Saint Petersburg: Nevsky Prospekt
September 8, 2011
Dear Family and Friends,
The sun made a brief appearance this afternoon. Mostly though, the sky is gray and the drizzle incessant. The air is humid and chilly.
Nonetheless, I make my patented strolls around this surprising city, up and down Nevsky Prospekt, a busy eight lane boulevard lined with smart shops, bistros and restaurants and pastel stone buildings. It really is lovely here.
And today I actually rode the public buses and found my way back to the guest house. After all, this is a big city - more than four million, and very very little English is spoken. All the signs are in Russian. I found several familiar logos, and I stopped for a photo, but not for a meal.
Across the street from my B&B is a local restaurant. The thick borscht and chicken soup are hot and the Russian style pancakes are filled with minced mushrooms or cabbage and garlic.
The young guys here have short cropped hair and appear suspicious. Some of the girls seem to strut about town, dressed in high, high-heel shoes, mobile phone in one hand and long skinny cigarettes in the other. Are they ever tall! Many are taller than yours truly.
Like any big city, folks are in a rush and seem cool and aloof. But I turn on my New York smile, and the locals warm up a bit. The ticket-taker on the crowded bus made sure I got off at the correct stop.
At the guest house I met Anton, a young German man traveling alone, Yvonne and her father from Amsterdam, and Martin, another German man, my age, who is traveling through Poland, the Baltic's, Russia, the Ukraine, Romania and back home to Wiesbaden...two months on a BMW motorcycle!
I'll stick to the public buses and if I am adventurous, I will try the Metro.