Moscow – Day 2

I’m thinking my sleep on the train from St Petersburg wasn’t the greatest. I passed out at my Moscow Airbnb (which turned out to be kind of a crappy one, oh well) around 9pm and slept until 4am today. I woke up with a migraine and tossed around in bed until 8. Took my head meds, had shower and went to Mu Mu, a Soviet style cafeteria, for breakfast. Breakfast was wonderful, mostly because of the old Russian ladies at the cafeteria teasing me mercilessly and because I had a great talk with a young guy very excited to be going to Chicago in summer. I felt awesome from that point on and today’s turned out pretty wonderful.


Apricot bliny, rice porridge, black current yogurt.


After breakfast I headed to the Kremlin, first the Armoury Tower to see some of the royal collection. Pictures are not allowed (literally still zero reason for such a rule) so I only managed to sneak a couple.

In line for the armoury tower.


One of the display halls inside.


Gifts to the Tzar from Persia, 15th century, at this point I got caught and scolded for taking pictures.


After the Armoury I walked around inside the Kremlin walls for an hour or so, in and out of buildings and cathedrals.



Both skinny green people AND larger blue people are welcome, to the right.



Then headed to Red Square, went to the first McDonald’s in Russian and mostly just walked around, despite endless forecasts of rain for Moscow and St Petersburg there really hasn’t been any, the weather today is perfect.

I spent some time in GUM (famous department store, like the Harrods of the USSR) found a store with pieces of red amber but all of it was out of my price range.

I have many more picture and things but there isn’t really any wifi in my place and I can’t currently get anything to upload, more later.

More Georgian Food

Georgian food really is as ubiquitous in Russia as Italian is in the west, this is great for me as I really have developed a taste for it in the past few years.


Beef soup with walnut and sour cherry/plum paste, seasoned with utskho suneli, this flower that grows in Georgia, I like kharcho a lot.


Sort of a Georgian version of baked beans, I’d heard about lobio a lot but today was the first time trying it…. it’s fine.

I’m not paying $40 for a mango

Walking through the fresh market in Saint Petersburg and got charmed by a fruit seller…until he asked 2,100 rubles ($40can) for a mango… I mean… it was a great looking mango but wtf dude.

He was from Tashkent so we chatted a bit about Uzbekistan and how the best produce still comes from there, he eventually sold me some of the same amazing strawberries I ate when I was there, for a good price. And he did come down to 800 rubles for the mango, lol… no sale.

He also had these bright orange Uzbek lemons (carrots are all yellow in Uzbekistan so why not orange lemons) and he gave me one to try.

Tasted it, totally some sort of lemon-orange hybrid, actually really good. He said it’s best in tea and I can see that easily.

St. Pete – Day 1 – Highlights

  • a girl of about 8-9 lost control of her skateboard, it went shooting out into traffic in a huge intersection, myself and another guy told the girl to freeze, stopped traffic and got her skateboard back to her, it was really fun.
  • a clerk in a store started speaking English to be as soon as I walked in, I asked how she knew I wasn’t Russian, she replied “pink shirt”.
  • I chatted quite a bit with a French couple at the next table over dinner, including giving the guy a lesson in the proper way to eat a Georgian khinkali.
  • got on the wrong bus, ended up way out in the suburbs, was fun.



  • rolled ankle, wasn’t watching what I was doing, it hurts, little bit swollen.

St. Petersburg – Day 1

I am still having a lot of trouble sleeping, I was up most of the night and finally dozed off around 5:30am, I woke up with my alarm at 7:30 so tired I thought I might be getting sick. I decided to sacrifice part of day one to sleep and managed to sleep until 11am.

I headed out walking in a very cold and wet Russian spring day, the Hermitage, the Modern Art Gallery, a Russian cafe for lunch and a Georgian/Uzbek place for dinner, the day is over, I am exhausted and overwhelmed, it’s a city on an insane scale, I love it.

My Airbnb is at the top of nine flights of stairs….
Turkish armor, 15th century
Hermitage! Sooo much gold.
Hermitage throne room
Borscht lunch, very very good
My place, I really like it
Walking St. Pete in the rain
Yet more Hermitage
The view from my place

Helsinki Metro

The Helsinki Metro is not large, really just one line but it has unique trains and they run on traditional gravel pad track (rare) and it’s the northernmost subway in the world.

There are three generations of rolling stock in the system, I really wanted to see the oldest Mark I Bombardier trains but every single ride I took ended up being on the new Spanish Mark III train.

The system was probably the cleanest and smoothest I have ever ridden, including Tokyo, I really liked it.