Drunk Finns and Old Buildings in Vyborg

My guide book warned me about Vyborg, a Russian city near the Finnish border.  Watch out for drunk Finns attracted by the Russian city’s cheap booze and lax drinking rules, it said.

It was right on.

As it turns out, Finland’s strict drinking laws restrict alcohol purchases and make liquor licenses hard to obtain.  Russia has no such problem.  As a matter of fact, I watched a kid who couldn’t have been older than 13 — peach fuzz on his upper lip, diminutive size, windpants and sneakers — buy a beer at a store in Petersburg today.

And so, the Finns come to Vyborg to enjoy its scenic pleasures and to drink, with an emphasis on the latter.

In itself, Vyborg is picturesque and ancient, grimy and modern, all at once.  The border has hopped it numerous times, giving it a unique mix of Finnish and Russian characteristics.

There’s also an entire part of the city that’s been relegated to stray cats, ruined buildings, and burnt-out piles of trash.

Apparently, they’re planning to tear this section down to make way for new development, but like the garbage, these intentions are going nowhere fast.

Another strangely beautiful place.


3 Responses to “Drunk Finns and Old Buildings in Vyborg”

  1. Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words … A worn-out old lady looking out of a worn-out brick building, wires criss-crossing in front, feeding a pigeon. Could anything communicate more thoroughly the relegation of this city section to “stray cats, ruined buildings and piles of trash”? Great photo!

  2. I love the photo taken throught the hole in the wall!

  3. Tässä kiva linkki joka kertoo meistä, jotenkin stereotyyppisesti ja en usko, että kuvan kaverit olisi meikäläisiä. johan ne olisi ryöstetty(taas stereotypiaa)

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