One of the best things about traveling is seeing how the place you’re visiting is different from your home. I’ve traveled widely in Europe and Russia was probably the most different place I’ve been yet. To sum it up in one sentence: Russia is not for wimps.
There didn’t seem to be many rules there at all, and many of the public health things we now take for granted—safe and stable stairways, pedestrian crossings, lanes on the interstates, no holes in sidewalks smoking bans—do not exist. Not even medicines cater to the weak—check out the non-coated tablets.
Sensitive stomach? Too bad!
You all probably know by now that I really enjoy taking pictures of oddball things. Here are a few more images from weird and wonderful Russia:
HERMITAGE – WINTER PALACE
Our last day in Russia (a week ago today) also happened to be my 29th birthday. Spending it riding bikes with one of my fave people was definitely the way to go. The day in pictures:
We started out by climbing the 200-odd steps of St. Isaac’s cathedral to admire the view.
Dottie and me on top of St. Isaac's cathedral.
Then it was time to head to Krestovsky Island for a bike ride and picnic.
So, the St. Petersburg cycling scene was quite different from the London one Dottie wrote about last week. Though we spotted more bikes than we expected to see in a city that doesn’t exactly make cycling easy, there was nary a skirt or Dutch bike in sight.
BMX bandits are alive and well in Petersburg: a cyclist in Moskovskaya Ploschad.
You may have noticed my Batavus Day countdown ticker inching toward the finish line over there in the sidebar. Yes, folks, Let’s Go Ride a Bike will be going international in just a few days as Dottie and I head for London and then St. Petersburg, Russia. Of course, we’re planning some biking outings during our trip, and hope to be able to share them all with you.
In London, we’ll be checking out the new Cycodelic product line at Topshop.
And of course, on Saturday, we’ll be visiting Littlehampton Dutch Bike shop to have tea with Paul and test ride my long-awaited Batavus…as well as every other bike they have in the shop.
Russian bike plans are a little more ambiguous, but we plan to rent bikes at least once: either on Krestovsky Island or during a day trip to Vyborg.
Anything we’re missing? Leave us a note in the comments! I’m especially interested in whether anyone’s used London’s Oybike rentals.