Mother Russia

Trip Start Jan 17, 2007
Trip End Aug 29, 2007

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Flag of Russia  ,
Friday, February 2, 2007

Hey everybody...
Well I've made it to Russia...
Our hostel is rather out of the way, but easy to get to by metro...
It's called the Metro Tour Hostel and apparently it's where all the locals sleep because it's cheap, 8 US a night...
Sam and I shared our hostel room with 6 Russian men, who while admittedly at first terrified me, were actually delightful!  Thanks to my language guide, we were able to communicate on a very basic level...and I mean basic, but at least I got some Russian training out of the experience...
We stayed several nights in St Petersburg and saw an amazing amount of stuff, thanks to Andrea and Scott, two of my favourite Bux customers, who helped book us a translator and get us invited into the country!
We learned a lot about Russia...for instance, did you know that during World War II,  St Petersburg was under siege by the Germans for 900 days...during that time over a million people died!  We only ever hear the bad stuff about Russia, but in fact their people have suffered just as much as others...
We travelled with our translator, Julia, for two days, along with our driver and we saw pretty much everything that there is to see, including the Hermitage, the Church of the Spilled Blood, where on of the tzars was assasinated and many other palaces and churches...
The weirdest museum that we went to was one full of exhibits of the people of the world, it also contained a collection of deformities, whether people or animal...the collection was compiled by Alexander, the great Tzar who founded the city and it is quite unique...
Another tzarina, Elizabeth was unfond of her body, so she use to have cross dressing parties so she could show off her one attribute, her legs...
Another wee fact is that a painting of Danae by Rembrandt was attacked in 1985...apparently the man was mad at Russia for it's occupation of his country and so he asked a person sitting nearby in the museum what the best painting was and she pointed to the Rembrandt and thus he stabbed and burned with took the museum 12 years to restore it...
I'd like to say that we were at least well rested for our jaunts, but our roomies drank beer with us, Sam at least, I tried to opt out, until the wee hours of the morning...
Russia was a new experience for me and an eye opener to a different lifestyle...they drink alcohol in the streets and they seem tough, but in fact are usually quite willing to help
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sheilagh on

Mother Russia
Nice photos.. and good to hear from you! How cold is it in Russia? Is the vodka good? I have more questions but I suppose I shall ask them once you get back..

Stay warm and take care!!

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