Whale Bones and Our Last Train: Wednesday 18th April

Today was our last day in St. Petersburg, and as our train to Moscow did not leave until 11 pm, we had quite a lot of time to kill. Owing to the fact that the weather was miserable, and that we had walked approximately the length of a famous Proclaimers song over the past couple of days, we decided to limit ourselves to a little stroll, and to surveying the wonders of the zoology museum. Sadly the ticket inspector at the museum was having none of my Japanese student card, meaning that we were forced to each pay the full entry fee of R200 (just under a fiver). However, it was well worth it, as whilst the museum had clearly fallen on hard times (being nowhere near as well kept or as architecturally impressive as The Hermitage), the sheer volume of exhibits was staggering, and made for a very interesting couple of hours. Whilst the museum is allegedly famous for its Wooly Mammoth collection, it was the whale bones, particularly the entire skeleton of the blue whale which they had on display, which impressed me the most; unsurprisingly it was rather large.

Them bones, them bones, them whale bones.

Tonight was the final train that we were to take on this trip: an overnight-er to Moscow, due to arrive at the highly sociable time of 7 am. This was our eleventh night on the train, and despite ours sometimes cramped surroundings and noisy fellow passengers, we have had nothing but good experiences during our railing adventures. Tonight’s train was packed, but mainly with families and respectable looking couples, meaning that we were left in peace to play a few hands of cards and then drift off into a heavily light-polluted and spine-compressing sleep. My only worry is that upon our return to the UK I will be unable to sleep in a bed that is actually large enough for me, and in a room that is not as bright as the centre of a dying sun.

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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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