Monday, June 27
Another rough night. I woke up around 3 in the morning, and it was FINALLY dark outside. Tossed and turned, never was in a deep sleep. Finally decided to get up around 7:00. Ate a Luna bar, then finished “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” Decided to get ready (slowly), then headed downstairs around 8:30. Had breakfast (a Luna Bar is NOT breakfast), then talked to the front desk about arranging my taxi in the morning. I also had to check out of my room NOW, even though I will still be in my room until just before three in the morning (yes, that is when I have to have my taxi to go to the airport).
Headed out for the morning. Only thing on the agenda for the day was to check out the Russian Museum. I wandered around for a bit since the museum didn’t open until 10:00. I keep window shopping for souvenirs but everything is either tacky or SUPER expensive. Just for some perspective… a “cheap” lunch (300 rubles or so) is over 10 US dollars. That’s ridiculous. There were a few meals where I didn’t understand what I was getting and ended up paying over $700… same thing happens with souvenirs. 2000 rubles?? That’s like $100 for a trinket! No thanks.
|PS, It's not any cheaper in Russia|
I ended up wandering around until about 10:15, then headed in to the museum. Most of the museum was paintings, but there was some neat stuff to look at and I ended up being inside for about an hour and a half.
|Gates to the Russian Museum|
|Pretty impressive lobby!|
|All the ceilings were fancy!|
By the time I was done I was STARVING. I spent the next hour trying to find somewhere “cheap” to eat. Read previous paragraph. Most places would end up costing about 600 rubles for what I wanted. Finally around 1:00 I was famished and decided to just eat at Sbarro. Got a decent amount of food for 283 rubles. I plan to go back tonight to do the salad/buffet bar. Cheapest thing in town I think!
After that I again half-heartedly tried to find some souvenirs. I really want to find a non-tacky t-shirt or something, but that just doesn’t seem to exist. Everyone will just have to be satisfied with what they get. I walked around the “mall” that I found, but everything seemed pricey and my feet/legs were so tired. By about 3:00 I was DONE and decided to head back to my room to sit down and rest.
|I wanted to get this for my Dad, but they would NOT negotiate.|
|Yep, that's a monkey in clothes|
|Random woman on stilts next to an Avatar guy|
Caught up on Facebook, email, and some blogging. Before I knew it, it was already after 6:00. I still wasn’t especially hungry for dinner, but I knew that I needed to get something soon if I had any hopes of getting to bed early.
|Further proof about how sketchy the hotel I was staying in was...|
|FruitFly - this is for you! Public toilets, but you have to pay to use them!|
|Last shot of me and my "neighborhood" in St. Petersburg|
I headed down my usual route, and decided to do a bit more wandering around. I picked up a few last minute souvenirs, then finally went to Sbarro for dinner around 7:30. This time I dind’t get any pizza, but got some pasta and veggies from their buffet. Another nice inexpensive dinner.