I'm new here, and interested in hearing about any of you're experiences while in Russia.
For me being from Australia, going anywhere is a looong way :)
But last year I was on university exchange in Sweden and saw as much of Europe as possible. To my surprise this included a trip to Russia that was completely organised for all exchange students in Russia. Despite being over 100 of us, I spent most of the time with another Australian guy and 2 gorgeous Swedish women.
The trip only lasted about 9 days, and was only able to visit St Petersburg and Moscow, due to spending entire nights on the bus. Let me tell you, crossing the Finland - Russia border is an experience in itself ;)
Some of my memories that I hope to experience again in the future, include getting huge amounts of vodka across the border .. when you see the price in Sweden you'll know why everyone needed more than the legal 1 litre .. ? just standing near the road and having 3 cars pull over to take you somewhere for the cheapest price negotiable, eating at quality restaurants on a students income that are cheaper than the McDonalds next door, not being brave enough to stop or think about speaking whiling filing through Lenin's mausoleum and seeing an old man get hit by a car and just get straight back up to abuse the driver.
Oh, and if you're not too old to look like the weirdo, you have to check out a night club in Moscow, think it was called The Crazy Duck, but not sure as we walked passed it about 3 times before realising it was the place with the CAFE sign over the doo! This "cafe" was even better than the Amsterdam "coffee shops" :)
Basically, only being able to say thank you in russian, but everyone was still so friendly and helpful (atleast I think that what was being said about us :), but there was normally always someone who could help us out!
And finally, how can you go anywhere without gambling with you're life. Not sure what its called, as here in Australia it goes by 3 names (Kebab, Yiros, Souvlaki) :) anyway these are normally dangerous wherever you get one, and it was no different in St Petersbury, especially when you see where the meat was kept ... but that didn't stop seconds for anyone .. ?
Anyway, thats my first post over and just have to say that I loved this experience and am waiting until I finish studying to go back to both Sweden and Russia. And when I sign up here it would be great to get to know some lovely ladies of around my age to meet while there, and see what happens ;)
I think you are talking about "The Hungry Duck" but it is a crazy place. Very difficult to find and I walked by it countless times too just looking for it. It is tucked back behind a little alley right near a metro station entrance. Check out their web site http://www.hungryduck.com/ and be sure to view their pictures.
To be honest when we finally found the Hungry Duck and started to go in my girl realized it was not a "respectable place" to be, at least in her opinion. She did not want to go in and did not want me to go in also. :(
Not a respectable place ? That place was on the top of the list us students were handed, so basically everyone ended up there very late this night ;)
And after all that in the 9 days there only 1 guy lost his passport and visa, and was left behind when we left to go home (he got back a few days later!) ... although 3 did have to pay their way out of jail for not having their passport, thats the only reason we got them back ... can't wait to go back ;)