Tag Archives: Russia

Sunday Stamps: Stamps From Russia

stamps, Russia, sunday stamps

It has been awhile since I have shared about my stamps. This week’s theme is all about stamps from Russia and since I do not have the privilege of time to rummage through my box full of postcards, I will just share most of the recent stamps I got from that region. Mind you, I have not been active the past few months with my Postcrossing.com swaps and focused mainly on personal swaps, so I was not getting a lot of postcards from Russia lately.

stamps, Russia, sunday stamps

Anyway, here are a bunch of stamps I did get from the previous postcards sent to me from Russia. That first image features a very interesting strawberry scented stamp. It was my first time to received a scented stamp and I was really delighted to get it. It did actually smell like strawberries and I am surprised that it managed to retain the smell despite of the distance it has to travel. This stamp sure bring a big smile on my face. The stamp beside it is the Novgorod Kremlin, located on the left bank of Volkhov River in Veliky Novgorod. This stamp is part of the Sixth Definitives series – Russian Kremlins – Novgorod Kremlin issued in 2009.

The second image, on the other hand, features a number of interesting stamps, too, starting with a very cute New Year stamp. The stamp on its right features Lyudmila Pamokhova {1946-1986}, a Soviet ice dancer, a figure-skating world champion and a sport legend in Russia. This stamp is part of a set released in 2013, featuring other Russian sports legends. This group of stamps also include these animals, which can either be a fox or a dog.

Don’t you just love these interesting stamps? You can find more Russian stamps here: stamps, Russia, sunday stamps

Unusually-Shaped Stamps from Russia and Finland

stamps, Russia, Finland

I missed sharing stamps these past few weeks so I am delighted to be sharing with you more interesting stamps I have received in the mail. For this week, we are to share those stamps that have unusual shapes or those over-sized stamps. Here are a few of interestingly-shaped stamps I was able to get from my stash. The first one is probably the stamp with the most unusual shape I have ever received. After research I found out that this is not really the original shape of this stamp, the sender must’ve cut a portion of it to fit to the card. This features the Sami cultural ritual drums {sami drums} and was released in Finland last year. A sami drum, according to Wikipedia, is a circular drum covered with membrane and are used by Sami people as shamanistic ceremonial drum. It is also known as rune drum or magic drum.

stamps, Russia, Finland

This lovely triangular-shaped stamp is called Arts and Crafts of Russia, Lace-Making, and features the Vyatka lace, the bobbin lace made in Kirov Oblast. The triangular stamps were issued in 2012 in sheets of small format with 4 stamps in one sheet.

stamps, Russia, Finland

This  one is yet another triangular stamp from Russia, this time featuring the Kasli lattice work or cast-iron molding. This is also under the Arts and Crafts of Russia category and were issued with 4 stamps in 1 sheet.

It sure is a delight to see these unusually-shaped stamps in the postcards I received and a big thanks to those who sent it to me. I hope I received more of them in the days to come!

For more lovely-shaped stamps, do not forget to visit this week’s edition of Sunday Stamps!

From Faberge to Flea Markets – The Best Places to Shop in Moscow

Any holiday is incomplete without an indulgent shopping spree. Even if you aren’t particularly fond of shopping, the sheer variety of souvenirs and local handicrafts is bound to overwhelm you. A shopping trip isn’t merely for buying things, it is a way to understand the character of a city. The same is true for Moscow, a city where opulent shopping malls coexist with flea markets and hipster shopping arcades.

There is something in Moscow for everyone, right from luxury shoppers looking for premium brands to tourists travelling on a tight budget. While it is true that capital city has a reputation for being an expensive city, it is always to possible to find decent bargains if you know where to go. Here is a list of some of the best places to shop in the capital city of Russia:

