DSC_0242Sitting on bed no 28 in coupe 7 in wagon 3 on train 14 we’re about 30 min away from Kirov, Russia. This is a 20 hour train ride away from St Petersburg in Eastern direction through forests, swamps, some snow and deserted little towns. The amount of land and space here is just overwhelming!

The last three days in St Petersburg still felt like a weekend trip. Apart from the 2 long public transport backpack walks to and from the freezing cold hostel with shared bathroom. That was new. Otherwise mainly sightseeing, restaurants and a few drinks.

Being prepared for grumpy people, bad service and cold weather, we only experienced the latter. Apart from a few cranky looks (one of which occurred after Mark stepped on a girl’s probably very expensive shoe in a fancy sushi restaurant), most of the encounters were very pleasant.

Metro escalators seems infiniteOverall it’s a pretty city, with good public transport, interesting sights (the Hermitage being the main one), lively streetlife and a specific local food. It immediately reminded us of Prague: The metro trains/stations are nearly identical, beautiful historical buildings, half-liter beers everywhere (although quite a bit pricier than Prague) and with most of the couples you see walking on the street you can’t help but thinking ‘how the *** did he do that!?’. Also, surprisingly, you can get a long way with the Czech/Slovak language here, especially if you manage to decipher the Cyrillic alphabet.

As you might expect from a Russian city, big and wide are key characteristics. St. Petersburg is set up spaciously, with wider streets than Prague, a bigger river and deeper metro-stations (aka bomb shelters) with long, very long escalators. On the other hand there are much less souvenir shops and restaurants aimed at tourists which gives the whole city a natural and unforced vibe.  

In Russia everything is big (in Russian accent)

Disco disco

Once the locals relax in the evening, they do so in style it seems. Bars and restaurants were quite full, carafes of vodka placed on tables and a clientele full of life. We experienced two 40+ couples ‘spontaneously’ (after a few vodkas) dancing in the middle of a small 20-seater restaurant down the street from our hostel (see also our ‘pic of the day’ from Sept 28). More of these small bars/restaurants have an open space between their tables so it seems people here regularly do a little twist on the dance floor between courses.

Anyway, enough written about this city, on this link you’ll find a few pictures.

In about 14 hours we’ll be crossing the Ural mountains into Asia and get off at Yekaterinburg for a few days. Not sure yet what we’ll do there, but we’ll let you know!


Sedime na posteli c.28 v kupe c.7 vo vagone c.3 vo vlaku c.14 a sme asi 30min daleko od mesta Kirov. Mame za sebou 20 hodin zo St. Petersburgu smerom na vychod a prechadzame tajgou, mocariskami a zdanlivo opustenymi dedinkami. Je az ohromujuce, kolko neobyvaneho priestoru je okolo nas!

V St. Petersburgu sme stravili 3 dni a zatial sa citime ako keby sme boli len na vikendovom vylete. Jedine co je ine je ze namiesto kufrikov na kolieskach mame na chrbtoch batohy a spime v zamrznutom hosteli. To je zatial nove. Inak 3 dni sme prezili na prechadzkach mestom, jedenim a pitim.

Do Ruska sme isli pripraveni na nastvane vyzerajucich ludi, podpriemerny servis a zimu. Zatial zazivame len to posledne. Az na vynimky, vacsina ludi je prijemna a nechyba snaha pomoct.

Petrohrad sa nam pacil: dobra verejna doprava, zaujimave pamiatky, pestry poulicny zivot a dobre lokalne jedlo. Tak trochu pripomina Prahu: metro a stanice su takmer rovnake, historicke budovy vacsinou z rovnakej doby, pollitre piva v kazdej restauracii (i ked zasadne drazsie) a – podobne ako v Prahe – pekne baby s cudnymi chalanmi :).

Tak ako by sa ocakavalo od ruskeho mesta – vsetko je velke! Petrohrad je rozlahly, ulice su siroke, rieky su velke a eskalatory v metre neskutocne dlhe. V porovnani s Prahou ale je tam ovela menej obchodikov so suvenirmi a turistckych restauracii tiez nie je moc, vdaka comu ma mesto prirodzenejsi lokalny ‘feeling’.

Vecer domaci – podobne ako u nas – vyrazia v style ‘do mesta’. Bary a restauracie su po veceroch celkom plne, karafy plne vodky a zakaznici v zivej nalade. Zazili sme dva 40+ pariky po veceri a niekolkych vodkach ovladnut parket vo velkom style (kukni na Photo of the Day z Sept 28). Vacsina malych restik a barov ma stoly poukladane popri stene a tak v strede vznikne miesto pre tancek medzi chodmi.

Ale dost bolo pisania, tuto najdete vyber fotiek z Petrohradu.

Za niekolko hodin prekrocime Uralom do Azie a vystupime na par dni v Yekaterinburgu. Co nas caka netusime, ale urcite dame vediet!


2 thoughts on “Meet St. Pete

  1. Pingback: Cold Catherine | Take it and go

  2. Pingback: Trans Mongolia Express | Take it and go

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