Here are some pictures taken from the train between St Petersburg and Helsinki.
Firstly, leaving the station and then some that show the living conditions along the way. Most of them are a bit blurry because the train is zipping along at 200 km/h but still interesting I think
To be fair, some of these buildings are not in fact lived in, eg, the empty shell of apartments, but a lot of the others, even those that appear to be derelict, are people's homes. Where there are small villages quite close to the train tracks, some official body has very thoughtfully erected huge steel barriers which you would hope are sound barriers. Personally, I think they are view barriers to stop us seeing how appalling the housing is.
This little hut is quite close to the border so maybe some kind of border control point
And if you look very closely, here you can see the blue and white marker showing the border with Finland. Lost in the blur to the left of it is the yellow and red marker showing the Russian side
And here we are back in the decadent west
I wonder if the Russians who make this trip feel as surprised as I did by the contrast.
In case that view of blue sky and sunshine makes you think it was warm, here’s a lake view with lots of ice in it
And last but not least, here’s the dining car on the Allegro where you can get a three course plus wine lunch to tide you over on the journey from one world to another. Usually, it's packed but here it's almost empty as we are just arriving back in Helsinki