  1. Petrovka Boulevard – If you want to get a real taste of Russia, take a walk along the Petrovka Boulevard. Overlooking several malls in the Atrium, the Petrovka street is lined with shops selling a hundred flavours of Russian vodka, Russian fur coats and caps, caviar, jewelry, trinkets, and all sorts of Soviet memorabilia. This is the perfect market to stock up on local souvenirs for friends back home.
  2. GUMThe GUM which translates to the Main Universal Store in English is one of the biggest shopping malls in the entire country. The mall is designed as a 19th century arcade and is home to premium luxury brand like Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Hugo Boss. The upper level stores are occupied exclusively by Russian premium brands. If you are looking to splurge on your holiday, GUM should be high on your list of must-visit places.
  3. TsUM – Giving some stiff competition to GUM is this six-storeyed building with stores of all major European luxury brands. Although it lacks the architectural beauty of GUM, it makes up by offering a broader variety of brands. Both the GUM and TsUM are strategically located in the heart of the city. In fact, they are just a few miles away from the Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel Moscow, which is, more often than not, the chosen luxury hotel of the elite clientele of these malls.
  4. EliseevskyGastronom – If you have done your share of shopping for the day, head to the Eliseevsky to titillate your taste buds with some local Russian culinary delights. The best part is that you can even take some of them back home. The Eliseevsky was established a 100 years ago and boasts of an ornate building with Neo-Baroque architectural elements. Here, you can treat yourself to the most exquisite of Russian chocolates, candies, tea cookies and of course, vodka.
  5. Izmailovsky Market – Also known as Vernisazh market, this is the closest you will come to a finding a flea market in Moscow. The market is full of vendors selling local handicrafts, artwork, woodwork, Asian pottery, Soviet posters and much more. The prices are negotiable but don’t expect to walk away with sizeable bargains. That said, this is one of the more affordable markets in the city.

Image: Moscow, Russia (Film Scan) by Thomas Depenbusch, on Flickr

Saratov Region Museum of Local History ~ Russia

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Here is another official Postcrossing.com card {PCID#: RU-1175260} I got last month. It features the Saratov Region Museum of Local History in Russia. I bet this museum has loads of historical artifacts, as well as lds paintings and other artworks from local artists. I bet it will be one great place to visit + judging from the inviting facade, I bet I will enjoy my visit there!

Here is what the back of the card says:
The Museum of Local History occupies the building, which is among the best monuments of Russian classicism of the beginning of 19th Century. It was rebuilt from two, two-storied houses, owned by M.A. Ustinov, the richest merchant in Saratov. The reconstruction project was designed by St. Petersburg architect L.F. Kolodin, who was the pupil and assistant of the famous architect, A. Voronikhin.
Kolodin brilliantly completed the Saratov merchant’s order. A third storey was added, a portal of Corinthian columns and corner porticos were erected and stucco moldings were used. As a result, Ustinov’s mansion had a very individual look, which distinguished it from other ordinary attic houses.
From 1930, the building has been occupied by the Museum of Local History, which is one of the oldest museums of local history in Russia. It was founded in 1886 by the Saratov Learned Archival Commission. The museum exposition occupies 30 halls and presents all the diversity of regional nature and history from the oldest times till the present day. Visitors are particularly interested in collections related to cosmonaut Yu A. Gagarin, aircraft designer O.K. Antonov, prominent geneticist N.I. Vavilov, composer A. Schnittke, writer L.A. Kassil, actors B.A. Babochkin, O.P Tabakov, O.I Yankovsky, E.V. Mironov and others. The museum owns the collection of P.A. Stolypin’s life and work, this collection being the only one in Russia. It also possesses materials about the 1912 famine in the Volga region. Museum takes an active part in the development and realization of social and cultural projects and it has its own website. 
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I am sure a lot of people visit this particular museum every single day. Hopefully I will get the chance someday, too!

Visiting a museum sure is a perfect activity for meandering souls as it is a great way to brush up on our knowledge on history, as well as educate ourselves about the rich culture and traditions of the particular place we are visiting where the museum is located. It is a very suitable place to visit where you dabble in the arts and appreciate art masterpieces ranging from drawings, paintings, sculptures and other art works. It is also one great family activity and am sure even little children will have a wonderful time browsing classical and contemporary artworks, as well exploring an unknown place for the very first time. It even makes for a great way to pass away a lazy Saturday afternoon with friends or with photograph enthusiasts colleagues. Just make sure to secure permissions before taking photographs, just to be on the safe side.

Museum-hopping is also perfect for travel bloggers who have not recently taken trips and are looking for more interesting topics to write on their blogs. You can visit the museum nearest you, take interesting photos and post this on your blog and viola, an instant blog post! Museums are also great places to think and clear your minds, there is a certain tranquil air about them that will leave anyone who visits with a more peaceful, and hopefully clearer, minds.

Larisa, who sent the card, was kind enough to send it in an envelope + enclose a short yet sweet letter, too!  It brought a smile on my face when I got this card. Thank you so much for this lovely treat! 😉