"This is St. Petersburg, Russia," Phil says, as though this isn't our third consecutive Sunday of looking at this place. He adds that it was "founded as a military stronghold by Peter the Great," who really sounds like a modest sort, and is an "imperial city renowned for its majestic architecture and massive seaport." That's a lot of info to pack into an introduction. Phil speaks to us from the narrow beach on the water side of the seventh Pit Stop, the Peter and Paul Fortress, whose name makes me wonder whether Phil is ever going to tell us anything about its other namesake, Paul the Pretty Good. Dude must have been the Peter Scolari of eighteenth-century Russia.
Nat and Kat, who won the previous leg, are leaving at 1:06 AM, even though the northern sky in the background is an eerie periwinkle. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, given that they're still far enough north to require winter jackets in June. Nat reads that they'll be flying to Muscat, Oman, which Phil says is more than 4,000 miles away. Phil says that when they get there, they'll need to find a place called Burj Al Mubkharah, which looks like an old hilltop fort. There, they'll find a man who will give them a silver ingot with a time stamped on it. This intro is filmed in the dark, but since we clearly see that the ingot he's holding is stamped 08:00, it takes a lot of the suspense away from what follows. The time on each team's ingot is when they can climb the steps to the fort and get their next clue. Team @ hurries away from the mat, making "Oh, man" jokes about Oman already.
In an interview, Nat gives us an update on how racing with diabetes is going: she's been "crafty" about working on their schedule. Well, okay, then. The world's diabetics will certainly be able to use such detailed and specific advice. Very inspiring. Kat says they'll be stopping off at a travel agency to get tickets before proceeding to the airport. You know, St, Petersburg is famous for its all-night travel agencies. That was also the case when the city was called Leningrad, but all you could get then were one-way train tickets to Siberia.
Brook and Claire are starting the leg at 1:28 AM, and it's not much darker outside. It's a little freaky. Also freaky: the amount of makeup Brook's wearing this morning. Or maybe she just looks so different because her mouth is closed. Claire interviews that she knows she'll never be as fast as Brook, but she doesn't want to disappoint her (and the "little neon backpack" that always seems to be zipping around ahead of her). And all this time I thought Claire was hanging back to try to get away from the sound of Brook's voice.