28-Aug-2004 -- We are discharging our bananas and today I found the time to visit another confluence in the district of St. Petersburg. According to my good experiences with Viktor two years ago on 59N 30E I phoned him and he was immediately prepared to go with me to another confluence.
At 9 a.m. he was at the entrance of the port and we began our trip without delay. Knowing that Viktor is far younger than me and physically in perfect health and shape, I started myself a health program as well, in order to shape up with him. Thanks to my friend Dr. Werner's numerous lectures I was well aware of the fact that smoking is a health hazard and the most important obstacle for my sporty trim. So I stopped smoking already two hours prior commencement of our trip, and I really felt my pulmonary condition improve rapidly.
Through St. Petersburg’s suburbs of Avtovo, Gorelovo and Krasnoye Selo we drove towards the M-11 and took it in direction Ivangorod/Narva/Tallinn (Estonia). At Pruzhitsy we left the M-11 and bent south into the R-39 in direction Os’mino, crossing River Luga at Sabsk.
Shortly north of Os’mino we bent right into a smaller road in direction West. We passed the hamlet of Lyosyshche and shortly after we bent again South into a dirt road, which should bring us to the closest settlements to the confluence, namely Ozhevo and Relka.
This "road" was in a deplorable condition and as it had been raining all night, full of deep puddles. But Viktor does not accept any obstacles and was driving his Lada through the splashing water until we were exactly on 59°N, - shortly NNW of Relka and more or less closest possible to the confluence. There we parked the car.
The area is densely wooded with birch trees, a kind of vegetation I had to cope with already several time in this district. But not having had a single cigarette during the last 5 hours I was in perfect shape, and this time I could follow Viktor without any problem. After about two km walking and jumping through the forest we arrived at the confluence.
The confluence is in the middle of an extensive birch forest and therefore all views look similar. We attach the views to East and West. As usual in forests, due to bad signals the GPS reading was jumping, and we could not manage to zoom perfectly in to all zeroes.
We made a picture of ourselves as well and then we headed back our way. On the way back to the car we could have an eye on other confluence companions, like a Russian caterpillar, bumblebees, further raspberries, and mushrooms.
Finally we arrived at our car and began our way back to St. Petersburg. Normally we are in the "Chernika" (blueberry) season, but at present there are none due to the rainy summer. Another excellent product of Mother Russia's Earth, however, are "Gribiy" - mushrooms. Collecting mushrooms is a very common outdoor recreation for Russian people, and among the most appreciated ones are the "Lisichky" (literally translated: Fox mushrooms) - chanterelles, which mostly elderly people are selling along the roads for a quite reasonable price.
And here we are with the Russian cuisine. A Russian stomach needs healthy and plentiful food. If one or the other reader happens to visit Russia one day (which I highly recommend!), then I advise not to stumble into a McDonald’s or Kentucky Chicken or whatever names they may bear and which unfortunately are now available in major cities as well as the most miserable symbol of capitalism. There they do serve only junk food and are unpolite. Try as much as you can the traditional Russian cuisine, and a part of it are of course the omnipresent "Pirogi". Pirogi are made of fried dough stuffed with either meat or vegetables and cheese.
On the way back we were passing the small hamlet of Kursk, and I made a picture of its disused church. The inscription above the entrance in the old Slavonic church characters, of which the modern Cyrillic alphabet developed later, reads: "VKHODIYA V DOM TVOY POKLANYUSYA KO KHRAMU SVYETOMU TVOYEMU" (When entering Your house, we bow ourselves to Your Holiness").