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From the Saddle or Travel – the reality!  by  Capt’n Cork n Cruisin’ Cate

26 July 2010  From Russia With Shove
When thousands of tourists descend on these popular destinations, the art of push, shove and get in front has been honed to a craft and some of these ten tonners are unstoppable.

We are spending three days in St Petersburgh and later a week in Moscow. So not surprisingly, there’s a huge brush-up on Russian history – between  300+ years of Romanov dynastic Czarist regime.  The turmoils, the overthrow revolution, WW 11, Stalin and the now strange new world.

I’m reminded of the defined difference between Capitalism and Communism….”Capitalism is where one exploits another….Communism is the reverse!!!!”

One thing’s for sure, the Russians put the “A” in assassination – far out, over here Rudd would have been lopped, chopped and buried – he’d be “Kevin in Heaven”.

Russian history is littered with treachery within nobility and the royal family, Romanov were not exempted.  How about Catherine the Great?  Dear Catherine was a 15 year old German princess, married to Peter III Romanov, a seriously vodka pickled moron who failed the bedroom tango.   So Catherine shagged a top weight army general (Igor Pantzoff) who showed how much he appreciated her mattress moves by assassinating Peter the Pissed – so she became Czarina and never looked back.  Tell that to the Electoral Commission!!!

I read that Catherine returned the favour to horny ol’ Igor whenever he was in town – I thought that was a nice touch.

The unrestricted extravagance of the Czars and related nobility beggars belief – talk about flogging the work horse, who of course, were those weather beaten, toothless, hungry peasants.  Ultra lavish palaces with mega hectare gardens (that is a HIS and a HER’s and for summer and winter), so there’s four for starters.  The next Czar and his third wife would unflinchingly pull the same stunt.

Amazing that the Imperialists got away with it for so long. Didn’t the French Revolution send them a message?? What should they have done?   Makes for interesting theorizing.

The cruise industry is huge in the Baltic summer. To give a dimension there are six cruise ships in St Petersburgh today.  Yesterday 4800 shuffled through Peter the Great’s summer palace. It is a 75 minute bus trip from the wharf – figure the logistics.

The passengers on board make up an interesting collection.  There are a significant number of  ’Rose Hancocks’ (diminutive but super confident, Manila folders leading around their rich but terminal grooms).  My bride is seriously offended. Twice the ship has docked with ambulance(s) waiting on the wharf to wheel off an inmate.   Over exertion maybe?  However no announcements were forthcoming from the helm. 

I hope Tony Abbott ripped into Julia about the home insulation fiasco, the Education mega spend (remind me when I get home to give you some info on the building union, no not the ACUNT but similar – re site allowance claims on schools, to ease the excitement.  They gouged $35m…and on and on.

We get scant OZ news on board.  If it isn’t election guff, it’s footy – surely something insignificant is happening, no?

Tomorrow Finland, so we roll on.  Hope all is well.  Cheers and beers

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