In the morning we made our way to meet Anastacia to head towards the State Museum, minus the 2 girls. As they had not risen by the time we meant to have left and wanted to sleep in when asked. Me and Natascha headed out to meet Anastacia at the designated meeting place. With Anastacia with us, we decide to wait for the girls at McDonalds. I guess it was easier to find than anywhere close by, given that we are not profficient in Russian. It was at McDonalds that I saw how much I needed to learn about Russia's little characteristics. I didn't know there was no queuing system in Russia. So here I was lining up to order a bottle of water, and people were constantly pushing in. Being not as savvy as I should be, I didn't realise what was going on until a few minutes had elapsed.
Some war memorial which I thought was kind of cool
It just didn't cross my mind that there was no such thing as a queue, having always lived with one. Anyway I eventually get to the front and speak Russian as best as I can with the 5 sec dialogue Anastacia taught me. I twist off the cap of the bottle once seated, and immediately see that I somehow ordered carbonated water. Apparently if you want normal water you have to tell them you want water without gas (vadap bis gasa). Argh the complexities of ordering water in foreign lands.
After an hour or so the girls arrive. We make our way to the State Museum and had a quick tour of the place. All I remember is a really long room with mirrors. Sort of like the Palace of Versailles. Eventually after the tour of the State Museum we head back to the city to have a pancake dinner.
I know what you thinking. Don't worry we aren't going to get into a spiral where eating pancakes is a daily ritual. They are surprisingly good. It's not normal pancakes as well. They have fillings. I always went with the mushrooms though. Love my shrooms. I should also let you know in case your wondering, it is extremely affordable to eat and drink in Russia. I can't recollect how much a typical meal was. But it wasn't much, and you would always be full afterwards.
With our bellies full we make our way to the ballet, which Anastacia has arranged for us. The show for tonight is Swan Lake. Haven't never been to the ballet before, I was surprised at how good it was. I think I never went before is due to the typical male knee jerk reaction to anything questionably artistic is that it must be for females or gays or men forced into it by their significant other.
The Bolshoi Ballet (I think, can't remember the name of them) performing Swan Lake.
I mean its not something that guys do, go to the ballet together for a boys night out. It's just not done. But I guess thats the whole point of travelling to do things you would never normally do. So I'm glad I went to the ballet. I've now gained a new found appreciation for it. Whether I will go again I don't know. All I know is Russian ballet is good. Understandably when they have a reputation to keep. So I'm sure they make sure its the best.
With the evenings entertaining at a close. We headed back to the hostel to collect our bags and catch a transfer to the train station. Our time in St Petersburg was at an end, and it was time to say good bye to Anastacia and step into the unknown once more. This is time to really begin the Trans-Siberian and actually hop on a train.
The train coming into the station
It is with a heavy heart that I leave St Petersburg. It's one of those cities that you never tire of. It's got amazing architecture. The history behind it. A really good art galleries and art scene. And some really awesome food. Still to this date, I think I liked St Petersburg the best of all the cities I passed through on the Trans-Siberian.
As the train rolled onto the platform with its distinctive red paint. I knew I was in for something big. We were greeted by the <Russian Train Ladies - I'll change this once I remember what they are called
> who checked our tickets and made sure we were at the right cabin before we hoped aboad bound for Moscow, our next port of call.