Russia- Day 4

April 6, 2010

Statue outside KremlinHello from St. Petersburg! Words cannot express how tired we are but it is worth it! It is now early Wednesday morning and I have finally got some wifi in the hotel that we are staying at. We started the day yesterday in Moscow, getting up early as promised. We got couldn’t resist the temptation to have a bite of McDonalds! I have to admit that I will try to adapt to just about every custom but this “no ice” thing is for the birds!! I ordered a Diet Coke (Coke Light as they call it) with LOTS of ice. It was the absolute best feeling to finally drink something cold besides the occasional beer.

Alex took us back to the Kremlin and Red Square complex so that we could take pictures of St. Basil during the day and go see Lenin’s Tomb. This dude has been laying in a glass coffin since 1926 (I think I got that date right) and he looks surprisingly good! There were many people and activities going on in the square so we just walked and took in the sights. I stood in the “Middle of Moscow” and made a wish. This is a brass inlay at the entrance to Red Square from which all distance measurements are taken.

St. Basil's Cathedral

St. Basil's Cathedral

From Red Square, Alex took us over to see a walled, working Monastery. While it was beautiful, it was closed! So we decided to walk around it instead. The walk was nice and we were able to observe many locals feeding the ducks around a frozen pond. Nice to see average daily life.

We headed to the airport around 6pm to meet up with Camille who made the trip to St. Petersburg with us. We arrived around 10:00pm and were met by a friend of Alex’s father. He and his wife drove us all to the hotel in the central square called M Hotel. Very nice accommodations that were arranged in advance by Serge (Alex’s dad). We decided to stay up a bit and walk around the central boulevard and take in some sights. The traffic is just as bad here but at least the roads appear to be straight and not curvy like Moscow.

We are headed out today with our own guide and bus to check out the “must see’s”. Gonna be a VERY busy day! I’ll give another update in the morning!

– You cannot put your hands in your pockets while walking thru Lenin’s tomb. You also cannot stop to take a closer look.
– No eye contact is made in public unless absolutely necessary and everyone looks either sad or angry.
– The public restrooms store the toilet paper on the outside of the stalls. Be sure and bring enough for the job!
– Most of the restaurants that we visit do not expect tips when you bring the bill.
– The traffic is an absolute nightmare. The lanes are merely suggestions as are the speed limits. I’m a pretty brave guy but I will confess that there is NO WAY I would drive in Moscow.
– The beer is amazing. Most of you know that I consider myself a beer connoisseur and I have tasted some pretty good beers, but they have a beer here that I’m hoping I will have access to in the States. It translates into “Siberian Crown”. Very tasty indeed.
– Passengers clap on the plane when you land safely.
– You are taken to the plane on the tarmac via a bus and expected to walk up a large flight of stairs into the airplane.
– I was at least a decade older than both pilots.
– Street car racers are popular here. We saw many cars racing down the middle of the city center that were traveling at LEAST 120 mph. Amazing to see.


One Response to “Russia- Day 4”

  1. clarence said

    Glad to hear you guys are having a good time, bring lots of Vodka back

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