Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Kindness of Strangers...


Getting dropped off by the ferry's bus at St. Isaac's Cathedral, we were perusing a large city map when an older gentleman asked in broken English where we were going. When we told him the Hermitage, Anatoli's eyes lit up and he insisted on taking us on an extended walk around the Embankment, pointing out historic buildings like where Doestoevsky and Nabokov used to live, where Rasputin was ambushed and murdered, the famous Bronze Horseman statue of Peter the Great, around the Admiralty, and around the exteriors of the different Hermitage complex to show us some out-of-the-way gems like these giant statues. He also pointed out all the buildings on the other side of the Neva.

How large were those giants? My fist is the size of their big toe to the first knuckle!
Our gigantic St. Petersburg flickr album!


Then on Wednesday, we saw this young mom and her adorable boy on the canal next to the Church on the Spilled Blood. She took our picture too and, when I had finished killing myself with the handstand, came back to us with a present of a fridge magnet for the boys! Spaseeba! (Grazie pa-Russki) Thus, we ended up with a pleasant slap to the face of our preconceptions of "foreigners" and the Russian stereotype of being tough to get to know. Of course, I have a history with Russians and know that they're wonderfully open and friendly people, but some of you out there already know that story...