A Travellerspoint blog

Posie and the Pandas

sunny 21 °C
View RTW - Part 1 (Russia, Mongloia, China, S/E Asia) on RosiePony's travel map.

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha - i got to cuddle a baby panda in Chengdu!

Rosie's Baby

Rosie's Baby

Rosie's Baby is hungry

Rosie's Baby is hungry

Rosie Cuddles

Rosie Cuddles

Posie and the Panda

Posie and the Panda

Rosie wants to be fed too!!

Rosie wants to be fed too!!

Cute

Cute

Cheeeeese!!

Cheeeeese!!

Posie and the Baby Panda

Posie and the Baby Panda

Still feeding time

Still feeding time

Posie and Plastic Pandas

Posie and Plastic Pandas

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P1020434

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Rosie's Panda Ears

Rosie's Panda Ears

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P1020431

other panda photos in main gallery section...

Posted by RosiePony 01:06 Archived in China Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

The Terracotta Domino Effect ... when Rosie fell over...

No not really, but that would have been funny!

semi-overcast 16 °C
View RTW - Part 1 (Russia, Mongloia, China, S/E Asia) on RosiePony's travel map.

Yep, another train ride... We're on number 4 now. Beijing to Xi'an is about 16 hours of fun but this time just Jon and I now (Lucky 7 - our groups nickname - have all gone their separate ways) ...
Hard Sleeper From Beijing to Xi'an

Hard Sleeper From Beijing to Xi'an


When our tickets arrived we thought "great, seats 33 and 34!", when actually it meant cabin numbers 33 and 34 so Jon and I were in separate rooms; Jon with a family and young child whilst I had three business men! This was hilarious to the carriage passengers who thought we were a novelty on the train. The entire carriage came along to have a good look at the aliens...(us). We even had photos taken with about 5 people one after the other, felt like we were famous! One of the men in my cabin offered to swap places with Jon so we ended up in opposite top bunks, us together.
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They were very polite n I showed them postcards of London n Derbyshire so they know where were from. They now think I live in a cottage in the countryside but i figured it looked prettier than a town house?! ha ha. I then taught them how to play UNO. God knows how, but I managed it. The only concept they didn't get was 'turns' - they all like to have a go at once. They're sweet really. Until tomo morn at 5 when I'll get woken up having only had an hrs sleep or something!
How true that last sentence was --- tried going to sleep at 11 two of the men were bloody (sorry for swearing mum!) SNORING below me!!! Tried putting iPod on but then I listened to the music n it kept me up! :( so after a restless sleep we arrived at Xi'an train station where a free pick up awaited us and took us to the hostel. Jon wished he'd stayed in his original cabin as the child was quieter than the three men snoring!

The Han Tang Inn is centrally located so after 'freshening up' Jon and I went to explore. We went to the Bell tower (a Tower with a big bell in it) then the Drum Tower (...can you guess what's coming? yep...a Tower with a big Drum outside of it - we watched a music show inside this which consisted of lots of bell and drum hitting).
The Bell Tower

The Bell Tower

The Drum Tower

The Drum Tower


Afterwards we ended up wandering through the Muslim Quarter where we picked a local restaurant and went in. We were literally stared at by everyone in the restaurant (they couldn't believe we'd go in and eat the local food with them -mad westerners!) so we smiled, sat down and looked at the menu - all in Chinese - gave up and smiled some more. The waiters (all teenage boys) just walked round with various dishes and you took what you wanted, so we helped ourselves to spicy rice (with i think Beef in it) and a juice (tasted like stewed blackcurrant juice - v nice) as well as something on a stick in sauce (after a bit of research in our book i think this was offal!). The bill came to 1.20! Brilliant (although i doubt I'll be eating the offal again knowingly)!

Xi'an is still as polluted as Beijing, the bus journeys only cost 10p to go anywhere on route, but hold on for your life! And of course, everyone still beeps like mad! The Hostel staff are very friendly and always trying to help you if you need anything - Chris even gave us Chinese names; Li Lin (Jon- meaning forest) and Cho Mi (Rosie - meaning flower). We took a tour from the hostel to see the Terracotta warriors, guided by Jia jia (said like "JaJa Binks" - Star Wars) who seems to have fallen in love with me - she gave me a keyring with the Emperor on it to bring me good luck during my travels, how sweet!

