The continuing adventures of K&W in the land of the onion domes  

rm_kelli4u2dew 41F
7028 posts
3/21/2006 5:22 am

Last Read:
9/28/2006 5:58 pm

The continuing adventures of K&W in the land of the onion domes

So, we ate our fish dinner. W is an excellent cook! I did dishes. Then we got bundled up and out to try some clubs.

Nevsky Prospekt is about 4.5 km long, and we’re staying near the eastern end. That means that it’s about 3+ km to the river. All of the buildings were originally palaces of rich nobles. Now, most are apartment blocks, some are offices. As in other parts of Russia, the ground floor is almost always shops. In some cases, there are shops in the basement or 2nd floor as well.

We go off through the snow and check on places that seem as though they are lively. Some nice places, and we stop for a drink, some really strange places (punk-heavy metal-teeny bopper pop band? ‒ not 3 bands, all rolled into 1). Stop and look at the menus on a couple of fancy restaurants, including Hotel Europa. W is stunned. There is a major difference between a café and a restaurant in Russia. A café you can get fed pretty good for 5-6 dollars. A restaurant requires credit checks. In a city where the average worker makes 300-400 dollars a month, 45 bucks for chicken kiev is a little much. Would you like a salad with that? Soup? Something to drink? That’s all extra. Lunch for two in some of these places could run over 100 bucks, dinner twice as much. Mercedes, BMWs, Land Cruisers, etc. parked out front, some with chauffeurs and body guards.

Another thing that blows W away is the ice cream vendors. Russians love ice cream. Pretty strange in a country that can’t handle the concept of putting ice in a drink. Mention iced tea, and they just stare at you dumbfounded. The temperature is -19C, and it’s snowing. The ice cream vendors don’t even bother with coolers, they just lay the ice cream bars out on card tables on the street. You have to brush the snow off to see what they are.

Eventually we get to a place Blue recommended, the Red Lion in the basement of the old Senate building. It is tricked up to look like an English Pub, and the décor really does a good job. Live band playing in one room. Waitress doesn’t speak a word of English. No English beers, or Russian beers for that matter. Carling? Gimme a break!

Aside on Russian beer. Russians make GOOOOOOOD beer! Stepan Rasan porter is awesome. Baltika 6 is another excellent porter, and Baltika 4 is a good brown ale. A lot of the lagers and pilsners are good also, but I prefer beer with substance. (You can now find Baltika in the states at Whole Foods, of all places.)

Anyway, W hooks up with a rich, handsome New Zealander. Slut! At least the guy is nice enough to get me a taxi ride home so I don’t have to walk by myself. So, I’m sitting home by myself writing nonsense while she gets laid.

One thing about St. Pete. Originally, they had to drain a swamp to build it. There are canals and islands, and it’s sometimes called the Venice of the North. The Neva River drains into the Gulf of Finland, and is navigable for quite a distance up river. But don’t get caught on the wrong side of the draw bridges at 2 a.m., or you’ll be there until they lower them again at 6.

Going to the orphanage tomorrow. Going to take a bus tour in the morning (maybe by myself?), then go see Luda and the kids in the afternoon. Wednesday going to see the Hermitage Museum. Believe me, you owe it to yourself to at least get on the web and take their virtual tour.

Picture is of one of the more spectacular palaces. It sits at the corner of Nevsky Prospekt and Fontanka, on the east side of the Fontanka canal.

TrapsTomesSteed 42M
202 posts
3/21/2006 7:00 am

Keep up the great posts. It's descriptions like these that make me want to visit places like that. Especially when the beer is so good it gets its own shout out.

Efilnikufesin69 47M

3/21/2006 7:11 am

Can you see me turning green with envy there my dear?

im_your_man77 39M
961 posts
3/21/2006 9:13 am

Why am I doing this to myself, working my ass into the ground and coming home to read these travel logs with jealous eyes? I must be insane.

Allsleeky 36F

3/21/2006 10:43 am

Nice to know you are having fun! Just don'r eat "yellow ice cream"

rm_Lance_Elliot 47M

3/21/2006 1:27 pm

Your commentary is excellent my dear! Sounds like you're having a wonderful time.


StaynHardnHot 42M
305 posts
3/23/2006 6:02 pm

You think maybe Time/Life has an opening as a roving reporter for you two..??? I think it would be a knockout series for the Discovery Channel..dont you..?? Love the Blog and hearing of all your adventures..your accounts have convinced me that i must do Russia once and Europe again in my life at least once as an adult!! Keep up the great job, have fun and remember, you may spend your nights by yourself but you are NEVER alone.. Kisses, Chris..

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