To Saint Petersburg

As I mentioned, we braved the unknown (to us) world of the Moscow Metro to make our way to the Leninskaya railway station for our train trip to Saint Petersburg.

The Metro is very deep underground (100m +), with some very elaborate marble and granite stations, and crowds of pushing people.  Unlike the very civilised queues in London and most other places. it seems to be a case of ‘everyone for themselves’ in Moscow.  Queue-jumping is a way of life here; just remember to look very glum-faced while doing it.

As in many places in Russia, we were obliged to pass through a metal detector and have our baggage X-rayed before accessing the train.  Nearly everyone sets off the metal detector as they pass through it, but no-one is ever stopped for any further check.  The baggage X-ray is very perfunctory – no need to take out computers or show liquids in a separate bag.  I never felt any more secure after these checks – and maybe even less so.

Inside the 'Sapsan' high speed train, en route to Saint Petersburg.

Inside the ‘Sapsan’ high speed train, en route to Saint Petersburg.

The ‘high speed’ train was about the same standard as Queensland’s Tilt-Train, and nothing to write home about.  Much of the countryside was as flat and ordinary as the thousands of kilometres of it that we had already seen in Siberia.  But we arrived in Saint Petersburg on time, and quickly found our luxurious Ibis hotel, just a few hundred metres from the station.

More from Saint Petersburg in the next post.

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3 thoughts on “To Saint Petersburg

  1. Hello Rod,

    Thank you for the lovely photos from Moscow and for the news from St Petersburg. It sounds like you are looking forward to Germany and the rest of your trip. Hope you have a good flight and safe landing in Frankfurt.

    Happy travels,
    Mike

  2. G’day Rod – have truly enjoyed reading the blog and looking at your photos. Loved the old & new photos of GUM and your comment under. Your experience and narrative is helping formulate my own ideas about a Russia trip. Hope you really like St Petersburg – the Venice of the North! Warm wishes Gill & John

    • Hi Gill and John. Thanks for your kind comments. I’ve enjoyed writing the blog and I’m glad you have enjoyed it so far. We are at St P airport waiting for our flight to Berlin and Frankfurt. We finally got thru the Russian bureaucracy at the airport although we are not yet on the plane. StP was probably the highlight for us but it is the old things that made it worthwhile. Modern Russia is something of a nightmare. I think they have destroyed their people and it will take years to recover, if ever. I doubt I will ever come back. There are many more interesting places and people in the world to see. It may be easier if you speak the language, but we found there were always English speakers around, or we could understand Nyet without too much trouble. I will save more for a detailed chat with you after we get back. Maybe the Trans Siberian was not the best intro to Russia and maybe the change of season time was not the best too. We had pretty good weather everywhere and we were not cold inside in any place. But I think we were unprepared for the disparities in wealth and the insularities of the people. The bureaucracy takes some beating too. (I don’t know how we survived the Departure process today!!!) But we are off to Deutschland soon and it should be a happy place. Take care and love to all. Hope Ben and Sarah are having a great time away too. Cheers, Rod xx

      Sent from my iPhone

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