The Terracotta Army is magnificent, as we knew it would be. There were three chambers we visited, each with thousands of warriors still to be pieced back together and put on display, ranging from kneeling archers, standing archers, chariots, horses and footmen too. It was humbling seeing them all stood together in their resting places in the ground, especially when you learn of the level of detail that went into each one, not to mention the floor they stood on, the walls surrounding them and the ceiling covering them!
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We were in luck that day; the founder of the site (the man who made the discovery whilst digging a well) was signing autographs - we didn't bother with a signature but Jon shook his hand whilst i took a photo, conveniently ignoring the "No Photo" signage that all the Chinese ignored too!
The Man who discovered the Terracotta Army

The Man who discovered the Terracotta Army

Then it rained.

Jono here now: This was the first time we had seen Rain since leaving the UK!! It was horrible walking through it, getting wet and cold. Rosie correctly described this events as "a Storm!" I tried to explain that this was just like the rain we used to see all that time ago (4 weeks) back home, but she was having none of it and considered no more sight seeing until the whole ordeal was over! Of course we all know what Jon had to do to make Rosie's suffering end: That's it, I quickly purchased an ice cream fix, "the storm" ended but the rain continued for the next couple of days...will be heading to Chengdu next (Sechuan province) to see the pandas...!
mmmmmmmmm

mmmmmmmmm

Posted by RosiePony 00:04 Archived in China Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Rosie Posie went to The (Great) Wall...

Rosie Posie had a Great Fall...

semi-overcast 8 °C
View RTW - Part 1 (Russia, Mongloia, China, S/E Asia) on RosiePony's travel map.

Arriving in Beijing by train was fun because you instantly get to see what city life is like, passing by neon lit buildings, banks of Beijing, couples in parks (they wave back), men practicing bowls (competition for u dad), cyclists etc. The city is somewhat dusty but no more than the last train we were on as it went through the Gobi desert.
Exiting the train station was amusing because outside was fairly crowded (like most train stations) but people could spot us a mile away. Some people stared, others took photos of us n others carried on as normal. We of course took photos so it felt quite ironic since the Chinese like to do tours in groups n take photos of everything which is exactly what we were doing... P1010780.jpg
The other vodka train group we met on the Russian train and who had been with us along the same journey, but with different honcho's now merged into our group so Alice (our Beijing honcho) had 13 People to make happy. She is so sweet. Shes 26 but looks 16 and is so helpful.
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Friday eve (day of arrival) we took a walk to Dongcheng night market where there is a street of food stalls, mainly sugared fruits on a stick or insects on a stick. We found: snake, sea-horses, scorpions (some still moving), squid, fish, locuts, steamed crabs in shells, dumplings and many other wild n wonderful things!! Have yet to sample the delights yet...
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Yesterday (Saturday 10th) she showed us the Jingshan Park where upon entering (2 yuan -£0.20), you are immediatley greeted with a beautiful if somewhat bizaare scene; 50+ (both age and quantity) people doing aerobics together outside with the music blaring out. Behind them are a series of steps leading up to the temple at the top of a hill from which you can see the Forbidden City - stunning. On the way up the various steep stepped routes you walk alongsode trees which let the light stream through as well as a gentle breeze making you feel relaxed and very much at peace. Made me think this was a great place to come n chill out from city life, which is exactly what the locals were doing.
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We then headed across the road to the Forbidden City (60 yuan entry -£6) where we got a James Bond (Roger Moore) audio guide! Only in China eh?! I had assumed China would be like a cattle Market all over with hordes of ppl crowding everywhere I went- well it certainly was in the FCity. Tour grp after tour grp could be seen with different coloured hats used to identiy them from each other (Red, White, Orange...). They came on mass to the major buildings/gates in the city trying to push or jostle you out of the way without any apology (reminded me of London rush hour) so we got tough n returned the privaledge. ;) when in Rome...P1010835.jpg
Leaving the FCity from the south side lead directly to Tian'amon square which was filled with crowns but it's so big it still feels comfortable to walk through, unlike the FCity. We headed straight throught it with Alice since she was directing us to a restaurant for lunch and she pointed out various points of interest along the way. We had more amazing food for lunch (Kungpo chicken, sizzling beef, noodle dish, rice, auberine, and drink which came to £2.80 each!!) before heading off to the Silk Market: 5 floors of stalls selling various goods- we brought out our bargaining skills n got good deals :)
Sun n Mon we chilled out n sorted out our onward travels plans. Tue we made our way to the Great Wall, Badaling section (the tourist bit) Which took about 2 hrs to get there. The section of wall we climber is 6metres in width n height and the steps get very steep in places, often meaning u need to use the central hand rail. Our section of the wall wasn't too busy once you'd reached the highest part. We had lunch overlooking the mountains with a chilly breeze despite the sun shining. After lunch we continued to the end of our wall section and of course, this is where I fell over! I'm sure few people can say they fell over (on) the great wall?!
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Wednesday we decided to be adventerous n take the (very modern) rental bikes out for a ride. We were out for 2.5 hrs seeing the sites, luckily most streets have a cycle lane specially designated; however this is still used by cars, buses, motorised bikes, cycles n pedestrains! So lots to watch out for: horn is king of the road!!! Unfortunatley my bikes bell had broked :( but suprisingly I survived without any falls!
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Thursday we went to the Temple of Heaven, where the emperor performs various rituals after 3 days fasting to hope for a good years harvest. We visited a wooden building, the largest in China that is self supporting without nails... N it looks pretty too. Then we returned to the Silk Market for bag buying- Rosie is now a v happy bag lady!
Summer Palace

