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In St. Pete – by David

by on July 16, 2017

Just like I said about China, traveling in Russia is harder than in more-Western countries…. I call it “friction”.   The money, the language, the culture, are just harder to navigate.  But we figured out how to get rubles, and how to get to our hotel from the train station, and we worked out some complications with the hotel rooms, and we’re finding our way around St. Petersburg.

But most important, the hotel wifi is pretty good and doesn’t block our blog site.  Everyone say “hi” to the KGB and NSA snoops who are watching us blog.

We booked 4 days here on the schedule and we surely won’t run out of things to do like we did in Bergen and Helsinki…. there are over 8,000 historical buildings in the city, and of course everyone says you could spend a week at just the Hermitage art museum. (We won’t, of course)

On the train we saw that Finland is mostly forest…

And there’s lots of barbed wire and guard shacks at the Finland/Russia border…

And the escalators to the subway go insanely deep under ground… (233 feet at this station)

And there’s not a lot of electronic controls on the subway trains…. just a “go” lever and a “stop!!!!!” pedal and holes where other controls used round…

And we saw a really famous old church…

And I convinced the “make your own souvenir medallion” guy to let me use the machine and  actually make my own….

And we saw a nice sunset at the end of Nevski Prospect, the main boulevard in town which had more people than the population of Bergen + Oslo on the sidewalks

We went to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant for dinner, which caused Anna to wonder why we went to an Italian place in Russia created by a British guy who is famous on American TV.

And we watched a nice jazz concert in the square and had nice pastries for dessert.

Anna wanted a certain dish at dinner but panicked because it had “leeks”, but it was OK because we explained that “leeks” are not the same as “leeches”.

Lots of touring scheduled for tomorrow (Anna’s birthday)…. good night!


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  1. Uncle Phil permalink

    Happy Birthday to Anna,
    Happy Birthday to Anna,
    Happy Biiiirrrrrtttthhhhday to Anna,
    Happy Birthday to Anna.
    Unless, of course, you’re in Russia, in which case Birthdays aren’t happy.
    In fact, they aren’t even birthdays. It’s just another day to pay your respects to the Fatherland, to curse the Capitalist Pigs that threaten Russia’s might, and to invade a country (or two) just for the fun of it. All Hail the Hypno-Putin!

  2. Uncle Phil permalink

    Last time I was at the grocery store I took a leek.
    Now I have a restraining order.

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