JULY 4 TH – DAY 65

Posted: July 16, 2010 in Uncategorized



JULY 2 ND – DAY 63

Posted: July 16, 2010 in Uncategorized



JUNE 28 TH – DAY 59

Posted: July 3, 2010 in Uncategorized



JUNE 27 TH – DAY 58

Posted: July 3, 2010 in Uncategorized


With a great sunny weather and Nadezhda with a day off from job, today we decided to make a long promenade through the wonders of S. Petersburg yet to be discovered. Our first destination was the main fortress that I was very curious to visit, since I arrive in the city one week ago. I had seen it from the other side of the river, but now from the inside… And what a magnificent place! Architecture and its unbelievable scale, colors, riverside, green spaces, everything was great! And so many details to keep busy my curious eyes! 🙂 Ah, and an interesting surprise: outside the fortress, between its walls and the river, there’s small sand beaches where Russians where enjoy their summer, 20 something degrees, very warm for them I guess! 🙂

From the fortress we went to the souvenirs shop where Nadezhda works, not far away from there. She introduced me to all her work mates, a lot of kind girls… We talked for a while with those who were not so busy. It was interesting to learn that 2 of them were about to go to US to a temporary work. Time change everything and those young Russian girls are so much more curious about US than about their own country… And I will never forget this cleaver girl always making improvised sarcastic remarks about virtually everything. Too fast her thoughts! 🙂 A good think also was to hear from Nadezhda all the historical and technical explanations about the origins and the production of the traditional Russian souvenirs, like the Matryoska dolls, that have origin in Japan, not in Russia!!!

Later in the evening we meet with a friend of her, Anton, who studied Spanish language. Nice conversation we had about languages, politics and Russian society, in a cool bar near the Nevsky Street (the center).

Funny detail of life here: At the end of the day, near Nadezhda home, I went to buy an ice-cream in a shop. I was picking up one from the fridge when the employee told me to not take that want because it was not good anymore to eat. No information written about the expiring date, so I trusted him.  But my question remains: If it is not good to eat, why they keep it in the fridge… :p


JUNE 26 TH – DAY 57

Posted: June 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

It rained during the entire journey. I went out quite late, but then I walked for long time through new unknown places for me, as well as through places I wanted to revisit. To do so I used the subway several times, in order to jump from zone to zone rapidly, optimizing, in his way, the available time to be spend in quiet and long promenades… Was a day for silence, to be alone with myself, looking back the memories and experiences from the last two months. To make a balance of it, to take conclusions… The weather was the right one to do it as well as my mindset. But not a good day to make pictures. Nevertheless, I took a few nice pictures of the details that usually escape from our attention, thanks also to the mood I was on…


JUNE 25 TH – DAY 56

Posted: June 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

Today we decided to have a relaxing day, both I and Nadezhda (she didn’t have work today). We went out after lunch to visit her grandmother again. We stayed there for a while. Nadezhda was the first to go take a hot shower (still no hot water at her home), while I was trying to communicate with her grandmother and eating cake, cookies and candies, and drinking a very nice tea. I took also a shower there, and after a conversation with Nadezhda as translator, we left the flat and went out to take several public transports in order to arrive in a very nice restaurant one hour later. There we met her mother and a friend of her who joined us to watch the match between Portugal and Brazil, while drinking several very tasty kinds of beers produced there but from Czech recipe.

After the match, we found ourselves again enslaved buy the public transport system that steals so much time I this city, because of its huge size. A interesting think I realized while using the buses: here the tickets are sold by a person traveling inside the bus, not by the driver, unless there’s a paper say to buy it from the driver. And the funny thing is that the driver will not open the doors until everybody paid their ticket, and that must be done not on the beginning but at the end of the trip!!!

Already near the center, in the place we should meet another friend of Nadezhda, we assisted a mad but beautiful natural show: in a few minutes the weather changed from a hot summer evening to a rainy and colorful storm weather, with wonderfully beautiful thunders… Eventually we meet her friend and one more who came also, but I was so exhausted from the hours spent in public transportation that I decided to leave them and go home, where I watched the great Lithuanian movie: Ghetto.


JUNE 24 TH – DAY 55

Posted: June 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

Today, my friend Margarita and I decided to go visit one of the most emblematic places in the Russian Federation: Petergof! She explained me which metro line to take, and then the place where take a bus, and 1h30m minutes later I was at the entrance of the huge and beautiful gardens. She arrived short after and then went inside to discover the innumerable and wonderful fountains, gardens, palaces and statues… The most spectacular work for me is the stairway in front of the main entrance’s palace, with golden fountains of all styles, shapes and sizes, and a floor made with black and white square bricks. A funny thing I found there was a kind of fountains behind some benches that are a playground for children to have fun and get wet! 🙂 Besides know in advance that Petergof was a special place, I was not expecting to have such a nice surprise: it its situated in just in front of the Baltic See, so I was able to get in contact with what I miss the most from Portugal, yah, the see (or ocean)…

Madness in the public transport:

  • On the way to Petergof, I saw an accident just in front of the tramway line. Imagine the consequences!?! Yah, an endless line of trams waiting the road to be clean from the broken cars…
  • The bus I was going in was overloaded with people travelling stand up, once all seats were already taken. On the middle of the way I saw 2 policewomen tell the driver to stop. I thought he would be in troubles, but no they just wanted to get inside the bus as normal costumers! And more, the driver picked up a cell phone call with the policewomen next to him… 🙂 I’m in Russia…
  • An interesting good aspect of public transports is that people seems to have always the exact amount of money (to pay the bus, or trolley, or tram) prepared to give, in order to optimize time. As if they check their schedule before leave home and prepare all the details of the day according with it. Very efficient and necessary mentality in such a huge city.
  • One the way back to S. Petersburg, the bus stop for let 3 lost tourist get inside. They were Spanish, from S. Sebastian, 45 or 50 years old. They wanted to know if the bus was going to the big city and were exactly, but with their poor English and with nobody understanding them, I ask if I could help them. And yah, nice company for the rest of the trip, not just in the bus but later also in the subway too. Easier for them to get to her hotel, more joyful day for me… 🙂