Posts Tagged ‘water’

Travelling on Diesel Electric train through ex – USSR (Soviet Union Belarus) from Jirovichi to Ros via Slonim

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

After spending 6 blessed  days in Jirovichi Sveto Uspenski Manastir (Zhirovichky Monastery) and having the possibility to pray and venerate the multitde of holy relics kept in Jirovichki (holy cloister), eat with the seminary students in Jirovichi spiritual seminary and receive a blessing of Archibishop Gurij and many of the Jirovichi serving father, hieromonks and talk to seminary students, visit the monastery library, viist students classrooms, computer lab  and get impression an impressions on general serminary monastir life, next on today I had the chance to travel for a one more time on an eletric multiple unit (famous in Russia / Belarus / Ukraine) as "elektrichka".

Sviato-Uspenskij-Jirovichki-manastir-bus-station

My  travel started in Jirovichi bus station which is situated nearby the Jirovichi Monastery walls.

Jirovichi is really unique monastery for a pilgrimage as it is the largest Eastern Orthodox Christian monastery and seminary (orthodox spiritual academy school) in Belarus. In Jirovichi is also the most holy considered icon in Belarus which happens to be also the smallest icon of the Non-hand made image of Virgin Mary (Theotokos).

Jirovichi-Dormition-of-Mother-Mary-Eastern_Orthodox-monastery

The miracle making icon of Holy Theotokos is self ingraved on a stone and was given as a sign from heaven to the inhabitants of Belarusia lands at that time because, perhaps many of the Belarusian "savage" like living people (dveriani) were falsely honouring cult hand made stones and trees and by the glorious miracle of God, the pagan inhabitants turned to faith in the True Lord and Savior Jesus Christ being astoned to see such an unique image of the mother of the Lord The Stone icon of the Virgin Mary appeared for a first time in Jirovichi in about year 1460.

The stone Virgin Mary icon was found by shepherds on top of a burning pear tree while wandering in the wood searching for their last sheeps.
Jirovichij (Bojii Mater)
as popular among Belarusians is said to have conducted a multitude of miracles through the years even to this very day.

Jirovichi-holy-icon-of-Mother-Mary-Jirovichka-bojia-mater

The found Stone self-ingraved icon of Jirovichi monastery, the smallest (miracle making) icon of Virgin Mary on earth

Today in Jirovichi monastery the place where the burning pear was is on the entrance of the monastery main Church which is in honour of the Dormition of Virgin Mary.

Jirovichi-bojij-mater-Mother-of-God-Jirovichi-holiest-place-of-Belarus

Jirovichi Bojii Mater

The monastery has 2 corpuses one for seminary students and one for monks. Inside the monastery there are about 20 monks and 10 priests regularly serving various services and holy liturgy daily. The seminary has a beautiful garden and a holy spring (well) right infront of the main Church entrance.

Jirovichka-Bojij-Mater-Virgin-Mary-miracle-making-icon-Jirovichi-monastery-Belarus

Jirovichi Mother of the Son of God Holy Icon

I've catched a bus from the holiest place of Belarus situated in village of Jirovichi (hosts about 1000+- citizens) to Slonim (Vokzal) = Train Station in Russian language. The bus from Jirovichi to Slonim is about 20-30 km and ticket was 8000 BYR (which is very cheap to about 0.40 USD).

Then from Slonim's Train station I've bought a Train ticket to Ros as I needed to go to Krasnoselsk and there was no direct transportation to it. Ros is a nearby poselok to Krasnoselsk (another poselok) nearby the town of Valkowysk , (Volkovoisk), Волковыск is inhabited by about 44000 people as of time of writting. In Russian (poselok is a little bigger than village but not really to be called town usually consists to up to few thousands of people up to 10 000 ppl.

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Slonim City Center Tank

Travelling through ex empire of Soviet Union ( USSR ) which was an union in many things to reside the today's European Union is an unique experience as one sees the endeavor of soviet people to build different things that kept running the so called communist regime. 

