A late night departure from Moscow saw us arrive in to Saint Petersburg nice and early. Again we had a couch surfing host, which was about to become one of the best hosts we’ve ever had. We set off on day one to meet some other couch surfers (our host had to work) and go for a bit of a walking tour around some of the city. From the first instant the city was magnificent at worst. All of the buildings have been crammed in, maximising the land space and street frontage. That doesn’t sound particularly nice, but combined with the height restrictions, all of the buildings are also the same height, creating a feeling of strength and power….”when their powers combine….” sort of feeling. In addition to this, the level of detail on every single building makes them an absolute piece of art, rather than just a building. The locals tell us that every day they are finding something new for themselves and we believe them.
So, day one, walking along enjoying ourselves for about 20 minutes, when Dasha got robbed in a crowd. They stole her ipod out of her handbag (which was previously zipped shut) and her most favourite lens straight off the camera. Unbelievable. So we had to spend a good part of that day firstly finding out which police station to go to (you can’t just go to any station in Russia) and then sit in there for 2 hours, to be told to go home and come back tomorrow. The police in Russia don’t have a particularly good name for themselves, but the conditions they have to work in and the people they have to put up with is perhaps equally as horrible. A whole heap of drunks and an office no different to some pokey little apartment block renovated 50 years ago. The police even think they know the group of people that stole the lens, including one guy that got released from jail 2 weeks before, but can’t prosecute due to a lack of evidence.
Well, enough about the bad stuff, we’re in Saint Petersburg! We stayed 5 nights with our hosts and they were super awesome. Tigran made some delicious food, including the best sushi ever. They certainly were night people. I think our sushi party was at midnight. And Tanya, well, it was not uncommon for us to get home at 5 or 6 in the morning after a night of her and Dasha dancing on tables, barrels, fridges and anything else that they could find.
They showed us some good late night bars too. Really good city for partying and really good people to show us how. Another favourite past time of Tigran is to play his steering wheel as a drum whilst driving to loud music. Quite entertaining.
We found ourselves in one of the classier restaurants of Saint Petersburg, Idiot. We only called in for a light snack but the food really was sensationally delicious.
We only had 2 other negatives to say about our time here;
1. Curly didn’t like the caviar.
2. The one day of the week you want to visit Petergof, the helicopter isn’t running…
So we had to catch the bus like common people. Petergof is a massive, beautiful park about an hour from St. Petersburg, with interesting and unique waterfalls throughout. The only problem is that they turn the waterfalls off at 6 or 7. With all of our late nights, we got there just in time to see the main waterfall in action, but missed most of the others scattered around the place. It was still a very nice place to stroll around.
Now I know that 2 places shouldn’t be compared, that they should each be appreciated for their own beauty and character, but I also know that you people reading really want to know; Saint Petersburg or Moscow? Well, if you hadn’t guessed already, Saint Petersburg is the winner.
To see the rest of the photos click here.