Summer Palace


The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven


Friday we went to the Summer Palace which is where the Chinese emperors et al chilled out. It mainly consists of a lake, temple n nice landscaped gardens. It was refreshing n scenic so nice to chill out there. Dinner with Perry n Louis before leaving for Xi'an the next day...
Our Fish Just after it was caught

Our Fish Just after it was caught


Our cooked Fish

Our cooked Fish


Our finished Fish

Our finished Fish


Yummm Yummm

Ps. Stupid great wall step!
The Bad Wall Step that attacked Rosie

The Bad Wall Step that attacked Rosie

Posted by RosiePony 04:20 Archived in China Tagged backpacking Comments (3)

Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar and the Ger Camp

snow -9 °C
View RTW - Part 1 (Russia, Mongloia, China, S/E Asia) on RosiePony's travel map.

Arriving in Ulaanbaatar (UB) after the serenity of Irkutsk was slightly soul destroying! Perhaps a dramatic description but UB is a very polluted city where crime rates are high (nothing happened to us) and it has a seedy gritty feel to it despite every now and again happening upon a glass skyscraper which would fit in well in London.
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The hotel of hell

The hotel of hell

Our hotel was a 'dive', the wall paint came off on anything it touched, clothes hands etc n no food was included (thankfully). It was dirty n the facilities kept breaking- from sockets to toilets. An experience nonetheless but one I won't focus on anymore. Good bits of UB- there is a giant Buddha we went to see and next to it up a hill with over 600 steps is a war monument that solidifies the relationship between Russia and Mongolia as brothers in arms. I didn't realise how close the two countries are but Russia is like a big brother to Mongolia (the word of Flora our Mongolian honcho).
One night in UB then off to the countryside, our Mongolian salvation! The Ger camp is situated 1.5 hrs outside of UB. It consists of a mud road leading to the camp, 10-15 Gers, which I will describe in a min, two adjoining big Gers for the kitchen n dining needs of the camp and two lots of 'sheds' one either side of the camp, each containing two drop holes for the toilets (think Slumdog Millionaire toilets)...
P1010687.jpg Our Ger was for 3 people so we shared with Lisa. There were concrete steps leading to each Ger, that faced south with a wooden door providing entry. Bend your head whilst going in (I banged my head a couple of times) n you are greeted with a metal stove with a pipe leading to the roof as the smoke outlet. This is your heating (and cooking as we made cheese n tomatoes on toast for snacks!) so you need to know how to make fire! Jon had this job and he loved it!
After arriving in the camp we hiked to a nearby monastery on the side of a hill which was a 3 hr round trip through a hilly trail where the ice n snow were starting to melt so it was fairly slushy, but fun. The next day we went horse riding, sledging (no husky's this time tho) down the hills, then we had lunch n visited a local nomad family; we were given milk with salt in (yuk) n cheese (two types) which you should accept with your right or both hands. Jon n I went out for another horse ride, this time we were alone with the guide n we went further than before which was cool. The stars that night were beautiful n clear.P1010616.jpg
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The next day Esta, Lisa, Jon n I went for a walk up the surrounding mountains (hillside) n climbed up some torrs that were over the other side of the hill (Geog speak) admiring the views along with the wild horses... P1010654

