Saint-Petersburg – May 3 – May 8

We spent six full days in Saint-Petersburg, mainly because we were too lazy to carry on with our trip and because we heard from a lot of people that the rest of Russia isn’t as nice as Saint-Petersburg. The first day our host, the lovely Liublov, kicked us out at 10AM. It was a nice day so we decided to go and visit Petergof. It was nice but it kind of resembled Versailles. Come to think of it, actually all of Saint-Petersburg looked like scrambled version of Paris. So we had the feeling that there was not much new for us to see here. That’s why we spent most of the days just chilling and I spent a couple of days catching up with some of my work.

Our couchsurfing host's place

Our couchsurfing host’s place

Here’s a small day by day report. Mainly just intended to remind ourselves later what we did here exactly.

Sa, May 3

Slept in Liubov’s couch tonight with Brecht. Didn’t feel rested after Brecht had been poking me all night because I was snoring. We went to Petergof, the Versailles of SPB. It was okay because the weather was good. Afterwards we walked trough the city and drank some beer in an Irish pub and ate some shashlik for 20 cents. The next morning, while doing my biz, I realized why it had been so cheap.

Petergof

Petergof

Breakfast near Liubov's place20140503_11110720140503_114152SPB SubwayOn the road to PetergofPetergof20140503_14442220140503_15073420140503_16512320140503_16522820140503_165613Back in SPB20140503_21303420140503_213103Irish pub20140503_231311Finding our way back to Liubov20140503_235345

Su, May 4

Brecht slept on the floor this night. We visited Liubov’s work: JetBrain, the creators of PHP Storm. I worked here a couple of hours while Brecht took a nap. Later that day we visited Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, and we had a hard time dodging all the guided boat tour tourist traps.

View from the roof of JetBrain

View from the roof of JetBrain

Breakfast with Liubov20140504_14065820140504_14195620140504_141556Saint Isaac's Cathedral20140504_18241720140504_18263620140504_184108
View from Saint Isaac's cathedral

Animated view from Saint Isaac’s cathedral

Mo, May 5

It was my turn to sleep on the floor this night. I was super tired and Liubov kicked us out at 9:30. We immediatly went looking for a hostel and discovered the awesome but cheap Missis Hudson hostel on a courtyard near Nevsky Prospekt, the main street of SPB. We went to the OstWest offices to register. A pigeon shitted on my jacket. I cleaned it back at the hostel and slept for the rest of the day, all the way trough to the next morning.

Missis Hudson20140507_11463420140505_125128Tracking down the Ostwest Office20140505_121653

Tu, May 6

Worked and played the ukulele all day. In the evening we went to eat in a turkish restaurant where Brecht smoked a sisha. I thought about joining him, but I decided that smoking a sisha is also smoking, and I am a non-smoker for life, so I just drank some mint tea and made some pictures instead.

Turkish restaurantSisha time20140505_20235120140505_20243620140505_203545Buying some beers and breakfast for in the hostel

We, May 7

No more room in Missis Husdon. Went to new hostel: Graffiti hostel. Very expensive. Visited Petrograd district, adviced to Brecht by a tattoo shop owner he had met the day before. This was supposed to be the REAL SPB. It was a bit more rough, but still very Paris-like. Forgot to take pictures though…

LiftenOn the way to Petrograd districtHoly blood church20140507_16162120140507_16175620140507_16272620140507_17160220140507_17242420140507_17243020140507_17250220140507_172651Another shishaGraffiti Hostel

Th, May 8

There was a couchsurfing meeting on the 8th. We decided to go have a look and leave for Velikiy Novgorod the next morning. I don’t remember much about the meeting, except that we got drunk pretty quickly, and afterwards we joined a small group of Italians to the party district of the city. In the subway they scared us with some stories about the maffia always shooting tourists around the 9th of may, and some organized foreigner-bashings that took place in the metro a couple of weeks back. In the party district we got even more drunk and when our paranoid Italian friends got scared that we would get into trouble with some nationalist Russians, we moved to another club. At some point we lost our friends and made some new ones, and after that we managed to get back to the hostel somehow, where Brecht accidentally trashed the trash bin.

20140508_21131020140508_225906(0)Djavjied Vjan Kjerschjaver?Last call!20140509_00005720140509_00053920140509_020930Back at the hostel