I can not believe I am here (day 153)

I am sitting on my backpack in front of the Winter Palace (my back to the Alexandrine Column, for those who know and care), watching the sun rise ever so slowly over the top of the buildings lining the Moika Canal.

The little ship on the golden spire of the Admiralty building is just catching the sun, the city is stirring after another night, and the statues on the top of the Winter Palace are waiting for another in their daily crops of tourists.

If only I had a better camera.

It is quite surreal to be here really. This is my third visit, but I still find it bizarre that all the old stuff is still here.

The city is looking amazing. Many of the buildings on the main streets (and many of the streets themselves) have recently been renovated, although I secretly prefer the more dingy, not yet renovated end of town. It all seems a lot more prosperous and a lot more western than I remember it. This seems like a good omen, given that I came here to get some westerness.

Now I just need to find the hostel. And a decent cup of coffee.