My ride was waiting for me, and she took me into town along Moscow Avenue, a 10km-long (6-mile) street leading into town, lined with Stalinist architecture. "In the 50s, you know," she said. The architecture is not dismal. There was the steel beetle-looking BMW dealership near the airport, and a Gaudi-looking apartment block that features randomly-place window openings.
You would never guess there is a hotel where mine is located. Even my guide had a hard time finding the anonymous front door in the center of St Petersburg. "In the communist years," she explained, these were apartment buildings for large families. "In the capitalist years," she continued, they were sold off privately, and the 4th floor was turned into a hotel. Which is why is has just 16 rooms and a tiny office.
Lenin and Stalin are making a come-back here. There was an enormous statue of Lenin in the center of an enormous traffic circle, Reading in the newspaper in the airplane, I learned that the new history book for schoolchildren newly praises Stalin's positive and less positive initiatives.
I had been promised that Internet is cheap in Russia, and it is. $3 for 24 hours at this hotel, and a good wireless connection, too. Contrast that with the $3 that a kiosk at Zurich airport wanted for 8.25 minutes of Internet. I guess the Swiss have to keep up their reputation of being precise timekeepers.
The photo shows a man testing a barbell he had just found. After I snapped the photo, he headed indoors and announced his find triumphantly to his wife.
Probably not what you saw but the most impressive Russian plane I've seen was the A-42 "Albatross" jet flying boats & had wing top mounted engines. Saw one land in Auckland Harbour back in the 80s
Posted by: RobiNZ | Sep 07, 2009 at 01:02 AM