We are sitting in a 4th class carriage with only Russians around us, en route from St.Petersburg to Moscow. We left St.Petersburg this afternoon after a few great days spent there. With its great musea, public gardens and open spaces it definitely is a great destination. As we were there for 5 days we had quite enough time to get a good impression of St.Petersburg, but we would have needed more time to take everything in as the city is huge and distances are long.

But instead of playing again the tour guide, listing all the buildings, musea and other things we visited (which would not only be very boring but also make you jealous ;-) ) we prefer to tell you a few other funny things we observed during our first days in Russia:

First of all it can be noted that Russians like to get married. You see brides and grooms all over town, posing for pictures in the beautiful gardens or driving around in limousines. There is one place in town, where people are extremely keen to have their wedding pictures taken though and this is in front of the Naval Museum. You can stand here for hours and see the young married couples come by all doing the same ritual: first they bring out a toast with Champaign, then they throw the glasses against some wall (you can imagine the amount of glass lying around there) and then all the guests scream “Golka, golka!” which basically means “Kiss, kiss!” and they kiss. All this of course with photographers around to memorize all this. However sometimes there are so many young married couples around, that people start walking into one another’s way and pictures are taken of wrong guests. :-)

Second, the fact that Russians drink a lot of vodka (and alcohol in general) is definitely not a myth. It is not rare to see people walk around with beer bottles in their hands, independent of their social class or age. Vodka is very cheap here and of a good quality (yes, we tested it). :-)

Food is quite good here, including soups based on all kind of cabbages, dumplings and blinis (pancakes filled with anything you want, the most typical Russian one is with butter and caviar). But as we are on a tight budget, we sometimes cook our own food. Buying food at a supermarket can be a real hassle though as everything is AT LEAST one month over its due date. So for each product you have to check and decide if it is still edible. As we do not always have another choice we do buy things over their due date (except for dairy products of course).

Don’t forget to check out the first pictures of St.Petersburg in the “Photo Albums” section. :-)Vera & Jean-Christophe


  1. Florent
    Posted August 8, 2007 at 8:14 | Permalink

    Salut les voyageurs !

    Merci pour tout ces beaux rêves… Je me permets juste de vous faire remarquer que le flux rss n’a pas l’air en grande grande forme :-)

  2. Daniel
    Posted August 8, 2007 at 11:57 | Permalink

    Génial ce petit résumé plein d’humour :-)
    Bonne visite de Moscow !

    A propos du flux rss: chez moi il marche bien.

  3. Rachel
    Posted August 8, 2007 at 13:06 | Permalink

    Ah ah, ca commence deja a parler mariage :)

  4. Posted August 8, 2007 at 17:33 | Permalink

    Hey Vera en J.C. Heb jullie site bekeken en alvast genoten van tekst en foto’s. Zal jullie belevenissen bij houden..te gek zo’n reis. ‘Most people only dream off it’, zal ik maar zeggen. Veel plezier nog het komend jaar(waanzinnig).. Vera..ik let wel een beetje op Marlies(als dat al nodig mocht zijn).
    XXXX Ad(je)

  5. Vera
    Posted August 8, 2007 at 21:54 | Permalink

    @Rachel: Seeing this “wedding-chain” makes me even less wanting to get married… ;-)

  6. Posted August 9, 2007 at 17:06 | Permalink

    vera je schijft dat de wodka erg goed is, hoeveel hebben jullie al geproeft of heben jullie in europa Ik zelf vind aan wodka niet veel smaak aan ,maar je hebt misschien nog nooit wodka geproeft.
    De foto”s zijn goed gelukt. de gebouwen zijn erg mooi. Ik wens jullie nog een fijne treinreis met veel slaap.

  7. Posted August 10, 2007 at 0:19 | Permalink

    Vera, I’m a jealous guy so please tell us more about boring or not boring things you see or just give us pictures. It’s not funny for me to hear that all russian women are married. In the end there will be only vodka for me to take comfort with it.:-)

  8. Vera
    Posted August 10, 2007 at 6:55 | Permalink

    @Jurgen: Don’t worry about all the women getting worried. Russia is a big country, so there are still a lot of ladies left. :-)

  9. Joanne
    Posted August 10, 2007 at 11:59 | Permalink

    Salut Vera!!!!
    Comment vas-tu?? enfin, bien je suppose!
    Vous avez enfin débuté votre périple autour du globe et je peux dire une chose: je vous envie!
    Je sais que ça n’est pas forcément une halte très exotique…mais si jamais vous passez par le Luxembourg… :o))

  10. Posted August 10, 2007 at 22:28 | Permalink

    even op reis geweest door jullie duidelijke commentaar en foto’s te bekijken..heerlijk om zo een stukje met jullie mee te reizen, wat was het effekt van al die wodka? een huwelijksaanzoek misschien?

    Doei, Yvonne

  11. mamma
    Posted August 12, 2007 at 16:31 | Permalink

    Enfin les sujets importants : que mangez-vous ! Vu votre récit, je pense que vous avez bien fait d’emporter certains petits comprimés achetés en pharmacie. Mais ai-je la certitude que, dès que j’ai eu le dos tourné, vous les avez vraiment mis dans vos bagages ? ;-)