Gulf of Finland

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Vladimir’s house is one of the newest in Torfyanovska and not quite finished. Hope he can get it done before winter sets in.

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Yesterday was pretty warm and it was the same today. We had a long ride down the highway to Vyborg but there was a shoulder of about 1m in width and the traffic was not too bad. Blueberry sellers set up stalls along the roadside hoping for passing trade but most vehicles are travelling too fast to stop for them.

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Soon after setting off we saw a cyclist ahead of us. We had time for a quick chat as we caught up. He was Sergei, travelling without panniers or proper cycling shoes, but covering big distances. He was aiming to reach St Petersburg today – that’s about 200km. Originally from Russia, he now works in a nuclear power plant in Bavaria.

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On the approach into Vyborg there is a high bridge giving good views of the marshy waters of the Gulf of Finland and the Vyborg castle. We watched some action on the docks where gypsum and coal are either coming or going. This city has been part of Finland in the past but Russia claimed it back after WW2.

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Our Russian language skills are rudimentary at best but we are improving our abilities in reading the Cyrillic script. We have acquired Russian sim cards, explored the sights of historic Vyborg and watched a street procession with stilt walkers, band and mime artists.

Accommodation for tomorrow has been a challenge – it is in short supply, maybe because Russians love to escape to the country each weekend. We have found something, maybe a bit dodgy … stay tuned for details!

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