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Beware of taxi drivers in Russia

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Today I was victim of a taxi robbery. It was pouring rain and I flagged down a taxi from the Hermitage to my hotel the Belmond Europa, which is no more than 2 miles away and I was charged the astronomical amount of 130 Euros for the ride. I had made the same ride in the morning to the museum and was charged 10 Euros. The driver locked the doors and and the windows and I was unable to get down from the taxi or yell to the hotel doorman about the robbery. When I told him I didn´t have enough cash in rubles he said he would take a credit card. I thought about my credit card in the hands of this crook. He then said he would accept euros at a most stupid rate of exchange. This was all so very bizarre. I was trapped with no way out but to pay whatever the guy wanted. Finally I was able to find another 1000 rubles and was left out of the car. Beware, do not flag down a taxi in Russia. If you do, be sure to set up the rate before the trip. I had been adivsed about taxi drivers in Moscow, but I didn´t think the problem existed also in Saint Petersburg!!!

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