Trip Start Apr 09, 2007
24Trip End Jun 14, 2007
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We hopped on a train in Helsinki. After 5 1/2 hours we were in St Petersburg. The border was actually quite straight forward. The imigration cards had English examples, and they basically collected our passports on the train, and 10 minutes later gave them back with our Russian stamp.
Upon arriving at the station, everything was absolutely picture perfect Russia. All the buildings are boring grey concrete, and the music playing at the train station is exactly what you would imagine. Unfortunately, noone was there to immediately offer us vodka...
We had no idea where exactly we were, but I knew we were east of the city. We werent on any of our maps yet. So, Hart had a little compass on his watch, he pointed us west, and away we went. After about 20 minutes, I noticed something that I remembered reading about in a guide book, so I got us oriented, and about 50 minutes later we stumbled into our hotel, in a bacl alley of some side street, with no signs at all. Luckily the lady at the desk spoke about 6 words of English, so it went pretty well.
Its absolutely insane here. In all the countries Ive been too, English was pretty common, and at least everything was wrtitten in the English alphabet...Well, here barely anyone speaks English and EVERYTHING is written in Cryllic, so you cant even begin to try to sound things out. Its like trying to read hyroglyphics. And all the info in the guidebook has the English spellings, so when you try to find it, its basically useless.
Anyway, we spent our first day walking around the city, pointing at things and mumbling. We managed to find a Pizza hut with food readily displayed in a window, so its very easy to point and hold up how many fingers you want.
After awhile our confidence had risen, and we got a little more daring.
Anyway, I only have 2 minutes left, today is Victory Day here, like our Independance Day.
Todays officially a month for me.