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After lunch we all took it in turns to dress up in traditional Mongolian dress then played the bone game- using sheep ankle bones- which was fun but too hard to explain here on the blog!P1010694

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Leaving the Ger camp was tough for all of us since we'd had such a fantastic time there n knew we'd got another night in UB before catching the train to China...So when we returned to the city we did the only sensible thing we could think of- had vodka n went clubbing, which resulted in disappointment since all the clubs were closed due to an earlier Political protest in the central square, so to pass time we had dinner n cocktails then returned to the hotel for further vodka. A 5 o'clock wake up call felt like waking the dead- I certainly felt dead until I'd settled down on the train for a few winks ;)  

Posted by RosiePony 05:16 Archived in Mongolia Tagged backpacking Comments (4)

Rosie antics

More things that keep happening to rosie

snow -7 °C

1 last thing to add on is rosie antics of this journey.  Most of the people in our group decided to do some hand washing last night. Not knowing that the owner of the hostel gets angry as water bills are high and she wants us to pay her to do it for us, only one person out of the 7 of us obviously got caught in action. Yes, whilst rosie was washing her clothes she was again being shouted at in Russian having no idea what the lady was saying. The hostlady called the honcho to get him to translate to rosie what she was saying but kept shouting so rosie could not hear him either and continued rinsing her clothes.  Once rosie realised what she was saying and of course finished cleaning the clothes she then stopped. :-)
We were then told by our honcho later that we should all pay for our washing.  As the hostlady had not made any effort to make us welcome in the hostel with not even a hello in the 3 days, our group came to the conclusion that she would not get another ruble from us.  She was probably happy to see us all leave today as we were also all up drinking all of last night and as we had the hostel all to ourselves we weren't the quietest of people!!

Silly handwashing!

Posted by JonoElias 01:19 Archived in Russia Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Irkutsk

Lake Baikal

snow -8 °C

So after 4 long but very entertaining and very hot nights on the train we arrived in Irkutsk (Siberia) at 4:30 am Moscow time, 9:30 am local time. We were woken up early by the grumpy (blondy as we called her- not Maria) Russian carrige attendant lady.

We met our honcho kosta who took us to our bus for the 1 hour drive to lake baikal.  Arrived at our hostel which had some great views of the snowy forest and mountains.
Kosta

Kosta


Then came the huski sledging. After walking through the ice and snow trying to keep rosie on her feet we finally arrived to see about 100 huskys all barking at us. We were give a quick lesson from our honcho on how to ride the sleigh (basically hold on, lean right or left to guide them in that direction and how to stop). Then off we went for a 5k huski trip. An amazing expeience especially when the huskys keep stopping for a fight. Luckily neither of us fell off or got hurt during this (I know, it's unusual for no injuries!)
Louis's favorite husky

Louis's favorite husky

Jon huski sledging

Jon huski sledging


The next day was a long hike up through the snowy forest with amazing views. As it was still snowing, this made it very enjoyable once we caught our breath from all the exceecise we suddenly had and the fact you get freezing cold and then boiling hot followed by freezing again... Once we finally made it to the hilltop and got to the viewpoint we saw some beautiful scenery.
Rosie hangin out

Rosie hangin out


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P1010243


Our honcho decided to take us down the scenic route, and of course, more dangerous route. My thoughts were 'will either of us slip over on any of the snow or ice on the way down?' Yep you all guessed right, rosie kept up to date with daily slipping and was the first to slip that day. :)
Team snow angels

Team snow angels


Once we got to the bottom after multiple snow fights and lots of group snow angels we then walked accross the frozen lake (Baikal) through some very heavy snow. This, although it was freezing, was the highlight for me in Irkutsk as you really felt you could be in the antartic.  It's hard to explain how it feels to be walking accross a massive lake that is completely frozen. I hear you all ask did Rosie fall over? Well that answer is standard now: yes she did. Poor old rosie is now known for her slips by everyone on the tour ;-)someones made a crack...

someones made a crack...

After a long day walking it was time for a Russian sauna which included running out of the sauna in just swimming trunks and rolling in the snow. A very wierd feeling but this was then followed by warming up again in the sauna to then be whipped with pine leave and hot oil. Supprisingly this was all very relaxing.

Dinner with our £3 bottles of champange and followed by the cheap vodka and beer sums up most evenings in russia.

