And now, finally, to all my dear english speaking friends... A reume in English :)
I can't belive iit has already been 1,5 weeks since we left Sweden! :) We started out in St Petersburg atfer flying there on the 5th of October. We had no idea what to expect! I mean, everyone has prejudices about Russia but I must say I was pretty amazed when we landed and the sun was shining from a clear sky! :)
St Petersburg was great! A lot of culture (almost to much :) ) but Gunnar really enjoyed it! We went to the Winterpalace, the Hermittage which contained so much art and historic items that it took your breath away! I have never seen such a palace before in my life! Apart from that we saw loads of famous buildings, and even went to the theatre to watch some ballet :) After a lot of sight seeing and trotting up and down the streets we got on a very nice night train to Moscow.
In Moscow the weather had changed to clowdy and rainy, but thanks to the always positive Sonia who met us at the station early in the morning, we had a blast :) Except for the Kremlin, we payed Lenin a visit in his Mausoleum, visited a lot of beautiful churches and historical monuments and museums! Since Sonia spoke better German than English, we had to switch to German, which proved to be good practice ;)
After 2 night in quite a random hostel we got on the train again, this time a super old and stinking train that was bound for Irkutsk! This time we had 3 days and 16 hours in front of us before reaching our goal... 88 long hours in that train was quite... long! Met some really funy Russian guys who served us with vodka and smoked ham :) Despite the tiny problem that we don't speak a word of Russian and their vocabulary was like 5 words in English (with a Russian accent...) we used a lot of body language and pointing etc :) Was a lot of fun but when they tried to explain the rules of a Russian card game we were totaly lost and just laughed! One of the guys was in the army and I got to try on his fur hat :) LOL
This morning, we finally arrived in Irkutsk! A much calmer city near Lake Baikal, the worlds biggest fresh water lake! Tomorrow we are heading there to do some hiking and stay in a cottage where there are no cars or trains! Nice for a change!On saturday, we get on the train again, this time bound for Ulan Bator in mongolia! Here we hope to get away out into the wild, doing some trekkin or maybe horseback riding! One thing is for sure! I've had enough of polluted, unbreathable air, stress, crowds and culture for quite a while now! Looking forward to getting to Beijing on the 24th of October where we will meet up with the gruop we will be travelling with through China :)
My first impressions of Russia:
- 99 % of the Russian population can not say more than 3 words in any other language than Russian...
- People love to stand in a line everywhere, even though the also love to try and get before the people standing in front of them. In a Russian line, you also can not expect to get what you are standing there for... All of a sudden the little lady behind the counted just closes her little window. :)
- All women in Russia wear dangerously high heals (stilettos). Most of them will probably get back problems in the age of 35, but I suppose they are multi-purpouse, foor wear as well as weapon :) The shiny, high boots do make them look quite "cheap" though if you know what I mean... Must be the combination with the purple eye shadow... :)
- All Russian old ladies try to help us in every situation (except for the ones behind every counter...) They are all really short and the same width :)
- The Russian food is really no reason to go to Russia for :)
- There are 10 times as many people working everywhere as there would have been in Sweden.
- All Russians smoke... Everywhere...
- Russia is extremely large :) So far we have been travelling more than 6000 km by train!
Think that was all for now! Take care folks! xxx