A Train to Vyborg!

Looking for a short getaway close to St. Pete? Why not consider the historical town of Vyborg? The author of this blog shows how it could happen…

Credit: photocentra.ru

Mr. A: Have you ever traveled on a train in Russia?

Me: Yes! Going to Vyborg was the first time I’ve traveled on a train in Russia.

Mr. A: Good! When did you go to Vyborg and how was your journey?

Me: It was January, the beginning of last year. The train journey was comfortable and pretty calm.

My friend Mr. A. and I were walking on the banks of the Neva river and chatting. In front of us, there was a bridge and ahead of the bridge, to the right side of the Neva river there was the Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace, and a little far away on the left side of the river we could glimpse the Peter and Paul Fortress. It was evening, and there was a crisp coldness in the air. The vehicles were coming and going on the bridge. There was a stillness in the river’s water, and no boat was in sight.

Me: We arrived at the train station at around 9.20 am. The train had to leave at 9.30 am. We were seven friends. We immediately showed our student IDs at the ticket counter, bought the tickets and ran to catch the train. Some friends got a seat to sit on, and the rest of us stood by the door and looked outside.

Mr. A: Brilliant! How far was it from St. Petersburg and how much time did the train journey take?

Me: Vyborg is about 129 kilometers from here and it took us one hour and ten minutes to reach there. The train was clean and WiFi was also available, but it wasn’t working properly. The road was surrounded by trees, and there were also small villages within a short distance. The houses and cars were covered in snow, so much so that it was hard to tell whether a particular object was a car or a house or something else.

Mr. A: Cool! What was the first thing you did after getting off the train?

Me: After checking out the station, we headed to a nearby restaurant to have lunch.

Mr. A: And after that?

Me: After that, we went for a walk along the Baltic Coast looking for a castle that was very important in the Russian and Swedish wars in the Middle Ages. This is a small island in the town of Vyborg, located in the Russian north near the border with Finland. The fort was built in the late 13th century. After walking for about half an hour, we finally saw the castle. The castle is surrounded by water; the only way to get there is via a bridge. We did just that, but we were feeling very cold, our hands and feet were freezing. We walked around the castle, took some pictures and then it started snowing.

Eventually, we decided to pop into a restaurant nearby. The building was old, but it was painted and decorated, so it was looking quite beautiful. The restaurant was on two levels, and we sat on the upper one, enjoying the warmth. We ordered some coffee, which took ages to come but did in the end. We ended up sitting there for almost two hours.

Mr. A: Did you go back to the castle again after your coffee break?

Me: We wandered a little farther to the side of the castle this time. It was still snowing, though, so we quickly made our way back. We arrived at the train station, bought the tickets and boarded a train back to St. Petersburg.

Mr. A: Wow dude! I’ve really enjoyed your story, now I’ll definitely go to Vyborg.

Note: The events described in this blog are factual, but the conversation was created by the writer’s imagination.

Master's student