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That is why we need to travel.

If we don't offer ourselves to the unknown, our senses dull.

Our world becomes small and we lose our sense of wonder.

Our eyes don't lift to the horizon; our ears don't hear the sounds around us.

The edge is off our experience, and we pass our days in a routine that is both comfortable and limiting.

We wake up one day and find that we have lost our dreams in order to protect our days.

The Questionnaire

The Questions:

Who Said What?

Comments, Quippettes, or Pictures:

What was your favorite place?

All: St. Petersburg, Russia

Quotes from St. Petersburg:

  • We rocked this burg! (after staying up all night singing karoake and slow dancing with old ladies to Russian dirges sung by passing drunks). "Good night St. Petersburg, we love you...we're OUT!"
  • Oh...you really shouldn't do that (to the guy splashing water on his face using his bare hands from the banks of the Neva River)
  • If money...how you say, burden you; throw on ground
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee! Best car in all of Irkutsk
  • You are strong, like Rasputin cock...greatest cock in all of world
  • Peter the Great...horse guy
  • What in the heck is a mullet? (in refernce to the most fashionable male haircut in all of Russia)
  • Oh, we bought our tickets on the internet (as Bethany cut in front of hundreds of people in line to buy tickets at The Hermitage)
  • booooooooo boooooooo (all the people in line at passport control at the Moscow airport as Mike and Bethany cut to the front)
  • NATASHA! [come translate what I say] (Grand Cherokee-driving Irkutskian to his wife)
  • My grandfather saved the orange tree grove from the Nazis (really...?)
  • What is name? 100 Rubles (security agent in the metro stop fining Mike for taking a picture. If only we were smart enough to give him another 100. He would ask: "What this for?" as we snap another picture of him)
  • We got this place dialed in! (St. Petersburg's confusing-as-hell Metro system with signs only in cyrillic that only vaguely resemble the map you're holding in your hand)
  • Its getting day-er!
  • uuu-uggghhh (the sound an amused Russian man makes when he sees Swedish soccer fans crying in the stands - Russia 2 - Sweden 0 Euro 2008)
  • Here is new bush. Same as old bush, new name: new bush (Russian naming system post-Perostroika)
  • How do you spell that? Capital 6, two backwards "N's," an "H," an onion thingy, a delta, and then a "P" (many cyrillic words)
  • When your cock comes away from your body, the game is over (direct quote from Rasputian's severed penis)
  • It was hard but I took it deep (in the spirit of Rasputian's member in its formaldehyde sarcophagus)

What was your favorite church?

  • BB: Cathedral of the Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg
  • MB: run down Orthodox cathedral outside of Peterhof, St. Petersburg/Petrograd
  • BF: little blue Orthodox cathedral with possible dead person laying outside, Riga

Others of particular note:

  • Baroque Cathedral in Riga with the lucky tile out front
  • Huge Orthodox cathedral in Tallinn where we saw people getting mass
  • Enormous Orthodox cathedral in Riga
  • Lutheran Church in Helsinki, very large

What was your favorite experience?

All: singing karoake at the Neva River in St. Petersburg

Oh, we rocked that burg with the sax playing guy, the Irkutskins, the couple from Kansas on the cruise, and the friends who invited us over for the barbeque

What was your favorite piece of art?

  • BF: Matisse's The Dancer, The Hermitage St. Petersburg
  • MB: Two girls lying down sketch, Riga
  • BB: faggot Napolean, The Hermitage St. Petersburg

Don't forget all of the propaganda posters we got along the way

What was your favorite building?

  • BF: little blue art noveau, Riga
  • BB: the Peterhof
  • MB: art crappeau building with 1/2 brick wall on one side

Other Quotes (to be moved at Editor's discretion):

