Leaving St Petersburg & Russia tonight for Tallinn, Estonia. Back into the EEC after all this time (though admittedly Estonia wasn’t part of it when I left). St Petersburg is well worth a visit BUT I have found it strange touring buildings, etc again without anyone to comment to and Russia’s visa system kills much hope of a backpacker network. A good weekend break, with company, arranged through a tour agency type of place.
Unless you can somehow score a business visa, Russia is not a backpacker destination, as a tourist visa requires all accommodation to be booked in advance. It is a place of great contrasts and sights, but for the foreseeable future is likely to be dominated by tour groups doing the well trodden trails. Do its key destinations as short breaks. But, I have to say, it is well worth doing. Much more colourful and energetic than the news broadcasts would have you imagine, plus good beer available almost everywhere and tasty, bulky food. Nuff said. Not forgetting the mother of all train journeys if you have the nerve……..