ok, so it's raining in Petersburg so w're in an internet cafe typing up some stuff. I was thinking about typing up my entire journal but i seem to have wrote an awful lot for each day so i probably won't right now. I'm currently uploading some photos but this connection isn't exactly fast so i might not be able to load many. Still, enough to wet people's appetites. Thanks to people who have said hey and stuff, so Здравствуйте (thats hello - wierd thing is katherine can now read this!!) back to you guys. A big hello to my family as well. And to the Bryson's of course - Finland has excelent doughnuts Rob which is the most important thing to know before you go to Scandinavia.
Russia is both great and not so great in equal measure. Crossing the border was terrifying in every way. It wasn't manned by civil servants like a normal country but the military and they aren't paticulary cudly. The main problem was that no-one spoke English so we never had any idea what was going on. Some how we hadn't made any mistakes on all our forms and we were allowed through. Petersburg is nice but it is very European in appearance. There are odd Russian touches here and there but if it wasn't for the drunk army soldiers and crumbling buildings you could be forgiven for thinking that you were in Paris. Tomorrow we have an eight hour train journey to Moscow which will be interesting. we can't read our tickets at all but the lovely lady at the hostel translated everything for us so hopefully we'll be ok. met some great people at the Hostel and we've been out with a few of them from our room. A real good mix of backgrounds and you're always bumping into someone new. Backpacking is strange. We're not locals, but we're not tourists. We're very much an underground group that you probably won't notice. We eat with the locals (pointing at the menu always works, if not pot noodles are 6 pence) and we head to the tourist destinations with the tourists (though we can't afford to do more than one tourist thing a day). Ask anyone in the hostel what they did today and they'll answer that they wandered. This is what we do and its the best way to see a city. No metro's or buses. Pick an area and just go. you see so much that way and all of our favourite times have come about by wandering. we wouldn't have seen Petersburg come to a standstill when the traffic lights went down; we wouldn't have seen a crazy dance group bury themselves to their waists in the beach before dancing and we wouldn't have seen all of the fantastic eighties hairstyles and fashions that the russian people enjoy.
Anyway, thats enough for now, i'm of to be shouted at by a supermarket check out girl for not having correct change!