Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Russia Rendevous Part 2

2nd Stop - St Petersburg
Overnight train arrived in St Petersburg around 10am the next morning. Tired. Checked into our hostel - All Seasons Hostel, which is tucked in a quiet corner within some rather old estates. The hostel is filled with locals and too smoky (russians smoke ALOT!).
Our friend did not manage to arrive in the morning, so we set off to sight see without her.
Headed off to Peter & Paul Cathedral. Alot of reconstruction was taking place, destroying the beauty of the place. Much better off looking at postcards, which I bought. Great weather that day, with the sun high up and the day cooling. Met a French guy, Frederick, who was on vacation alone. Nice guy, who is interested in coming over to Singapore to work.
Dinner was DIY of russian dumplings and soup. Met Sebastien, our German friend while having dinner. He was and still is on holiday before he starts work in the later half of the year. He is travelling down through the Trans-Siberian Rail. How cool is that! And our friend - Pei'ru finallly arrived at night!
NExt day is another day of Museums! Before that, we went to purchase our overnight train back to Moscow. It was not easy! The russian lady at the counter did not know English, and we had to struggle to let her know what we wanted. Luckily, a Russian behind us knew English and was able to help us. Yes, it was a rather long affair and we finally bought our 3rd class sleeper tickets. Much cheaper than the 2nd class, about S$39.
Move on to the Museums and Churches! Their churches are so Lego-like and colourful!
Visited the Russian Museum, one of the famous Museums and must go places. It is HUGE!! With lots of art paintings and sculptures on display. Sorry to say, I'm not an artistic person and truly could not really appreciate them. Met Sebastien at the Museum, what a coincidence! Ended up touring around with him that day.
1 Thing I must say abt St Petersburg - IT IS COLD!! The 2nd day started fairly cooling, and it just got worse! Freezing man! THe wind is the culprit...
Magnificent fountains in Peterhof!!
3rd day in St Petersburg is the Coldest and the most beautiful! We went to Peterhof! We went there with thick jackets but were still freezing. As the place is near the gulf, the wind was especially strong and it was drizzling that day, which made it worse! It is really AMAZING! The scenery is great, the place is great! Especially the fountains! This is the most beautiful place, and a must visit! TOo bad the day we went, it was raining and COLD, which kind of spoilt the mood a little.
Last day in St petersburg, another museum! The Hermitage! As students, we got in for FREE!! It is really HUGE, with displays of paintings, artifacts, sculptures, etc of different era and countries. Spent half a day there walking around and around. The rest of the day we just spent it by walking along the streets. We tried the Russian breads with fillings, not bad tasting.
Overnight train to Moscow, well, the 3rd class is fair enough. Think we paid too much to get a 2nd class as there is actually not much difference.

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