The train ticket is really cost low (costed me 14.900 BYR Belarussian Rubles = about 0.80 dollar cents!). The train ticket looked just like an ordinary cash reeipt printed on a cheap paper, however uniquely on the train ticket is written besides the departure and arrival towns also, number of kilometers from town A to town B that you pay for, in my case from Slonim to Rosy this was 088 km. The train itself is a real excitement for anyone who is in love with history and old trains.

Slonim-city-Belarus-train-station

Slonim Belarus, Bus Station with a Kiosk

While waiting the train I dropped by the Caffeteria nearby the Train Station (Vokzal) and get a coffee for 6000 BYR (about 0.25 USD) and 2  kinda of local Belarusian snacks (bulochka) which costed about 3000 BYR each (0.12 USD)! Amazingly I had my coffee and a quick meal for less than a dollar, amazingly cheap isn't it? 🙂

Diesel-Elektrichka-inter-town-village-train-Belarus-DR1A-135
 

The Russian type trains are different from European as the rails distance is higher than in rest of Europe. Actually there was practical reason behind the rails standard differene as the Russian rails standard was invented to be different from European in order to stop Hitler's Nazi Germany to easily transport goods / tanks etc. from and to the Stalin's U.S.S.R.

Because of the different rail distance the inside of the train coupe is also wider separated in two column seats on each of it could sit up to 3 people:

Elektrichka-common-train-between-villages-and-cities-in-Belarus-Russia-and-ex-USSR

The train toilet is also unique to see as it belonged to the perhaps 30-40 years old train:

Even though the toilet doesn't look shiny still it was clean and there was a toilet paper, what intrigued me most was the hole on the ground in front of the toilet seat, the meaning of it was to be a kinda of a natural air-condition 🙂
The toilet flush is really amazing to see too, usually in europe and everywhere I've been including in Arab Emirates (Dubai), the water flush is being triggered on top of toilet paper with hand, well in ex-USSR this is different to to flush the water you have to press a button with your leg. The sink water is also interesting to see usually in Europe sink water is being triggered by pushing on top or by turning a stopcock, here in Russia you have to press down to make water flow. Talking about oddities another oddity for non-Belarusians in Belarus is the home bath locks, usually in europe we're used to have some kind of lock mechanism, locking with a key is most common, here in Belarus in home the lock doors mechanism is simply a button to be pressed up or down. 

In the train there was policeman, the policeman here in Belarus are firm man walking threating all around the train, so no place for bad or misbehaving citizens here in Belarus 🙂

I've safely reached village of Ros in 16:35 (with a delay of about 5 minutes) which is pretty normal for a non-western train, so overall train timing was cool. The train had some signatures with some instructions what is allowed and disallowed in the train, smoking was strictly prohibited and there was huge sum fine / "shtraf". Even though that I've seen a young person to smoke a cigarette (while closing the doors) in between coupes compartment obviously not much caring about the cops standing just a few wagons next 🙂

Before reaching Rosy we've passed on few villages, the villages here in Belarus are very beatiful there is difference in how Belarusians built a lot of their old wooden houses if compared to lets say Bulgaria or Balkans where we build brick solid houses a lot of village houses in Belarus are wooden, here is few pictures to give you an idea on how a typical Belarusian village looks like:

Belarus-ex-USSR-village

Belarus-derevnija-picture-ex-USSR-village

Even though the harsh Soviet atheistic communism regime which tried to force unbelieve in God and kill all kind of religiousness in people after the fall of the (USSR) United Soviet Socialistic Republic Belarusians who used to be historically a very religious people are gradually returning to faith.
An interesting fact worthy to mention is Belarus used to be proclaimed the first officially Atheistic country in the world which "freed itself" from the slavery of faith as the anti-christ communists used to be loving saing. 

Well obviously they were wrong nowadays, in many of villages which doesn't have their own Church in Belarus it is typical practice to bringup the Holy Cross of Christ as in below picture, each year the nearby city / town / Poselok Eastern Orthodox priest comes to pray to God for the blessing of the village and abundance of fruits this typically happens on Eastern or Nativity. In Belarus the Eastern Orthodox population is about 78% with some 15% person of Catholics, so often villages with mixed (Orthodox and Catholic) citizens has both separate crosses like in the picture where Orthodox and Catholics christians go to pray seperately.

