After landing in St Petersburg and getting a taxi to the hostel, our trip begins! The hostel is pretty cool, it’s based on the 60’s apparently, so lots of Beatles photos and brightly coloured walls, but no rules man, this is the 60’s! Apart from being quiet after 11pm, that’s the one rule. Rock and roll.
We met our fellow travellers today, an Australian lad called Tom – convenient, as its one less name for me to remember – and a Dutch girl called Florine. Both seem really cool and down to earth which is a relief as we’ll all be spending the next three weeks together! We also met our Vodkatrain honcho; Vadim. A really sweet Russian lad who has excellent knowledge of St Petersburg and a keen interest in the arts. He’ll be our guide for the next couple of days here which is great because we read pretty much nothing before embarking on our trip.
Tonight was very chilled, we went for a stroll around St Petersburg – what a beautiful city it is. Also, the one thing I was super excited about – the snow! There’s so much snow. It’s so beautiful. Something I found pretty amazing too was that this is only the second time that Australian Tom has seen snow, ever, in his life! How mad is that? He must be loving the snow more than me. Vadim took us on a lovely stroll through the city, a bit of a whistle stop tour, brief snippets of history and pointing out key tourist destinations we’ll be visiting tomorrow. The first place we came upon was the Cathedral of Spilled Blood, it used to be a church but is now a museum and what a stunningly beautiful building it is, even at night time.
We then went for some diner in the quirky little restaurant, really tasty, fresh food. Warmed us right up it did. To be fair, although it is -4 it really isn’t too bad. Neither me or Tom had our thermals on, just big coats, boots, hat, scarf and gloves and we were pretty toasty. Walking around probably helped too. We’re pretty shattered tonight so just having a peppermint tea before bed – we’re so rock and roll. Perfect for our 60’s hostel.