To St. Petersburg round the Baltic Cruise - St Petersburg at last

Previous page - Tallinn

Next page - Gdynia

Back to St.Pete's Cruise Index Page

Back to Cruise Index Page

Back to Tourism Index Page

Back to Ken & Avis' general Index Page

St Petersburg

Luckily, the Braemar was moored on the English Embankment as far up the Neva as it is possible to go before the drawbridges across the river. I had a coach to take out for a Round-the-City tour (Avis came as a guest) & mustered at 0840 but no coach. The procedure of getting into Russia is as paranoid as it has always been, since they started the country in 1283 & we had to queue at immigration, hand over a form, have the form bisected & our passports stamped, before getting on the quay. I chatted to Emma, one of the specs-wearing show girls, like me on coach duty & she said she danced in contact lenses or there would be a disaster. Eventually, I did get a coach with the charming Nadia & driver Oleg & we set off, first to St. Isaac's Square for a photo stop, then to over a bridge ditto for the St Peter Fortress, then to a giant rubbish shop, where we bought Bessie another ethnic doll & saw Peter the Great's original hut.


Tsar Nicholas I

St Peter & St Paul Fortress

Peter the Great's 1st home here

Then to the Cruiser Aurora, which one can walk round freely, as it still seems to be on active service. This ship gave the signal to start the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 by firing a blank shell.

The cruiser Aurora

The gun that started the revolution

Aurora's bridge

Off to the modern (1911) but over-the-top traditional-looking Cathedral of the Spilled Blood, the blood being that of Tsar Alexander II, who, as a liberal who freed the serfs, might have made Tsarism popular & thus, had to be bumped off.

Maritime College (next to Aurora)

Canal near the Spilled Blood

Cathedral of the Spilled Blood

I had the usual people who cannot tell the time but we were back at 1238 but it took another quarter-hour to get through emigration. The Ivans need to loosen up. After lunch, I took photos, then processed them. We had dinner early at 1700 in the Thistle Restaurant This was because we were going to the ballet evening which was unspecified but turned out to be in the Mariinsky Theatre attached to the Conservatoire. The coach was early & I filled in the time by expanding a bit on my Tchaikovsky talk, for which I was applauded. We got the 'whole' of Swan Lake, allowing for a number of cuts, items moved around & the unhappy ending replaced by a happy one! Duh! Given that, it was well done but during the first act, some Japanese kept jumping up & taking photos or filming, despite being told it was forbidden, quite reasonably. We read the riot act to the Fred Olsen representative, she read it to the theatre & a 'girl' looking like a Soviet Olympic weight-lifter read it to the Japanese. Since they had lost face badly, they did not come back. Japanese do not like being bawled out in front of other people, especially by a women. We were back quite late.

Day Two: Palace trips on these links:-

Hit this link for our trip to
The Catherine Palace

Hit this link for our trip to
The Yusupov Palace

We have to stay overnight in St. Pete's, as the Russians want to extract the largest possible amount of real currency from us. In the evening of the second day, we sailed back down the Gulf of Finland on our way to Gdynia in Poland.

Panorama of St Petersburg looking East from the ship as we sailed away.

We are sailing...

Nuclear submarine, looks just like ours.

St. Isaac's through the cranes.

Shoreline over Kronstadt Island, of mutiny (in)fame

The Peterhof from the Gulf, as the Sun catches it

Port 1 - Ijmuiden & Kiel Canal

Port 2 - Stockholm

Port 3 - Tallinn

Port 5 - Gdynia

Port 6 - Warnemunde

Port 7 - Copenhagen

Previous page - Tallinn

Next page - Gdynia

Back to St.Pete's Cruise Index Page

Back to Cruise Index Page

Back to Tourism Index Page

Back to Ken & Avis' general Index Page

Contact: Ken Baldry at 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 or e-mail him
URL: Last revised 15/6/2011 ©2011 Ken Baldry. All rights reserved.