The first part of the trip is over. Cultural exchange with lbg Ekaterinburg has finished few days ago and all participants are spread around the world now – Italy, Germany, France, Sweden, Far East of Russia (Irkutsk). As I stayed in Ekaterinburg to “kill” the summer I have some time now to summarize last 3 weeks of our lives. 3 weeks, 4 cities to pass and 100 things to see and new impressions to get. What have we learned? Helsinki – never come to this city during midsommar (23d of June) – it is dead. No cars, no people, no public transport. The result – we missed cheap minivans to get to Saint Petersburg as there were no transportation from Viking line terminal.

Saint Petersburg – for me it’s the best city in Russia – the most beautiful, hospitable, artistic and just alive. Some say that it’s the most European city of Russia as it’s closer to Europe as well as it was founded more than 300 years ago by Peter the Great – Russian king who opened for Russia “the window” to Europe starting liberal reformations and trade relations with Europe. IMG_2036.jpg

The city was a capital of Russia for about 200 years therefore it is full of great palaces and cathedrals. Winter_palace.jpg Royal square and Winter palace (hosting the famous Hermitage museum now) IMG_1971.jpg St. Isaak cathedral

SPb did great job during the big revolution in Russia in 1917 as well as II World War. Aurora.jpg Aurora – the hero ship who won lots of battles.

In spite of its royal history the city lives full party life. We were lucky enough to witness the total mess of the final school graduation day – thousands of people in the street shouting, parting and drinking, concerts, fireworks and a ship with red sails “Алые паруса» - the simbol of the event. Alie_parusa.jpg


Moscow – 12 mln people – always full, messy and moving. One of the most expensive cities in the world It still has a charm of old historical city (It was founded in 1047), however it starts to be replaced by newly built skyscrapers, fashionable shopping malls (Sales of Armani boutique in Moscow are higher than common European ones). Flamingo has visited the best sites of the city… IMG_2833.jpg


Ekaterinburg – the city in between 2 continents – Europe and Asia. Always fighting to be called the third capital of Russia. Industrial city which is supposed to be a typical representative of ordinary Russian life…. Is it true or not? It is to decide the guests of the city (Tobias, Ste, Emilie, Baris, Tanya, Nico & Jesus – waiting for your comments about my native “village”.

So what have we figured out about Russia during 2,5 weeks crawling around? It is a huge country (ask Nico & Jesus who spend not hours but days traveling from 1 side of the country to another) with crappy trains…


…with people who don’t speak English

perfect_russian_english.jpg A poster in the Internet café in Saint Petersburg

…but who are always happy to share a shot of vodka with you… IMG_1431.jpg

Welcome to Russia!


p.s. Latest news from our travelers – Nico & Jesus finally arrived at night to Irkutsk after 50 hours in another Russian train and now are on te way to rave party on Baikal lake…Good luck to crazy flamingo team;)