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Last night on the way to the train station, two backpackers and a cameraman asked us for directions. They were filming a NBC TV show called "Lost." Of course they were lost in Moscow. As the cameraman filmed us giving directions, we tried to be charming for the ratings. Since we're not interesting TV personalities we don't expect to appear on the show. We lost our chance to be "discovered." The overnight train from Moscow to St Petersburg costs 300 roubles ($10) and we arrived early this morning. St. Petersburg looks more European than the rest of Russia. No Siberian log cabins or concrete apartment houses. No big Moscow highrises. No drab Communist architecture in central St Petersburg. The building facades look like ones in Paris or Vienna. The canals remind us of Amsterdam. Russian tsar Peter the Great founded this city in 1703 as his "window on the West." He succeeded in creating it with a distinctive European flavor unique in Russia.
Beautiful St. Petersburg - speedily built in a few years. During that time all visitors were required to bring a few bricks (a brick toll) to help the building effort.
People sell there wares. The strange thing here is that they only sell one or two items; it's as if they're selling their only other shirt or dress (which in fact they may be doing).
Our Russian hosts in St Petersburg, Sasha and Danya.