Walking around st petersburg

Trip Start Feb 05, 2006
Trip End Jun 30, 2006

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Flag of Russian Federation  ,
Saturday, February 18, 2006

during these first days, i'm eager to explore the city. at the moment the most striking feature of st petersburg is the cold. temperatures are mostly below twenty degrees celcius. even though I wear long underwear and whoolen sweaters, I still freeze when I wander around the streets.

wandering around is not so easy. fortunately I have brought my hiking shoes. they keep my feet dry. if I would walk around in tennis shoes, wet feet would be guaranteed. people throw salt on the street, so the snow melts and it doesn't get so icy. this results in a fast destruction of the exteriors of shoes and cars alike. capot everywhere. dirt everywhere. when you enter a store or any other building, you are sorry for bringing so much dirt with you.



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the sun is shining often. i love the sun here. I love the blue of the sky. it is dark blue full of life. there are so many impressions. i try to catch them with my camera. St Petersburg, or "Peter" as the Russians say, is such a busy metropolis. people are walking from somewhere to somewhere else all the time. the metro stations are always crowded. warm places are crowded at the moment.

we are walking by the hermitage. on top of the roof i see workers. they are shoveling the snow off the roof. they are secured by a rope and nothing else. they get close to the edge. i admire their courage.

in front of the hermitage stands the "ice pallace". i should rather refer to it as the "eispallaestchen". it's quite small. the entry is as expensive as the pallace is small. three hundred roubles. i decide not to go in. marvel at the construction from the outside. the details are astonishing.

i try to eat in a different restaurant each time. however, i find that most of the food looks the same. you can choose between russian traditional cuisine or western fast food. russian traditional cuisine comes in very small portions. western fast food ist the same as everywhere else. there are a lot of McDonald's. Also there is Subway and KFC. I didn't see Burger King.

my main interest are the faces of the people and small pictures that are sprayed onto the walls of the buildings. the museums are quite intersting as well. however, everyone goes into the museums all the time, because it is so cold. i need more peace. the hermitage is always crowded when I try to get in. i will check out all the museums when it has become warmer and my russian is better.

My Russian has already improved. I went to some lectures. I actually understood about half the things the teacher was talking about. As I observe it, very little of the students care about the lecture anyway. most of them are busily working with their cell phones or other electronic devices. some are writing letters to each other. others are just chatting. i don't see the point in actually attending the lectures.
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