Last month four women left an appartment in Chechnia. So far three have been found dead at terrorist attack sites. The last one blew herself up outside the Metro in Moscow. These are the conditions we are entering the country under. Scary.

Walking tour of city followed by dragging Runty around a few museums including the naval museum and the fort. The fort holds several small museums including the coin museum (aka the coin shop) the printing museum (aka the print shop) and the prison museum where Lenin locked up his brother and had him killed. Nice people those commies.

I bought a fox fur had which I wear everywhere much to the amusement of the locals. I have christened it Samantha Fox. And before anyone gets all high and mighty about fur being murder I eat meat every day so I am already evil. And why should the cute animals get to live when the ugly cows and chickens get it in the neck in their millions?

Had a great introduction soviet style bureaucracy when I tried to get some laundry done. Initially I was told that there was no laundry service until Monday but after talking to several members of staff I got some action. Normally hotel laundry involves putting your stuff into a bag and it turns up clean. In Russia you get given a form to fill out where you itemise each item right down to your dirty undies in one column and put their cost to wash in another then total the lot up. I nearly caused a panic when I put the numbers and prices in the wrong columns. Fortunately they let me complete another form and normality was restored.

The other thing about Russia is that everything is BIG. St Petersburg just blew us away. The walking distances for even the smallest trek on the tourist map were huge. To give you an example the escalators in the underground are faster than the ones in London but it still took two and a half minutes to travel down the one by our hostel. Throughout our time in Russia our guides would frequently say things were built to be the biggest in the world to impress the West.