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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Are we in the right place?

Day 688

Did we go to the right place? According to google maps we did, but from the look of the what was on the walls, we had our doubts.

Just one morning left before catching our (unwanted) flight to Latvia and then the overnight bus to St Petersburg. We noticed that the Museum of Contemporary Art was very close to our Apartment, so rather than go right into the centre of the city, it made sense to go to something nearby, then catch our train and bus to the Airport.

We have noticed that often the entrance to a place, be it a supermarket or a museum, can be quite inconspicuous, and, of course, the Entrance wouldn’t say ‘Museum of Contemporary Art’, but ‘Нацыянальны цэнтр сучасных мастацтваў’, so when we saw some art beyond a plain door which seemed as if it was in the correct place according to Google maps, we entered.

We paid our entrance fee and put our bags in storage and wandered around. I will say that the art was contemporary, meaning that it was created in the last few years, however rather than the usual weird and whacky installations, what we saw was nice paintings, the kind that you might have in the art centre of a pleasant, middle-class, parish town in England. Mmmm…were we in the right place? Knowing #Grownuptravellers, probably not!

We strolled around two small rooms and did wonder “is that it?”, but then discovered a third room with a mezzanine floor. There we found a couple of fabulous sculptures made from soldered bolts. That’s more like it.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful; train, bus, plane, bus, coach – all leaving promptly.

I must add that I do not understand why people have reams of plastic wound around their suitcases. Yes, I realise that it is to protect their bags and stop the luggage getting dirty, but isn’t that the point of the pack in the first place? Isn’t protecting the protection bag a bit OTT? And more importantly, what happens to all that plastic? How long does it take to decompose? Do people still have their head in the sand about plastic waste and the environmental crisis? We’re drowning in the stuff, well, we’re not, but sadly plenty of marine animals are.

OK, enough said for now, but the good news is that in the early hours of day 689, the coach crossed over the Narva River in Estonia, and we then entered Russia through the International Border Crossing in Ivangorod. Hurrah! We are now in Russia. No ban in sight! (And yes, it was minus 2 degrees brrrr)

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