Belarus-ex-USSR-village-Cross

Venice Italy – An Ancient Church city and San Marco’s and saint Lucia Holy Relics – Travel impressions from Venezia

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Venice_Italy_ancient_Church-city-san-marcos-square-and-santa-Lucia-overall-impressions-from-Venezia

I’m on a honeymoon with my wife Svetlana in Italy our first stop from our 16 days trip through out Venice, a root governing region of the Holy Roman Catholic empire. We’re staying in CA Fortuny hotel, which I warmly recommend to anyone willing to visit Venice (Venezia). We had a flight to Vienna and from Vienna we took another flight to Venice. My first impressions from Italy was the Venice airport which is simple and the snacks and coffee from the coffee machines were on affordable price. As we flight from another EU country member of the Schengen zone, there was no need to do any passport check so we just had to wait 15 minutes and pick up the luggage from bag platform. Once there we looked forward for the information which is located nearby a Change Buro. We were told to go to the nearby ticket office where we learned, to travel to Venezia we had a few options, one was to travel by bus to Venice and walk by 30 minutes to the hotel costing only 6 euro per person and the other was to travel by boat transportation but this was exceesively expensive 15 euro per person!!!. The lady on the tickets office in Airport tried selling us a tickets each 15 euro automatically in responce to my question to give us tickets for transport to San Marco square / Piazza San Marco, good that my wife asked about an alternative transportation and we knew about the cheaper bus. The bus is pretty straight forward to find it is right infront of airport exit. The bus led is directly to Venice, as we didn’t know how to go to San Marco square, we answered a kind Italian who explained us in fluent English. Another lady nearby in the bus heard, where we wanted to go and told us we’re in her direction so we can follow her. As it was raining heavily, she said whe might pick up the Vaporetto (a transportation boats used through out all Venice like a bus :). We had a small chat with the kind lady Gabriela, who explained us she is an English teacher and she is coming back from England for a weeks study exchange seminars and she knows well CA Fortuny hotel which is a 10 room Romantic hotel in the heart of Venice. As we walked by about 30 minutes we talked about various stuff ranging from life in Venice, English study, the current state of education in Venice, the state of Christianity nowadays etc. Once being in the Hotel, we were warmly received by the porter a young man probably age 20-25. I was schoked by the door-man piercing which was scary looking like a just hammered nail in the center of a spider crawling. I asked the portier what is this and he answered this is a micro-dermal implant or something alike. I’ve noticed that people living in western europe have started to get crazy on tatoos and piercings. It seems it is exceptionally modern among youngster people in western europe to Tattoo their right hands or do piercings on various places. It seems less and less people know what does the Holy Hible says about Tattoos and piercings?, I quote literally from the scriptures on tatoos and piercings
Leviticus 19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.King James Version Bible (KJV). There is also even an old testamental holy bible instruction against the so popular nowadays skinning of head hair (the so called) skin-head movement.

Leviticus 21:55 They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.King James Bible Version (KJV). Actually for me it is no strange that so many western people tatoo, their right hand as in the advertisements and throughout our daily lives there are hidden messages trying to convince us to accept the 666 future mark of the beast that will appear in the times when the enemy of Christ the antichrist appears publicly and tries to deceive everyone to accept his 666 mark on the right hand. From the saints and holy fathers we Christians know that this 666 mark will stand up for his name …

st-Marks-basilica-cathedral-church-where-are-kept-holy-relics-of-saint-Mark-San-Marco-basilica

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In Venice we had truly a great time, we were close to the city center so logically we went to see the most important place in Venice St. Marc’s Square, the square is called like this because it is infront of a Basicila (Roman Catholic Cathedral Church), which is keeping the holy relics of Saint Evangelist Apostle Marc who wrote the New Testament Gospel of Mark.
St_Marks_Burial_basicila-with-holy-relics-of-saint-Mark

The Holy relics of St. Apostle Mark are kept in a stone sarcophagus in the Church alter. It is interesting fact that holy relics were stolen from Alexandria with help of two greek monks to save them from muslim desacration and destruction.

