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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day 1 - Departure and arrival

It was a fine Thursday evening when we packed up the bags and headed to the train station. We could have reached there and stopped at McDonalds for a late lunch earlier if the 2 interracial couple didn't come late! )))))
Anyways we still stopped at the McDonalds to get dinner for the long travel on the railway for 15 hours.

Staying overnight on train was no fun, confined, but it's somehow comfortable to sleep. We chatted so much in the train and laughed until one lady came over to ask us to keep the noise down. Luckily Nantha brought cards as planned for some rounds of Blackjack and "Bluff".

I'm no good and have no luck in cards. For the Bluff game (who knows what and how does it call), the one with most cards at the end of the game loses. The aim is to trick the opponents with the cards which are wrong. If one didn't believe, he could flip over the cards to reveal whether the player was lying or not. If the player's not lying, the one who flipped over the cards take them all. If the player's lying, he should take all the cards.

So my aim was to bluff as many times as possible, and not flipping over. I still ended up losing many times. So what? I was trying to stay in the game!

After everyone was tired except Efenem, we all went to sleep leaving him alone sleeping with much disappointment.

So within some 15 hours of railway ride, we finally arrived. Met up with Denis who offered to be our tour guide for the trip.

Then he brought us "WALKING" from the railway station till our "I-wish-you-good-luck-to-find" hostel called "Fireplace". So why did I wrote in inverted commas?

"WALKING" - We hate walking under the hot sun, and Denis' 5 minutes of walk was actually our 15 minutes of walk.

"I-wish-you-good-luck-to-find" - Because there's no sign about this hostel and the apartment has as many as 10 entrances.

"Fireplace" - I don't know why, that's why it's in inverted commas.

After checking in the hostel, we went for a hungry brunch. Below was Efenem's serving.

After that, Denis brought us for a boat trip. He said "Boat TRIPPING", I thought it was "Boating trip", then I asked Ieja and she said "just 'GET A BOAT TRIP' la!"

Anyway the boat trip was on Fontanka River. We passed through a few of the 15 bridges along the Fontanka River, then to another canal. By the way, in the whole St. Petersburg, there are 342 bridges known. Don't believe me? Click on this link.

Boat TRIPPING was fun but cold as the boat moved along the canal, luckily I brought gloves and scarf like a bitch. And lucky for those who didn't bring, there were blankets over the benches on the boat, so they could snug into the blankets.

The one in white was wacky but friendly enough to say hi, they're hot!

Under the widest bridge, the Blue Bridge on Moyka river

Trying to reach the top of the lowest bridge amongst, but unfortunately my height was :(

Funny enough to see such a name for a Cafe - it serves CUM? LOL it's actually pronounced as "Sim-Sim" in Russian.

After an hour of TRIPPING, we headed towards the Kazan Cathedral. It's so big that I had to stitch them up with 3 fragments. It's peaceful inside like any other cathedrals. And I was trying to impress Efenem that I like the dome of the Cathedral because I was there for the second time. He wasn't impressed and he claimed to prefer the one of Hagia Sofia better :(. I'm not gonna tell how does it look like inside, you gotta see it for yourself, teeeheee~

"Tell me fast, or I'll shove this up into ur ass!"

"Oh right you bitch, bring it on!!"

Okay la, a spoiler for you guys. Inside was as dark as Nantha's complexion, teehee~

After that we crossed over the main street in St. Petersburg, Nevskiy Prospekt, to the famous "Храм Спаса на Крови" (Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood).

It sounds spooky, but it was named after the Tsar Alexander II, who was mortally wounded (I called that assasination). Then the son, Tsar Alexander III built this as a memorial upon the death of his father. It resembles the St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow just that it's smaller but I say much more beautiful.

My postcard kinda shot

Bear cub, Masha who's only 4 months old but wildly tamed.

We're all hyped up.....Weeeeeee~~~~~

My solo jump....Weeeeee~~~

The last one.....Weeee~~~

Hummers were infested in St. Petersburg, and the limos.

Lots of weddings going on.

Then we walked along the Griboedov Canal till the Hermitage and the Winter Palace. We didn't go in because it was 5.30pm.

We went to the Neva River bank to shoot some pictures. So we shot some "modelling" pictures on the river bank. Me, Rose and Denis shot with my shades on.

These were pretty much what we saw during the first day in St. Petersburg. I didn't find it boring seeing the same thing though it was my second time there, probably because I got no opportunity to see such things as the "Europeanized" part of Russia after my graduation.

St. Petersburg is the Europe of Russia, even Moscow wasn't that impressive. The people were friendly. I just love this place.

Like what I've summed up :
Kaliningrad is the Russia in Europe,
while St. Petersburg is the Europe in Russia.

Efenem said : This is not Russia!

What more, St. Petersburg was labelled as the "Venice Of the North".

You gotta see it to believe it!!!

Highly recommended place to travel

Rating : ★★★★★