Archive for August, 2011


St. Petersburg; an Autumn visit or maybe your thoughts are drifting to Winter?

August 28, 2011

We’ve had a beautiful 10 days in Russia. The weather has been unusually fantastic for the second half of August (quite often you know Autumn is coming); non stop sunshine, mid 20s every day, evenings still warm enough to sit outside in t-shirts drinking a few beers. Rita and Alex (The Tsar) went to St. Petersburg for a few days to see their aunt. They had a great time visiting the Winter Palace, Peterhof – Tsar’s Summer residence and took a boat trip along the Neva River/ Baltic Sea. Please have a look at some of these fantastic links to get a feel for how beautiful St. Petersburg is:

Official site of Saint Petersburg – one of the MUST VISIT places in Europe

Beautiful Peterhof – Summer residence of Peter the Great

Hermitage – or Winter Palace, fantastic museum and former residence of Russian Tzars

Alas, in a few days they will be departing for France (The Tsar has to go back to school) to leave me moping around for a few weeks/ months until I see them again or I’m regularly back in France. Usually, at this time to cheer me up my thoughts drift to Winter and the fluffy white stuff. In preparation I throw myself into getting fit, working off the excesses of our long Russian/ Bularian Summer. I spend lots of time in the gym or on my bike when I visit France for the weekend. The important thing is to keep the fitness drive fun and relevant to skiing.

Have your thoughts drifted to thinking about your Winter wonderland yet? Here is an article which focuses on some tips to ensure you really enjoy skiing holiday/ experience:

It is not all about hard work, make sure you enjoy your training and have fun, read this article by Hugh Monney Director of the BASS Network, for tips on how to have fun whilst you train.

Hugh Slackrope
Our thanks to BASS/ Hugh Monney for these articles and content. The Tsar and I are off to see Spartak V CSKA today, the big Moscow derby. We are sooo excited!! Check out the pictures from last year if you want to get a feel for the atmosphere!!

Enjoyed it so much we had to return – Bulgaria!

August 14, 2011

This year Rita and Alex decamped to the Black Sea for over one month. I, of course, flew back and forth from Moscow (tell a lie I did go for two weeks non stop, as well – perfect!). We all had a great time. The villa Ralitza, Rita rented in St. Vlas, was only 100 metres from the beach with totally unobstructed views of Sunny Beach (10 kms, sandy bay) and Nessebar – across the causeway on the point of the peninsula/ bay. This ancient Greek/Byzantic/Turkish/ Bulgarian town; has incredable history and architecture which brings thousands of tourists to this part of the world every year.

 St (Sveti) Vlas is a beautiful village built on the hillside overlooking the sea directly opposite Nessebar – on the other side of the bay. It is a lot less commercial than Sunny Beach, perfect for families and those who like a more gentle, sedate pace of life on their holidays. The village has a brand new Marina (claimed to be one of the top 10 in the world!) with lots of restaurants and beach bars surrounding, and an older part with narrow streets leading up from the sandy beaches to the old town square where there are also lots of restaurants, cafes and shops.

If you’re looking for somewhere different to go for your Summer vacation that offers sandy beaches, great climate and extroadinary value then we thoroughly recommend St. Vlas. It’s only just over half an hour from the airport at Burgas, along a beautiful coastal road that winds around the Black Sea. Beware though – it does attract a lot of Russians since the flight to Moscow is pretty short and the languages are very similar. Bulgaria was once treated as the 16th state of the old Soviet Union (they had 15 really!)

Since the family was there for over a month we invited various members of our Welsh/ Russian clans to come and spend some time with us enjoying the villa’s great location and all St. Vlas and the Black Sea has to offer. Daniel, our Scottish Brother in Law, particularly enjoyed the local bar where beers were less than 1 Euro a pint! The pictures below tell the story of our Summer adventure, off the beaten track in St. Vlas…….