Because the whole city is “living on a water” in venice there is no public transportation (no land bus, land taxi etc.), all transportation is on water. There is water bus / taxi – Vaparetto
Venice_water_bus_transportation-Vaparetto
, there are boat-markets selling fruits and vegetables, water-police, water-ambulance and even water catafalque

italy-Venice-water-yacht-resized

People interested in history and particularly Christianity will definitely enjoy venice as the whole city is full with Roman Catholic Churches in various types of architectures some medieval some from the 11-th century and some started even in more ancient times. Orthodox Christians would be happy to know there is even a Russian orthodox Church in Venice San Zan Degola (In English Saint John the Baptist).

By God’s merce we had the chance to venerate the holy relics of Santa Lucia / Saint Lucy of Syracuse (year 283 – 304) whose incorruptable body is kept in a Catholic Church.

Santa_Lucia_saint_Lucy_incorruptable_body_in_Venice_Italy

The saint body is preserved incorruptable for amazingly 1710 years!!! This is a clear proof of a saintship and truthfulness of Christian faith as well is a real miracle before your eyes one can see !!

santa_Lucia_incorruptable_saint-martyr-body

As Venice is an ancient city it is a great site for Christian Orthodox pilgrimage for Russian speking people a very good Russian resource listing most of the Venice related holy relics is here .
Near San Marco Piazza it is worthy to enter Doge’s palace which is currently a museum exposing a great a lot of Venice culture and history. Doge’s palace was the supreme authority of Republic palace, to make an analogue it used to like Kremlin in Russia nowadays.

A ticket for Doge’s palace costed 16 euro per person and ticket allows you to visit another 3 museums in Venice.
Doges-Palace_Doges-Palace-general-view_Venice_Italy

Venice has 177 canals on 177 small islands as there is no public transport and venice is small most of the time we walked in order to save money for Vaperatto (whose ticket costs 6 euro). There are no bus station in Venice but there is a train station (Santa Lucia railway station). Current Venice population is around 270 000 ppl.

Venice_Italy_train_station_nearby_water_canals

As a notable tourist destination unfortunately everything in Venice is quite expensive. Even simple things as ice cream costs 3-4 euro per ice-ball, to have a restaurant dinner usually you will have to spend at least 30 / 40 euro per person. There are also some cheaper Trattorias – a type of less formal restaurant with casual service and less shiny looking but usually with cheaper food. You can eat in Tratoria a full 3 course meal for as cheap as 12 to 15 euro per person. Also in Tratoria you can experience more of an Italian type of restaurant, as the personal there usually doesn’t speak English and most of people to eat there are Italians.

We were in Venice only for one full day in Venice and thus we eat only once in a restaurant type of place recommended by a local the Taverna San Trovaso . A 2 persons meals plus 2 cups of wine there costed us cheap for Venice about 30 euro.

The building architecture in Venice is truly unique and you can see piece of art and beauty on literally any corner of it. The shops are all around the city and every kind of souvenir is quite expensive, though you can usually try to bargain to buy a souvenir for half the price 🙂
A notable traditional souvenirs to buy is beautiful colorful glas souvenirs and ofcourse the famous ball masks

Venice-italy-a-shop-full-of-traditional-masks-and-souvenirs-in-a-small-street

Venice_Italy_Colourful_glass_souvenirs_on_street_shop

The New Year

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

I’m still up here. On the New Year’s eve I was on a party more than 35 ppl were there. All kind of ppls fromMetalheads to Hip Hop maniacs, (ganja addicted) and ofcourse Ja (Rasta) fans. Almost the whole days Iplayed Dune 2 (Great Game, I play with Harkonen :)). The New Year was normal. Nomen bringed a winewhich costs 100.3 lv, the wine was good. Around this celebrities I started eating a lot and I’m on a wayto get fat. BTC are terrible we don’t have internet in the office now for almost 24 hours. This Winteris fierce. There are snowstorms around, and we even have a water regime. Yesterday I was out on a coffeewith Lily :), it’s a good thing that she is around.END—–