Some quick trip pics and descriptions
This is me outside my old flat in Keskustus, Helsinki. close to Bear Park and the "Kallio" area. Daniel pulled us over in this area and asked if I remembered where we were. If you look just left of me and up you can see a balcany. My 2nd visit to Finland, I would sit out there and drink coffee and eat toast while watching the tram go by and people in the park. Good times!
This is shortly after crossing the Russian border and going past Vyborg. If you heard about the forest fires in Russia, well.... I saw them! You could smell them sometimes in Finland, but you could really smell (and see them) along the highway. We pulled over and snapped a pic and if you are able to enlarge it up and look far to where the cars are, you can see the smoke.
Here's a quick pic to describe the direction Russia is turning. NEW! NEW! NEW! This shot comes of one of many new malls around the St. Petersburg area. You could eat off the floors of this one! Went to the Timberland store and the prices were out of my league. So, if you picture stalls and stuff you've seen in old Soviet-era movies, well... take a look. My fav thing oddly enough (in this mall) was a new Russian franchise called Tepemok which have filled Pancakes and a weird Russian beverage that taste like flat beer. You can see what I'm talking about at their francise website at http://www.teremok.ru/
That's it for photos! I'll dig out some more shortly, but picked those for some strange reason.