We are now heading back to Irkutsk where we will spend a few hours exploring while waiting for tonights train. This time only 2 nights on the traing until we reach our next destination: Ulaanbataar (Mongolia).

Posted by JonoElias 01:13 Archived in Russia Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

The Train Ride (Choo choo)

Moscow to Irkutsk (27-03-10 to 31-03-10)

snow -7 °C
View RTW - Part 1 (Russia, Mongloia, China, S/E Asia) on RosiePony's travel map.

Our journey begins in Moscow where we caught the 12.30 train from platform 9 and 3/4 (I wish- Harry Potter reference for those less well versed in my obsessions). I'm going to split this entry into sections that are defining journey Moments:
Ice creams n snow on the platform

Ice creams n snow on the platform


The in-mates (Day 1):
Jon n I are in a group of 7 (inc us) consisting of two male 18/19 yr olds (Louis and Perry), two Dutch girls (Esta and Selma) and Lisa a 34 yr old (who is my double) and who we shared our cabin with for 4 nights. This left a spare bed in our cabin. Which, when we got on the train was filled by a 40 something male who couldn't speak A WORD of English who just kept repeating he was from "Ugaslav" and then proceeded to mime drinking Vodka to Jon (it's a male bonding thing apparently) for the next 4 hours whilst trying to get too familiar with me n Lisa :(The first roommate smiling!

The first roommate smiling!


It wasn't so bad once we'd settled into our cabin, and of course I didn't put up with his crap for long so he got firmly told off and behaved ever after... He even invited Jon n I to his house should we come to Russia again - unfortunately I've lost the number...
We learnt a lesson and without realising it Jon suddenly had two wives (Lisa and I), which didn't seem to concern him too much but saved me n Lisa from alot of unwanted male attention on the rest of the journey.Jons Wives

Jons Wives

The in-mates (Day 2):
Scary Russian number 1 was replaced by nice Russian (Alex) who rather unfortuatley for him had to put up With us all Playing drinking games; 21s and S&P (no crying Anish, sorry) which was fun until the morning, but my hangover wasn't Too bad. :)
We got to know Alex better over the next day and he shared some mini Cornish pasty style food with us (fillings were cabbage or potato or mushroom, v tasty). We met Two Russian akrobats (gymnasts) who were 11 yrs old and practiced their English with us whilst we played card games and I painted their nails (got to keep up standards...).akrobats

akrobats

Summary:
Basically days drifted into one long journey and so I  am going to briefly summarise the main highlights so u don't get bored...(more bored)- in no particular order but noodles
Is number 1 for a reason!
1. noodles and cuppa soup (staple diet)
2. Missed toilet opportunities (train toilets locked 20 mins before n after station stop)- 87 stations stops from Moscow to Irkutsk!!Russian train toilet

Russian train toilet


3. Maria, our Samovar (water heater) train attendant
4. SAS arms soldiers and photo opportunities
5. The band...
6. Toga made From bed sheet as train heating always on HOT!
7. platform stops and nearly Missing the train twice (yes Simon, for Food! But I wasn't alone)7

7


8. Flip flops, shorts n T-shirt in snow  eating ice-cream on station stop (jon)
9. Flip flops, toga in snow eating ice cream on station stop (Rosie)
10. (Cold) chicken hunting
11. Drying clothes on the train carriage window hand rails
12. Wolf, bear and fox spotting (zero sightings so far)
13. Giggling till I cried (this has happened at least once a day since meeting Lisa who is my twin!!!)
14. Falling over - this has happened at least once a day to me with photo evidence too :(
15. Getting shouted at (by a Russian) this is a now almost daily event for me, no matter what I do, I do something wrong...!
16. Even though we travel through 7 different time zones the train runs on Moscow time so it's hard to know and adjust to what time it really is each time the train stops.

That's it folks, until the next train ride, ta ta x x

Posted by RosiePony 01:12 Archived in Russia Tagged train_travel Comments (1)

Moscow

But no Maffia

sunny 4 °C
View RTW - Part 1 (Russia, Mongloia, China, S/E Asia) on RosiePony's travel map.

