Saturday, November 22, 2014


While we were at the Suhanov Museum, we picked up a pamphlet that listed "20 Cool Places to Visit in Vlad" by the awesome site that lists all of the stuff to do or see in Vlad.

They listed the Oceanarium as a thing to go to. I mentioned to the amazing Svetlana that I wanted to go there. She asked Alex and Ryan if they wanted to go, and since we all wanted to, she suggested Saturday at 12.

It was a date!

Only I was the only one who showed up. Oh boys.

So Elena and I explored the Oceanarium as a girls day!

It is cool to look at, lots of weird fish, even giant fish and crabs, possibly a shark?

It isn't much to look at, but fun, if you like fish. However, a bit expensive at 300 RUB a person (for Russia). (Although kids were cheaper.)

What was different about this aquarium than others was that it had a museum with a dead things in bottles that most American aquariums don't have. Even creepy dead seal fetuses....

I'm not sure what this thing is to the right, but I think it could eat me alive. I could actually go look up what the Russian or scientific name is, since it was totally listed on the little white card on the top.

But what would be the fun in that?

Afterwards, we decided to go to Tokyo Kawaii, where I had been once before, but it is really delicious.  So we went too!

Sangria with Japanese?

I had delicious Japanese food- cucumber rolls, miso soup, sangria and chocolate melting cake. I know, the last two are really weird order at a Japanese place, but Russia?
Melting cake, but with weird green stuff in it. No I don't know what it is.

See you around the globe!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Suhanova House Museum!

Another SRAS museum tour!

Suhanov was the governor of Vladivostok at the turn of the 19th/20th century. I'd tell you more, but I don't remember dates on tours and he doesn't exist according to Russian or English Google.  (seriously?)

But I do remember a lot.

He was married with 7 (!) kids. And they all lived in this cool little house. The house was populated with old furniture, not sure if the family actually owned any of it, or if it was all just period.

When they sat down for dinner/lunch, dad (obviously) sat at the head of the table, with the girls to the right and the boys to the left.

He also had a really cool office with an interesting map that was made when Japan controlled the Kurile Islands (disputed today, even though Japan renounced all claims at the end of WW2).

Upstairs they had the bedrooms, where the 4 girls slept in one and the 3 boys in the other.

Personally, I found the privacy of the bathroom *refreshing*.

Then we got to have a "Master Class" of calligraphy writing.

In Russian. 

Although, I was apparently good at it. And purple was  apparently the color of ink back then. 

One thing that was cool about the museum was that we could simply wander through and touch anything we wanted. They had replicated letters and newspapers that was cool to look though.

Interesting fact: the son of the governor/representation of the Tsar in Vladivostok/definition of the bourgeoisie class was .....wait for it....a revolutionary. Must of made dinners awkward.

See you around the globe!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hockey Game!

The arena!

Apparently Hockey is going to be the sport that I go to when I am in Russia. Went once in Petersburg, and now I've gone in Vlad.

One of the girls, Adela, in my class is married to one of the players (which is actually why she is in Vlad).
Elena and Adela
The team is called Admiral (like the naval thing).

Three rows from the ice? Why not!

We weren't supposed to take pictures, but you know me!

 In case you don't remember- Cheerleading is a thing at hockey games. It's weird, but still.

What was different with this vs. Petersburg, is that there were no police here. But the fans were still as awesome.

We didn't win, but they did play well.

See you around the globe!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Military Museums

I'm a big museum person.

Like I need to go to museums when I travel.

I think this is because of my history minor/fascination.

But, I wasn't getting my museum fix here in Vlad, so I decided to rectify that.

November 8, 2014
First up, I went to the Battlements Fortress Museum on the seashore.

I had my handy dandy Lonely Planet guide with directions to help me get there.

It was as good as ever. In other words, don't ever listen to them ever. They stink. They have no idea how to give directions or make a map. They are never right.

I spent a good 30-40 minutes wandering around trying to figure out how to get in. I eventually asked a Russian who was working at a sports complex how to get in. (She also gave me bad directions, but I can see that there used to be an entrance there, so I can't REALLY fault her).

Then I decided to just try to get there the way I would have if I didn't look at Lonely Planet....guess what? It worked. Kind of annoying.

It was 200 RUB to get in for adults, but children under 5 are free (like most places here).

IT WAS TOTALLY INTERESTING...if you like history. And don't mind freezing cold wind.

There is a small museum under the fortress, which was cool to see, and in English for my non-Russian speaking readers.
I mean I guess you COULD have more knives. 

This is a must go if you like military history or have children.

November 17, 2014

Then it was the mystery war museum that no one knew what I was talking about when I asked them about it.

Turned out to be an FSB/border guard museum. You can't take any pictures, so you just get to see the door.

But it was FREE!

And it had a kitten wandering around. Which like most kittens didn't really want to get held, but rather play with dangling strings. But, like most kittens, is just too little to stop the Big Bad Cassidy from scooping it and cuddling as she explored.

It takes about 30 min to walk though, and displays are in English (some what).

Must go if you like military history.

See you around the globe!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Safari Park!

One of the places I wanted to try to go see, but Lonely Planet said you needed a guide to go, was the Safari Park where two tigers live.

Well SRAS must of known we would want to go- so they organized it for us!

It's about 1 to 1.5 hours car ride outside of Vlad. So you need an organized group or to rent a car to get there.

On one side they have bears, an otter, a badger, foxes, raccoons, and wild cats in one enclosure, and birds of prey in the other.

I took a few pictures on this miserably cold November morning of the bears climibg trees, figuring they would be behind cages when we went (foreshadowing).

The Russian guide lectured to us (it sounded like what not to do), but we didn't really understand everything he said, but just shrugged and figured all would be ok, you know cages?


This is the "lean towards the bear for a picture, but really hope they don't charge me" smile!

Suddenly the Americans were joking that we should of paid a bit more attention to that speech....

We couldn't pet the bears, but they were happy and playing and ignoring us. If we had come in April, they would of been litter and you could hold them!

The otter and the badger were very friendly towards the group and kept running towards us and through the group.


The otter really just wanted out of the cage...

Then you go into the next cage and there are birds of prey. This part was a little sad- they din't have enough room for the size of the birds. I hope they rotated them so they could all fly in the large cage that smaller cages were a part of.

Then we had a quick lunch break, before going to explore the other side.

While we were waiting, the wathogs(?) were making the most pitiful noises ever.

Which we figured out why, once we were in there. Apparently with every tour, they get milk. 

We walked through to see the two tigers, which were in separate cages from each other. I did wonder if the cages had US regulation hights or what the Russian regulation (i know, funny) was...but the tigers were acting like cats too much to care...AKA the were totally just sleeping.

Then on the same side as the tigers, there were.....deer. Cuz that makes sense. I mean the tigers couldn't get to the dear, but still.

This time the deer were anxiously looking at us when we walked in.

We give them food/breadcrumbs.

After the gigantic walk though of deer, with multiple families, we drove back to Vlad. This was actually quicker. I timed it both ways, so it's not just "you think it is quicker on the way back" no it was legitimately quicker on the way back.


See you around the globe!