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St.Petersburg

Thursday 20th September 2018 - Peterhof

St. Petersburg English Embankment

For some reason, we were berth edout at the new cruise terminal, miles out of town, instead of at the English Embankment. Up even earlier. We took the coach to the Peterhof. This time, we were allowed in & they have done a wonderful restoration job. Pictures are worth 1,000 words. Unfortunately, there were some marquee-like things by the fountains, as Putin was coming the next day. However, I have my 1985 photos of them.

;

In the evening, we went to the Mariinsky Theatre for another mucked-about “Swan Lake” with a happy ending. Back late & into the Palms Café for snacks.

Friday 21st September - A Russian Family visit

Up late for us & breakfast in the Grampian, as the others shut early, having opened early. I worked on talks all morning. After lunch, we took a mini-bus escorted by one Alexandria to a flat near the Neva in the city centre. This was a Family Visit Tour &, taking it at face value, this is what we got. The flat was 19th Century & rather scruffy. It was what they call a 5 room flat i.e. that plus bathroom & kitchen. By Russian standards, this is enormous. We were entertained by Anastasia, who said her husband worked in an aero-engine factory. He must be a very senior engineer to afford such a large flat. Allegedly, other family members share it but we only saw her little daughter Maria, who was 5, fat & shy, although one of our grannies got her going later. We were fed blinis, cakes & tea (without milk) in tiny posh but unmatched cups in a narrow room. The flat had high ceilings. Anastasia answered all our questions, helped by Alexandra, in moderate English.The visit lasted nearly two hours with a few minutes to poke around, admiring her 9 year old sonís football trophies but we did not see him. Maria had a large room, I thought, for a little girl in a small flat.

The flat, 1st floor of this building

Our group. Note walls & CRT telly

Blinis

Maria & Anastasia

Maria's room, shared with brother

1950's kitchen

The son's football trophies

Hallway

Now, this all calls for comment. No English person woud show anyone a flat like this. Presumably, they did because it is much larger than a flat in one of the new or Soviet blocks. We were more impressed by the poor decorative state & iffy-looking electrics. Alexandra, the native guide, late-20's? very well groomed, had her own flat & car, a 1st degree & Masters in Agriculture, smooth, efficient & said she preferred guiding. Come on. She had cop written all over her. I suppose she was there to field any dodgy questions but, as usual with the KGB, was very polite & helpful.

The volume of the Show Team was reasonable this evening. It was a Frank Sinatra tribute and very good, although I thought the tesstura rather low for one of the male singers.

Saturday 22nd September 2018 - Day at Sea

A pretty rough one. We were never allowed on deck and many people had difficulty moving about. It was a formal evening & not many people in the Thistle Restaurant or the show, which was Leo Shavers again. He is very good.


Port 1 - Copenhagen

Port 2 - Helsinki

Port 3 - St.Petersburg

Port 4 - Riga

Port 5 - Travemunde

Port 6 - Kiel Canal


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Contact: Ken Baldry at 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 or e-mail him
URL: http://www.art-science.com/Tourism/Cruises/SP2018/CR3.html Last revised 1/10/2018 ©2015 Ken Baldry. All rights reserved.