So Moscow- the Kremlin, armoury (Faberge eggs), Lenin, Red Square, Arbat n lots of walking!! We've been here for 3 n a bit days now and whilst Moscow is great, it's not for me when compared to St P :( but it is interesting in it's own right ...
More pictures of Moscow to follow onceweve retouched with Internet- this is to fill the gap from Moscow to train ride!
So our tour 'officially' began yesterday when we met our Honcho (city guide) who is called Marcha n who is v v v excitable, so we get on well... She had so many ideas about where to take us all but cos most of us had been in Moscow for a few days we'd done the tourist stuff so she was a bit disappointed :( she ended up taking us to the Vodka Museum (imagine that, Rosie in a room filled with hundreds of bottles of prime Vodka) where we had a tour (really interesting) and a shot of (very nice) vodka. Mmm.
After that we returned to the hostel to do chores-wash our clothes- hence why I was in the toilet late last night using the hand dryer to dry my tops!! lol
Anyway this morning is the big train ride; 3-4days on a train from Moscow to Irkutsk across Russia...questions running through my mind are:
Was everyone at work right? (that I'd get left on a platform because I was scoffing food n didn't realise the train was leaving)
Was packing a sink plug worth it?!
Who will help me entertain Jon for 3-4 days??
How much cuppa soup can one person consume without dying from lack of vitamins etc...
How much choccy should I buy for the journey!?
How will I cope with the days merging together...
Will the Babooshkas sell me food? Or will they see Monster Rosie (I.e. Hungry Rosie) coming?
So...packin done breakfast now... So until Irkutsk, ta ta x x x

Posted by RosiePony 00:21 Archived in Russia Tagged train_travel Comments (3)

Last day in St Petersburg

Then to Moscow...to meet the mafia

snow -2 °C

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So this is (Monday) the final day before we fly to Moscow tomorrow.

To sum up the 3 days we were here:

We saw a car crash, we saw a big fight in the middle of the road, and I almost stole 50 rubles from the lady on the bus. Rosie cut her finger, burnt her hand and slipped on some ice down some steps. Oh and we also saw some great sights :-)

Today was spent visiting the Church of Spilled Blood which did look pretty amazing inside and Rosie has taken some great pics of all the art work. We then went for a walk accross the frozen river (but we stayed on the bridge) to Peter and Paul's fortress. We had a long walk around there mainly looking at the Cathedral and the Prison (where I am sure rosie would have loved to leave me)...

In the middle of all this we took a really nice walk through a park packed with snow. Obviously we had to jump in to it; knee deep, then lie down to make snow angels until it got too cold for us. Childish fun games in the snow, you gotta love it.

More from moscow ...

Posted by JonoElias 13:16 Archived in Russia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

The Hostel

No not the scary horror movie!

rain 2 °C
View RTW - Part 1 (Russia, Mongloia, China, S/E Asia) on RosiePony's travel map.

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St Petersburg (or Eatersburg as i typed on Facebook - no reference to food intended Whiteley) is wet wet wet! But the hostel we are in is hot hot hot! Def no need for thermals in here! There are some really cool ppl in our hostel so fitting in well :) we had free vodka n orange tonight after cuppa soup dinner with banana n mini bread sticks! It's begun, back to being a student!

The hostel is called The Soul kitchen Hostel - http://soulkitchenhostel.com/ and is well good (don't think i've used that phrase since i was 15!!) ... and you should all come and stay here when you come to Russia! Staff are helpful, friendly and chilled out. OK enough advertising...Sun night; the weekend is over so the people we met headed back on their travel paths (must have been something Jon said) so last night we got the 6 people dorm to ourselves (and again tonight) so less noise = more sleep :)

The hostel is located about 5 mins from the main road so Jon and I (of course) went down the wrong street for an hour on our second day) - on purpose, to expore (ahem!) guess who was map reading (no, not me!). it was fun though as we got a better feel for another side of St Petersburg. Once you get onto the main road at the end is the Hermitage Museum (the big one with millions of exhibits - they say to glance at each one would take 9 years - so we didn't bother and just did a RoJo 2-3 hr dash...!) which was good. Then we went to St Isaac's Cathedral up to the top of the roof for lunch, home made sandwiches - keeping up the Partington tradition :) and took in the city views.

Planning to go to the Church with the colourful roof cones (called something about blood - Jon will tell you) and the fortress tomo...which is a nice long walk away over two bridges - may try an ice crossing if its thick enough (joke mum)...

This is the short and sweet version (can u tell i am sleepy...) Jon will shortly post the next update...

Posted by RosiePony 13:09 Archived in Russia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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