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Saint Petersburg Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 45 › view all entries

I really cannot believe I am here...RUSSIA!!!!

Technically I am not a tourist, but a guest. (As are all visitors to Russia.) In order to obtain my Russian visa (some months in advance) I was to first secure an "invitation" from someone within the country. Of course if you book a hotel room, then that hotel is more than happy to "invite" you to come visit. I then took that letter of invitation to have it authorized at the Russian Embassy - and had my background checked - before I was given the actual visa. Once here in the country and at the hotel, my passport was taken to the local police to be registered. I feel important to be such an honored guest!

My initiatial observations are pretty much what I expected, so far: sprawling, drab and rather hectic. I did just enjoy my first-ever trip in a Russian-made Volga auto. Once we got it started (after several attempts) the trick was to keep it running during traffic stops, etc.

But bear in mind that these sarcastic first impressions are from a guy who has not slept in two days. So, I will leave this entry here... and wake up tomorrow with (hopefully literally) fresh eyes!

Regardless, I truly am thrilled to be in Russia!

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