Tour Guide - Itinerary

Russia Scandinavia 1981

Started 13/07/1981 Finished 10/08/198129 Days ITINERARY


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During the drive from Helsinki to Saint Petersburg, through beautiful forests over the border of the Soviet Union, we are followed by a Soviet vehicle which is acting suspiciously (KGB????), when Mark Bannerman suddenly stops our bus on the side of the road. Our courier Carmel Smith orders all punters to drop their dacks, (brand new Levi Jeans with Levi tags on), which we had been given by Carmel and carried/wore as if they were our own, through Soviet customs. The new Levi jeans were exchanged for Russian roubles at such a high black market rate, that we all had to go to the Bolshoi Ballet, Moscow Circus, theatre restaurants, opera, cabarets and consume copious quantities of the most expensive alcohol and caviar we could buy/find in the Soviet Union. It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it .......

Saint Petersburg (known as Petrograd (1914–1924) and Leningrad (from 1924), is the second-largest city in Russia. It is on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, with a population of about 5 million. Saint Petersburg is the most populous city on the Baltic Sea, and the world's northernmost city with over 1 million residents.

The city was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 May 1703 on the site of a captured Swedish fortress, and was named after apostle Saint Peter. Saint Petersburg is historically and culturally associated with the birth of the Russian Empire and Russia's entry into modern history as a European great power. It served as capital of the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire from 1713 to 1918. After the October Revolution in 1917, the Bolsheviks moved the Russian government from Saint Petersburg to Moscow.

Saint Petersburg is known as the "Cultural Capital of Russia", has the nickname of the "Northern Capital" and serves as a home to federal bodies such as the Constitutional Court of Russia. It houses the National Library of Russia, as well as the headquarters of the Russian Navy and the Western Military District of the Russian Armed Forces. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is home to the Hermitage, one of the largest and best art museums in the world.

St. Petersburg is "The City of the White Nights" because of a natural phenomenon which arises due to the closeness to the polar region - in summer the night skies of the city do not get completely dark for a month.


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