Male Orienteering and a Cleansing: Monday 16th April

Having originally spent a fair few hours planning a meticulous walking itineary, which would allow us to see almost all of the recommended sights in as short as time as possible, it was tactfully suggested by certain members of the group that such an itineray would result in the sucking of all fun from any such activity, and so said plans were abandoned in favour of setting off without a detailed map in what promised to be an ‘interesting looking’ direction. We were aiming to spend time walking around Piter’s collection of Northern islands (the largest of which are Vasilyevsky Island, Petrogradsky, Dekabristov and Krestovsky), taking in the sights and abosrbing the general ambience of the place, and as usually happens in such situations we ended up hopelessly lost, trying to pinpoint our location using the map that was given to us by the hostel (which whilst inconpicious was to be frank, useless), ‘You are here’ information markers (as frequent as unicorn mounted leprachauns), and that tried and tested method of male orineteeing: ‘gut instinct’. Six hours and about 15 km later we had finally gathered our bearings, whilst remarkably having managed to see most of what I had originally planned for such a trip; turns out there is a lot to be said for seemingly sporadic walking afterall.

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A scale model of the Mariinsky Theatre.

This afternoon we continued our trek down to the glorious Mariinsky Theatre, which whilst sadly long since sold out for shows during our stay in the city, was still an architectual triumph; an inspirational source of wonder which was well worth the trip. After this theatrical pilgrimage we headed off to the beautiful Vitebsk Train Station, to wallow in its grandiose Art Nouveau designs and to get our train fix for the day, after over 10000km we need to slowly nurtured off our habit. As we attempted to head back to the hostel via the central market (which appeared to be nothing more than an ugly shopping mall), the heavens opened, quickly soaking us both to the core and once more leaving me ever-so-thankful for my non-existent circultory system. On a more positive note, the heavy showers meant that my clothes finally no longer stank of smoke and shame from the enforced Suzdal BBQ incidences.

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About truehamlet

Sam is a senior lecturer in Science Communication, who researches the different ways in which media such as poetry and film can be used to communicate science to new audiences.
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