  • You have big gut-guts. You are hot like walrus. (in reference to the strippers at the Can Can Room in Tallinn)
  • (man dressed in Diesel shirt): dance by yourself, yes dance. Ok now suck on your finger. Ok, now go over to those women who are ignoring you, yes!, and dance at them (dance club in Tallinn)
  • the gregarious Finn's hour-long diatribe about the intro-spectiveness of his people; how they often sit for hours without talking, how most decisions are made individually without conversation, and on and on (train to Helsinki)
  • I don't know how they miss all the cracks (Bethany in reference to the women walking in 4" heels on cobble stone streets)
  • "Buuugghh" (brandy vomit by drunk biker with a cane, Tallinn)
  • Russian soccer fans: Ruush-shi-yuh, Ruush-shi-yuh
  • Drunk British soccer fans all wearing the same shirts: Ruskie-yeah, Ruskie-yeah
  • Kiek in de Kok or Keith and his cock (Tallinn medival city wall)
  • Do you speak Estonian with an English accent too? (to waitress at the Texas Honky-Tonk bar whose tagline was: Live to see Texas)
  • Nazdrowie...ojciec. (text message from Bennett which apparently means: cheers...father)
  • Estonians don't know when the solstice is (in reference to the Estonian midsommer holiday three days after the actual solstice)
  • OH. That cannot be higher or tighter. (Estonian border guard's haircut)
  • We are exactly like KGB only no power...or car...can you give me ride (Estonian special police)
  • (Iranian cab driver on the way to the Phoenix airport) Which street please...I'm going to kill you...repeat please...which number...repeat please...I'm going to kill you.
    • So he was an expert at driving, talking on the phone, and holding up the recorder to the phone? Well not an expert, but he did it.
  • One hundred fifty each for cover. (door guy sitting on an otherwise empty stage at the Can Can Room, Tallinn)
    • But aren't you closed?
  • sugar? (waiter at Chinese resturant in Helsinki)
  • Yeah I'll have a sprite.
    • sprite What to drink?
    • A sprite, here I'll show you
  • Thanks Arthur! (to the automatically opening door at the Arthur Hotel in Helsinki)
  • Some Creme de Mint salesman got rich here (discotek in Tallinn where every shot contained Creme de Mint)
    • "Shot from Hell:" drambuie, peppermint schnapps, creme de mint
    • "I'm an Idiot:" (dedicated to the dancer wearing the Diesel t-shirt
  • We drink, we laugh, we cry....maybe some sausage. (gregarious Finn on the train when asked how they celebrate their Midsommer Festival)
  • Welcome to fuckin Estonia!! (crazy guy on street who shook Mike's hand, then gave Ben the handshake fake-out to bear hug causing a frightened Ben to bite his lip)
    • Estonians really look down on public drunkeness
  • Why would you go to Germany, its just a bunch of rubble (Bethany's WWII veteran grandfather upon her first trip to visit Mike)
  • (huge American girl wearing a bright blue dress in Tallinn) Yeah we're on ___ ____ street. You know right by the old church (NOTE: there are many, many old churches in Tallinn)
  • This is a fine example of the art crappeau movement in architecture
  • What's today? Is it yesterday or tomorrow?
  • Our week-long week ended last night. (Riga, midsommer holiday - also three days after the actual solstice)
  • Please, take it to the bridge (Bethany in reference to some really bad Eastern Euro dance remixes)
  • (in reference to the caliper sign in Vilnius) This city is accurate to four decimal places
  • This stuff is like gnocci with buttery heaven sauce (desert that was ordered because it looked like a delicious soup at Forto Dvaras, Riga)
  • Why hasn't anyone taken the straw from that guy? (in reference to the guy at the bar in Vilnius poking every waitress who came by with a pole made by putting 6 straws end-to-end)

The Itenerary

  • 17th June 08 – Arrive into St. Petersburg
Overnight: St. Petersburg
  • 18th June 08 – St. Petersburg.
Overnight: St. Petersburg
  • 19th June 08 – St. Petersburg.
Overnight: St. Petersburg
  • 20th June 08 - catch the morning train to Helsinki.
Overnight: Helsinki
  • 21st June 08 – (am) – (pm) – Catch the late afternoon ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn.
Overnight: Tallinn
  • 22nd June 08 –
Overnight: Tallinn
  • 23rd June 08 – Catch the 17.00 bus from Tallinn arriving into Riga at 21.35.
Overnight: Riga
  • 24th June 08 – Free time to explore Riga
Overnight: Riga
  • 25th June 08 – Catch the 17:00 bus from Riga arriving into Vilnius at 21:20.
Overnight: Vilnius
  • 26th June 08 – Catch the 17:00 bus from Vilnius arriving into Warsaw at 00:20 local time.
Overnight: Warsaw