Day 155 | Tuesday August 16
Another busy day in St. Petersburg. I was invited by the consulate of the Netherlands. They are located very close to the Hermitage. I was welcomed by Victoria and Hans Wesseling, the Consul-General. When I got there they showed me an article about me in the Metro, I didn’t even know that I was in there. We talked about about my plans and how I reached St. Petersburg. They even got me some presents, a cap and a coffee mug.
Victoria even arranged that I could enter the Hermitage for free and without having to wait in the que, starting almost to feel like a VIP.
The hermitage was beautiful, didn’t really know what to expect from it but the rooms, the decoration and all the art is stunning. There is art from many different era’s and different countries.
After the hermitage I visited the Russian branch of Bellona. Bellona is a Norwegian environmental company who I visited in Oslo. They helped me with the letter of invitation to get my visa for Russia. I talked to them about their goals in Russia. In Russia they have different struggles as in Norway. For example the government doesn’t give any details about the levels of pollution in the city or others places. Bellona in Russia promotes sustainable living, tries to fight the government by lawsuits and is involved in many other organizations. A full interview will be published soon.
After 3 nights at Samvel’s place I switched from hosts. I always want to meet as many people as possible who plugged me in. I was invited by Larisa. When I met her she took me to the Corona Sport Club. Larisa is connected to these people and they told them about what I was doing. They wanted me to visit the club to tell about my ecological experiences. Together we went to a restaurant were they introduced me to Russian and Azerbeidjzjan food. Most of the people who joined the dinner were related to the sporing club, there was even a world champion wrestling with us.
Larisa was rebuilding their house so I stayed at Vladimir’s house and his wife. He is the owner of the sportclub. Very interesting to see how Russians live. Most people in Russia life in apartments, so did they. The way they decorate their houses is not that different from most European houses.
Day 156 | Wednesday August 17
Elena, who works with Dimitri and Larisa took me for a trip to Peterhof, also know as the Russian Versailles. A series of palaces and gardens, developed by Peter the Great. It somehow reminded me of Disneyland, there are many weird creative objects and fountains. And gold, lots of gold is used on the many statues in this place.
When we got back Vladimir took me for a boxing class. 2 hours long I got a drill exercise which I really enjoyed.
Russians are really the nicest people. They really do everything to make you feel at home and have the best experience here, can’t wait what will happen in the coming days and weeks here.