A week and a half ago Kostia and I and several friends went to Vyborg for their annual film festival. Vyborg is in the Finnish border region and was for a large part of its history a Finnish town. Although I’ve passed through Vyborg many times in the past few years en route to Finland, it’s been exactly 5 years since I actually played the tourist there.

The thing that suprised me most is that it hasn’t changed much in 5 years – while St. Petersburg has been getting cleaner and shinier and better by leaps and bounds, Vyborg still looks dirty and run-down. I can’t really understand it, since that place gets tons of tourism, both domestic and international – and a lot of Finnish euros go there. They have a lot of really special architecture and it’s just going to hell. With a bit of paint, it could really be a historical fantasy village. There are a few bright spots which showcase its potential:

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Less glamorous are the Sea Port, this passport control point, and the forlorn-looking cobblestone streets:

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The graffiti in Vyborg seemed more interesting than average. They must have some clever teenagers there.

The first one, on the side of a church, reads: “There is no god! Church is a cult.”

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