russia, nothing says “containers” at the moment to us more than the famous babushka (matryoshka) dolls. Especially when ONE can contain so many smaller dolls.




inside the world famous hermitage

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To see every piece of artwork in the Hermitage in one visit is impossible. Apparently to look at every piece (of the 3 million collection) for 30 seconds each, would take up to 9 years. We did not have that much time on this trip!

Russian Empress Catherine the Great founded the Hermitage in 1764 when she purchased masterpieces from Western Europe. The museum has 4 of its 6 buildings open to the public; Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage and New Hermitage.

As we walk through the rooms and hallways, the opulent lifestyles of the Russian past smacks us in the face! But in saying that, the lavish and exquisite interior of the museum is the perfect home for the masterpieces.

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Considering that we would not be able to see every single piece in our one visit, there are a few must-sees in the collection. And the beauty of what we saw is simply worth sharing. The first several are masterpieces of Da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Van Gogh.

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Hermitage is closed on Mondays. It also can get very busy and we heard pickpockets use the opportunity to pounce so be sure to keep an eye closely on handbags and wallets. Also remember, backpacks are not allowed in the museum.

For photos of our trip to Russia, see our Facebook page.

Have you visited the Hermitage? What did you think?

weekend walks: moscow’s metro stations

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Although we were on the metro to get to the different stations, our weekend walk is taking you through some of Moscow’s most decorative metro stations.


Each one of the Metro stations is unique and grand in their own way, we just didn’t know where to look! There are statues, there are ornate ceilings, there are mosaic artworks, there are fancy light fixtures – Stalin’s vision of brilliance and radiance certainly was fulfilled! Each of the artwork represents different elements of the Soviet Union’s past.

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The underground system opened in 1935. And really is an attraction in itself and worth witnessing. It left us in so much awe and gobsmacked!

The metro system is so efficient with trains arriving every minute (or so) during peak hour.  Its cleanliness is also noticeable. There is no graffiti or rubbish anywhere! It certainly highlights that our train system in Sydney has room for improvement. Not that we are asking for marble or stain-glassed walls on the train platforms – just punctual and frequent trains 🙂