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Russia - Moscow to St. Petersburg

Everywhere I cycled in Russia was pretty green.
Shopping in Russia is a frustrating experience.  In fact, it appears to be deliberately designed to be frustrating, since there's no way it could be this bad by accident.  I was going to write a whole section on that, but the page was too long already.  This is a fairly typical small-town or village store.  Note complete lack of fruit or vegetables, but abundant supply of Vodka and liquor.

To buy something here, you have to wait in line, and then tell the clerk all the things you want.  They grab the stuff and ring it up.  Take a look at the left edge of the counter next to the scale. That's an abacus. Nearly every village store uses that to ring up the purchase.  As they hand you stuff, they add it up on the abacus.  The funny part is that if you buy something that has to be weighed, they pull out an electronic calculator to do the multiplication, and then add up the total using the abacus.

Novgorod was once famous for making bells.  Here are a few old brass bells.  That's Konstantin in the photo with me.
We basically just took over this whole train car when we went the last 100 km to St. Petersburg.