workers clear the snow off Voronezh sidewalks during an early morning blizzard

workers clear the snow off Voronezh sidewalks during an early morning blizzard

first scenes of another Russian city other than Moscow!  Was surprised how nice this city was...

first scenes of another Russian city other than Moscow! Was surprised how nice this city was...

snow-covered flowers in front of this huge monument

snow-covered flowers in front of this huge monument

monument to the soldiers... like nearby Stalingrad, this city was also F'd up by Nazis during WWII

monument to the soldiers... like nearby Stalingrad, this city was also F'd up by Nazis during WWII

eternal flame, like the one in front of the Kremlin in Moscow.... it was fun standing by this thing, a nice relief from the bitter cold!

eternal flame, like the one in front of the Kremlin in Moscow.... it was fun standing by this thing, a nice relief from the bitter cold!

Stalin tanks!!!

Stalin tanks!!!

fun in the snow!

fun in the snow!

that expensive coat is covered with it!

that expensive coat is covered with it!

snow and cold can't stop this bustling street market...

snow and cold can't stop this bustling street market...

no need for ice for these fish

no need for ice for these fish

random scenes of Voronezh

random scenes of Voronezh

snow sidewalk stall

snow sidewalk stall

and.... time for some borscht!

and.... time for some borscht!

lovely Ukrainian restaurant, good times!

lovely Ukrainian restaurant, good times!

Taking advantage of the smoking area in the back of the train!  Very comfortable night train, had my own bunk....

Taking advantage of the smoking area in the back of the train! Very comfortable night train, had my own bunk....

.... unfortunately only slept a few hours as the train arrives in St. Petersburg at 4:30am!  I have until 1pm to meet my host, so time for a very early morning walk...

.... unfortunately only slept a few hours as the train arrives in St. Petersburg at 4:30am! I have until 1pm to meet my host, so time for a very early morning walk...

St. Petersburg train station

St. Petersburg train station

sleepy, mostly deserted streets in the early morning hours...

sleepy, mostly deserted streets in the early morning hours...

cops and street cleaners prepare the city for a new day

cops and street cleaners prepare the city for a new day

starting a long walking tour, wish a lot of luggage.... back in 'the game'!

starting a long walking tour, wish a lot of luggage.... back in 'the game'!

entering Aleksandra Nevskogo II church

entering Aleksandra Nevskogo II church

an old lady feeds the birds on a short canal bridge outside the church

an old lady feeds the birds on a short canal bridge outside the church

pro-Russia ribbons (which were very common during the 9 May festivities) adorn many of the graves in this cemetery surrounding the church....

pro-Russia ribbons (which were very common during the 9 May festivities) adorn many of the graves in this cemetery surrounding the church....

I was lucky enough to be able to enter with all my bags, and there was a sermon going on!!  Very interesting, I stuck around for awhile to observe the procession of mostly scarf-clad old ladies...

I was lucky enough to be able to enter with all my bags, and there was a sermon going on!! Very interesting, I stuck around for awhile to observe the procession of mostly scarf-clad old ladies...

during the church procession

during the church procession

surprisingly busy inside this church, as the priests are chanting and the old ladies are very into it...

surprisingly busy inside this church, as the priests are chanting and the old ladies are very into it...

more of the orange and black ribbons attached to many of the graves, some of which include St. Petersburg's most prestigious locals...

more of the orange and black ribbons attached to many of the graves, some of which include St. Petersburg's most prestigious locals...

like this dude... if only he knew he was now immortalized on Google!  Rest in peace!

like this dude... if only he knew he was now immortalized on Google! Rest in peace!

exiting the church.... actual adult (no SuperBaby) angels??

exiting the church.... actual adult (no SuperBaby) angels??

a gorgeous, slightly hot, sunny day along the riverfront

a gorgeous, slightly hot, sunny day along the riverfront

walking along the Neva River

walking along the Neva River

Coming up to a very interesting old bridge... one of the many draw-bridges along the river, which all simultaneously open in the night, stranding most people on whichever island they happen to be on!

Coming up to a very interesting old bridge... one of the many draw-bridges along the river, which all simultaneously open in the night, stranding most people on whichever island they happen to be on!

Looks like someone had a riverside champagne party, topped with a dandelion!

Looks like someone had a riverside champagne party, topped with a dandelion!

Nice place for it, I must agree.

Nice place for it, I must agree.

Outside the gorgeous, teal-blue Smolny Monastery

Outside the gorgeous, teal-blue Smolny Monastery

school groups posing for photos beside the bell

school groups posing for photos beside the bell

3 hours of sleep, already walked about 6km by this point, still going strong!

3 hours of sleep, already walked about 6km by this point, still going strong!

lake reflections at the relaxing, shady Tavricheskiy Park

lake reflections at the relaxing, shady Tavricheskiy Park

... but looks like it's time to clean up the garbage!  most of the bins in the park are like this.  a scrounging dog attack, perhaps?

... but looks like it's time to clean up the garbage! most of the bins in the park are like this. a scrounging dog attack, perhaps?

dandelion season!

dandelion season!

I bet a pimp drives this car!

I bet a pimp drives this car!

Smolny Monastery in the distance, beyond the banner-filled street which eventually leads back to the train station...

Smolny Monastery in the distance, beyond the banner-filled street which eventually leads back to the train station...

My first experience on the lovely St. Petersburg Metro!  Similar to Moscow's, but some noticeable differences...

My first experience on the lovely St. Petersburg Metro! Similar to Moscow's, but some noticeable differences...

busy Ploshchad Vosstaniya station

busy Ploshchad Vosstaniya station

Mayakovskaya station.... one of the differences is that many Metro stations here have metal doors keeping bystanders from the tracks, which only open when trains arrive.

Mayakovskaya station.... one of the differences is that many Metro stations here have metal doors keeping bystanders from the tracks, which only open when trains arrive.

Lomonosovskaya Station, on the green line, the nearest station to Constantine, my CS host...

Lomonosovskaya Station, on the green line, the nearest station to Constantine, my CS host...

the lights are the same as Moscow's Metro, but the advertisements here are in the middle of the aisles, rather than on the walls like in Moscow...

the lights are the same as Moscow's Metro, but the advertisements here are in the middle of the aisles, rather than on the walls like in Moscow...

time for some cheap coffee while I await Constantine's arrival

time for some cheap coffee while I await Constantine's arrival

old ladies selling flowers next to the Metro station

old ladies selling flowers next to the Metro station

Gostiny Dvor Metro station, super busy!

Gostiny Dvor Metro station, super busy!

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