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Trip Start Jun 08, 2005
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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

My feet feel like the are going to drop off, my legs exhausted! Padding the hoof around St Petersberg has been tiring business, but what a rewarding city. I arrived in St Petersberg with a vague plan of afew 'must do's' and then whatever else I managed to fit in would be a bonus, my time here has barely scratched the tip of the ice berg on possibilities of things to see and do. I have first and foremost just enjoyed this city, lots of canals, majestic buildings, artisans and street cafe's make it the perfect place to roam on foot and soak up a good coffee or beer while doing abit of people watching. In all honesty I could have simply settled to do just that and only that in St Pete's... but I had my list of must do's!

The Hermitage, well yes I'm not really quiet so sure what I can say about this to enlighten you any further because it is all you imagine it to be - a grand building filled with enough art for even the most insatiable art lovers. Picasso and Maltisse galore I simply settled for a few solid hour's of targeted viewing. There's over a thousand rooms for view, so a quick scan isn't really an option! All very nice and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, but to give it all complete justice you'd be best to get a multiple day pass.

Kicking back on a boat trip is really worth the time in St Pete's, numerous canals are lined with beautiful ornate buildings sporting tones of muted green, yellow and blue. I would imagine the buildings here are pretty typical of those in other European buildings. Afew spectacular buildings - particularly The Church on Spilt Blood had the same beautiful bright colours and tear drop domes that we saw in Moscow (St Basils) to define the city with a truly Russian flavour.

The Transiberian crew have still played a large part in my enjoyment of St Petes, last night was spent having afew beers and dinner with Liz, Andy and Connal and inbetween times bumping into other's along the way. Our little community is quickly disintegrating as we split onto different destinations. Tonight we're off to the Ballet though, so I am very very excited about that!

It's been abit nippy here, not cold, just nippy - my jeans and jackets have been dusted off and put into action. It doesn't seem to keep the mozzies away though! Before dawn each morning I awake and go into combat with the ever aggressive mozzie population. I'm hoping to leave the Mozzies in Russia because they're abit disruptive on my sleep and probably contributing to my current tiredness. Never the less my magic 'White Tiger Balm' has been of great use. It's triumphantly joined my list of 'magic travelling ointments' because it stops any itching immediately.

I'm pretty shattered and I am kind of looking forward to getting to Tallin tomorrow. My head cold hasn't gone away, just progressed into a vicious cough aswell as a snotty nose and I think my poor old body could do with some rest before it really packs a sad. I think my trip from Moscow to St Petersberg really put the nail in the coffin for my head cold - leaving at mid-night and arriving at 8am in the morning made for a late night in the cold air. Feeling sick and tired my travel acuity was at an all time low on leaving for St Petersberg - something that did me no favours. To cut a very very long story short I ended up in abit of a physical kaffle over my pack with a middle aged Russian man (I pushed him into a baggage trolley to regain possession of my pack should you be interested in the detail). The police, much to my surprise came to my rescue and the output was favourable. It was a unpleasant reminder that I must stay sharp and can't really afford to be sick and sloppy minded. Had I not felt so sick I would have without doubt put my pack on my back to carry it instead of lifting it like a carry bag which consequently made me too vulnerable to the vultures of the Moscow night.

Onto something brighter... Pancakes! Yum yum yum... they make the most delectable pancakes in the street stalls here. My favourite being the chicken and garlic. What a treat though, all different sorts to select from and the fold them perfectly so that you can eat them on the go. They also do these really yummy doughnuts stuffed with potato and/or vegetables. I try to steer clear of the doughnuts to a certain extent as they are afterall doughnuts and not all that healthy, but I have certainly had my fair share of savoury pancakes!

Anyway, tonight it's off to the Ballet and then tomorrow to Tallin (Estonia). From now on I'm not bound by any visa requirements so I can simply meander wherever I like (phewww) between now and Sept 26 at which point I am flying to London from Slovenia (Ljubljana).
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