Hello from the Hermitage Museum

Trip Start Sep 24, 2006
Trip End Sep 01, 2007

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Flag of Russia  ,
Friday, October 13, 2006

Hello from St Petersburg, Russia - am currently taking a coffee break at the internet cafe in this beautiful 17th century Hermitage museum. There are so many artifacts in here, Italian masterpieces, Greek sculpture, etc. it would take a person 5 years to go through it if each item was looked at for 1 minute! Guess that person won't be me! Anyway i ordered a ticket on line and it was emailed to me 3 days later and it sure beats the line up which was a block long, last time I looked. THe Hermitage Museum is right on the Neva River. I arrived in St. Petersburg last night after 8 hours on the bus; Russian customs at Nerva, Estonia only took about 40 minutes but it was quite involved. I had arranged for a transfer to the place i am staying, but a kind man on the bus who acted as my interpreter, said i should just take the Metro and he would show me. I tried to explain that I would probably have to pay for the transfer anyway but he didn't understand. He took my backpack and we went down down down on an escalator about 1/2 km long at a 45 degree decline. I have never seen much less been on such an escalator. Anyway he had to leave me in between stations and said I should just go onto the next train and go for 2 stops to Nevsky Prospect. It was 8 p.m. and I had no idea which exit to go to, after the long long long way up the escalator (s) but I got outside, could not understand any signs of course as they are in Cyrillic, but used my handy international cell phonne for the first time and called hotel - I was standing outside, it was noisy and although she spoke English, we couldn't hear each other. She said just take a taxi. Meanwhile a German guy tried to help me but couldn't speak Russian either, I found a taxi and here my hotel was about 2 blocks away,but he didn't know until he called the phone number. Anyway the hotel is great, Valentina wonderful and she looked after me. I diid have to pay a 'fine' because the transfer guy did wait for me at the Baliti Vaksal Train Station, ordered by another hotel I was talking to. It was very convoluted getting a hotel as many peo[ple didn't speak English or they were full and I ended up going to a travel agent in Tallinn, who was great.
gotta run, i'm out of time

International hostel, st petersburg
Address: 28, Third Sovietskaya ulitsa.
How to get there: the nearest metro station is Ploschad Vosstania/ Mayakovskaya. It will take you approximately 10-12 minutes to walk to the hostel from the metro station. The hostel is clearly signposted in English.

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