This is a view from the deck of the Princess Maria, a ferry that hold about 1500 people and attempts to show them a good time as they cruise from Helsinki to St. Petersburg.
It is not a Carnival cruise. There is a small casino and some musicians, but passengers on this ship are aboard for only about 15 hours. The upholstery is blue velveteen and has seen better days, but it was not disappointing, as my expectations were realistic.
We arrive in Russia at 9:30am and grabbed a cab to our hotel. I regret that we have no picture of our cabbie, a man of firm opinions with a thick accents and at high volume, but with many hand gestures and a rather jolly attitude.
"Mr. Putin" is good. Obama doesn't listen. China is our friend. Don't like Clintons. Life was much better under communism, when he had a good salary as a cab driver. Now, he is his boss and he works much more for less money. He say "Taxi drivers are the niggers of Russia." He used the same descriptive word for Obama.
After man wrong turns, we arrived at our very nice hotel and set off to see some St. Pete.
These shoes are made of chocolate. Louboutins.
Dined at a great restaurant, sort of nouveau Russian/world food. Best meal so far. But this place could have been in Barcelona or San Fransisco or anywhere - vintage wood, cool lighting, visible kitchen, old brick walls. In the west, at least, ther are no differences in what is popular or hip. We've seen plenty of man buns in Russia and tattoos in Finland.
Again, is a tad disappointing that foreign is not very foreign any more. To the good, people do not seen to have any prejudices about Americans, like many did back in the 70s when we were truly foreigners. I guess they get that we are not our politicians and we know that they are not theirs.