Perhaps the most anticipated photos ever … finally here are the long promised russia photos!! :)!
Despite being a hyper capitalist centre of high fashion and conspicuous wealth, St Petersburg airport didn’t fail to give tourists a little taste of Soviet style russia. After getting off the plane you are greeted with an incredible throng of people waiting to go through the somewhat intimidating passport control. There are forms to fill out .. but only some people have them … and no blank copies can be found. It’s all part of the experience … and of course .. at the last minute the forms do appear .. just in time for you to fill them out.
After the airport though .. there is very little of the old communist russia left in St Petersburg. Apparently this is a city where alot of crime happens. But fortunately it is not at all difficult to look less rich than the locals. We probably looked like clueless, easy .. but rather unprofitable targets. Luckily this tactic worked for us and we were no only “not robbed” .. but had several experiences of people going out their way to help us out.
Well .. what were the highlights?
First up we went to the Marinsky Theatre to see Swan Lake. Wow .. that was awesome!! .. What incredible artists and athletes those dancers are .. and the Marinsky itself is quite an amazing old building.
After that trip Jan knuckled down to her conference and we didn’t do much other sightseeing for a while. For her efforts though Jan got a prize for the best talk by a young scientist!! .. woo hooo!!!!
Jan and her prize
After the conference was over we visited the Hermitage gallery. It was pretty freaky to see just how stupendously rich Catherine the great was. She sure had good taste in art … even the floors in that place blow the mind.
We had some nice weather strolling around the city. It’s jam packed with beautiful old buildings, all set on lovely canals. I could not help but imagine Raskolnikov on his long walks down Nevsky prospect. In winter the place looks like it would be absolutely bitter. It’s so far north that it is almost at the arctic circle. When we were there in midsummer it never got properly dark.