One last long-distance train trip and its goodbye strange, smoggy, smokey, smelly Moscow and hello St Petersburg: an instant inclusion to my favourite cities in the world list. It's definitely still Russia and holds all the same mix-matched culture that Moscow did, but unlike Moscow, St P avoided serious bombing in WWII (Thanks to Lenin for moving the capital just in time) and so canals, churches and amazing buildings adorn the streets instead of the communist-inspired concrete boxes of Moscow. Ladies and gentlemen: a Russian Supermarket! ok, so this was actually opposite our hostel in Moscow but I forgot to add it to that page, and figure we're still in Russia at least.....Russia's version of the P or L-plater symbol. I think it just means, 'get the hell out of the way, learner on the loose!' Coffee is served here with a straw! Meat chopping with an axe! St Petersburg, another city known for its glorious canals!
This church had the rather gruesome name of: 'The Church of Split Blood', so named after poor Alexander I who was not-so-subtly blown up out front. We could see this magnificent building from most angles of our travels of the city and I never stopped marvelling at its beauty. Believe it or not, this shot was taken at 11pm. What wonderfully long days we enjoyed here, although it was somewhat surreal partying till 'dawn' more often than we'd planned, but that's not hard to do when there's only 5 ours of official darkness... Europe was full of escalates that in the beginning, amused and thrilled me with their immense length but very soon annoyed and bored me with how bloody long they'd take. In St Petersburg, they were so long that I even fought my childhood fear of being sucked into them and actually sat down a couple of times whilst carrying particularly challenging hang overs, I could have knitted a scarf in the time it took to get from A to B! A fabulous little bar we found that claimed to be the smallest bar in St Petes. Whether that was true, (I'm sure we went to smaller), it was certainly the quirkiest, I'd never really thought of Lenin as a sex symbol or even a cult symbol before, but there you go. This was the first of many interesting bars that we 'crawled' to that night, the last being an underground underground underground eurotrash place that was very, very cool. A guy I'd met in another bar that night who looked like John Safran lead us there.... anyway, what goes on tour.. stays on tour in this case!
....and this was the advice written on the place mats, we followed it religiously that night resulting in me eating too many pickles! No, we haven't suddenly skipped over to ancient Greece, this is a church in downtown St Pete's believe it or not!Farewell St Peterburg, we'll come back some day!