Sunday, March 9

Trip Round-Up - Back in the Motherland

Ok, I really need to finish these trip posts, because in less than a week, I'm off to Thailand and I'll have new memories to record.

So, our last day in Norway was the snow shoeing. This was also the only evening that we didn't have an activity that included dinner. Left to our own devices we went in search of a meal that was not bread and cheese. We found the one Chinese restaurant in town and being the only two people there, recieved great service. We had a complete vegetarian meal of soup, salad and spring roll all for the bargain price of $40... each.

$40 dinner

Not daunted, we continued on to a local pub. Where we were harassed by drunk older Norwegians - apparently it was pay day. We were assured by one man that he was "a good man... I have a job, I'm a mechanic... I don't normally get drunk on Wednesday ... I'm a good man." And by a woman who once she found out we were American, first told us to "Piss Off" followed by a "F*ck you" and who then came and put her arms and saggy breasts around us telling us she was sorry and she doesn't actually hate Americans. However, we also met a very cool woman who must have been in her 60s. She had been in the Navy and traveled all over. In fact, she was so interesting we ordered a second round (at $12 each beer) to continue talking to her. Of course, she left 1/4 of the way through our second beer.

Save Water Drink Beer
At the pub

The next morning we had our last breakfast and headed off to the teeny, tiny aiport. Where there was a big stuffed moose. I'm not quite sure why, but here's a picture for you:

Why is there a moose in the airport???

We took our very short flight into Murmansk. With the time difference (2 hours even though Kirkenes is almost directly north of Murmansk... for some reason the Norwegian government thinks all of Norway should be the same time zone...) and the hour bus ride, by the time we made it to our hotel we were hungry. We headed off to the Red Pub:

Red Pub

It's all red inside and the walls are covered with revolutionist posters:

Brothers in Arms

Ah! Back in the Mother Land. Home of cheap vodka and beer. We immediately ordered 200 grams of vodka along with burritos (food gifts of the Mexican Revolutionaries). After the vodka, since it was so cheap we decided to order mixed drinks. Here's my cranberry margarita:

Cranberry Margharita

Approximately 30 seconds after that photos was shot, the entire margarita ended up in my lap. Yep, right onto the only pair of jeans I'd brought for the trip. Since it was just us and one other table (it was only around 6 pm), the entire bar staff saw it happen and they were very amused.

By 7:30 we were contemplating having an early night. However, the bar was beginning to fill with people wearing Spar Tak scarves (one of the Moscow football teams). So we decided to stay and watch the game. And if we were going to be watching football we, of course, had to order a beer. We ended up staying to midnight, talking with this guy (who may have wanted to marry me):

Russian boys are friendly
and some of his friends. It was when his friend the white supremest joined us, that we decided it was time to leave. So we get our coats and walk out. Followed by these two guys - who have not got their coats. They are telling us we need an escort as "People have been killed in Murmansk." "Yes," Bree and I think, "by people like you!" However, in the end Bree and I made it back to our hotel, alone, only to wake up 6 hours later for our flight to St. Petersburg.

There's not really much for me to say about our time in St. Petersburg other than:
  • The flight was so turbulent in a small, boat riding waves in the ocean sort of way, that the guy behind us puked... without a vomit bag.
  • It was rainy and grey
  • We only left Peter's apartment twice, once for lunch and the following morning for the bus station.

  • We took a bus from St. Pete to Novgorod. We were only in Novgorod for about 6 hours, but I really, really liked it. It's quite small both in population and building size. There are big, wide side walks everywhere and the people were friendly... well for Russians.

    We went and saw Saint Sophia Cathedral, built in 1042 this is the oldest church in Russia!

    Saint Sophia

    We tried very hard to find Bree's boyfriend and his ultimate team who were in Novgorod playing frisbee (in truth hanging out with them was the whole reason we tacked Nogorog onto our trip). However, all 10 people we asked said they'd never heard of the address Dim had given us. I was amused... Bree and Dim were not. Eventually Dim came and met us at the train station. And at 9 pm, we boarded the train back to Moscow. We were lucky in that we didn't have to share our berth we anyone else!

    Ceiling of Novgorod Train Station
    Train Station Ceiling

    Train Koupe Home
    Bree relaxing in our train car.

    So that's the last post of the February break!

    1 comment:

    Mickey said...

    That's an incredible trip. That guy in the photo totally wanted to marry you. It's a really good picture of you, too!