Sunday, September 07, 2008

Farewell Russia and hello the Ukraine!

Hello again from the wilds of my holiday! Isn't it completely tedious hearing about the adventures that someone else is having when you are at home doing boring work things and so on? Yeah. Well, bite me.

So anyway, I left Moscow after I last wrote, and ventured on to St Petersburg. Such a glorious looking city and full of tourists.... Of course, it seems that the only tourists in Russia are Russians. Unfortunately this means that everything is given in Russian for tours, and all the information written in places like The Hermitage are in Russian.... you get the idea. Nevertheless, we had a delightful time, and spent our last night in St Petersburg at a kitch themed restaurant. Every inch of the restaurant, including the mirrored ceiling, was covered in busts of Lenin. It was fantastic. The man is some sort of God, and every town has at least one statue of Lenin. Is it a little wrong to revere one man so much?

After St Petersburg, we traveled north to Archangelsk, which honestly has little recommend itself, except that it was a launching place for us to go to Solovetsky Island. The island is the location of the first, and the most brutal (allegedly) of the gulags. The island is quite beautiful and unspoilt - but absolutely freezing - even at the end of Summer.

After our northern encounter with the White Sea, we moved onto Novgorod and then finally we left Russia to now find ourselves in the Ukraine. At this moment, we are in the beach resort town of Yalta, which is quite tourist-y and kitsch - but ever so delightful and summery after our cold and frosty days.

A joke for you all... what do you call a nice Russian?... Ukrainian....Ok.... maybe only relevant for those of us battling local signage and customs.

It has been so far jsut over 4 weeks of wonderful holiday, although I fear for my phone bill when I get home. Not calls per se, but the text messages that I am sending constantly to Subtle. He happily jokes to all and sundry that I ran off to Siberia just after we started dating. I must admit, that it was not ideal timing, and my travel companion does comment on the third, but absent, member of our holiday. Six weeks away from Subtle, and Bella, will be difficult, but as they say, absence and all that....... I think he will be most happy when I am once again home. I think he might even miss my snoring at night. Ok, maybe not.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see photos and hear your stories in full. My Ukrainian friend at work is delighted that you are visiting her country, homesick and is living vicariously through me, through you.

Miss you.

Miss T