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Arrival St Petersburg, Russia

The Anastasia was to arrive in St Petersburg by 9.30. I was up early and had my stuff ready. I went upstairs to the cafe and luckily found some oatmeal, coffee and a Danish. I sat outside on the deck and watched the arrival into St Petersburg. By the time I was outside, we were in a canal like waterway and coming into an industrial shipping area. I did get some really nice pictures of a nice white bridge that reminds me of Portland's newest bridge. Once we stopped we all started lining up to disembark with our bags. It probably took us 45 minutes to get off the ship. I was close to the end of the line. Once we got off the ship, we went into a terminal and that's where the fun began. We stood in line for at least two hours. There were probably half a dozen windows working on non-Russian visitor but the "work" they do on each person is quite long. It seems that it takes five minutes a person to get them processed. I picked the short line that turned out to be the slowest line. I finally moved to another one and was almost the last person to get checked in. Then we waited for quite a while for the shuttle vans. Wow, was that a mess. Luggage overflow was piled inside the van. Luggage in aisles. I was the second to the last person on that shuttle. Not sure why I gave that driver a tip!

While in line I talked to a couple from the UK. She had just retired and they took the ferry to St P's. They are then headed overland on the rails through Russia and Asia. They will end somewhere I've forgotten, with a flight to Bali and then a flight to Australia, their final goal. OMG! I asked her to put me on her travel blog -- I really want to hear about this trip. We talked about other things...they live in Manchester and she said the homelessness is overwhelming and they are a rich country and there is no need for it. We talked about the price of housing being out of hand. Manchester is sort of central England. They were a fun couple -- what an adventure.

The shuttle dropped us at St Issac Square. I don't have wifi - my SIM card doesn't cover Russia - so I relied on a downloaded map. Amazingly it went pretty well. Finding the hotel was hard. It is on the second floor of a building and it is not well marked. I walked right past it the first time and then walked across the street. Finally figured from the numbers I needed to return to the other side. The number guided me and I found the hotel. I'm at the Comfort Hotel near St Issac Square.

People that work at the desk speak English. The hotel has a charming breakfast room. I love my room. I HAVE A/C. Other than the Raddison where I spent one night in Helsinki, this is the first time I've had A/C. The room is old-fashioned but wonderful clean and chariming with high ceilings, nice drapes, chandelier, shower with jets. Two large windows (never mind that they look out on a construction site) that I get light from. The bed is large and comfortable. I have a desk and plenty of room for my stuff. It is very quiet. I feel like I'm in a 1950's movie or something....but it is really nice and comfy.

I asked the desk where to eat and they suggested Jeromes on the first floor. It was very nice. I ordered a pasta dish and it was very tasty though it had cheese and not tomato sauce. I always think I know what I'm getting! But it filled the bill. They were very nice and speak some English. I ordered a big bottle of sparkling water and drank it all. I decided to spend the rest of the day doing Hop-on Hop-off tours. I was so tired of standing in line in the heat to go through passport control, I needed a break. Also wanted to get oriented to St P's. The ticket was for both lines, red and green. I spend the rest of the day doing both of those lines. Lots of traffic. HOT, HOT, HOT! But I stayed up top with a tiny breeze sometimes. The trip had English earphones. I enjoyed it and had good views of the city.

In the evening I went back to Jeromes because I liked it in there. I had a beer and an crab and corn chip appetizer. It was very tiny. But tasty. After that I walked across the street and found a grocery. The first one didn't have cold beer so I walked to the second. The first was low ceilinged and small but it had a meat market in the back end. Wow. It was crammed with two checkers but did have fresh veggies and I noticed bread comes in small packets of about 8 slices if wanted. I thought that was cool. I bought some cookies. I walked to the next grocery on the same street. This one had no produce or meat but it had cold beer. So I bought one. 92 rubles for a tall one. No idea what kind as everything was in Russian.

I went home and watched TV - couldn't find one English station so gave that up.

I worked on my computer and worked on a plan for the next day, though I had booked a guided tour of the Hermitage before hand. That starts at 9:40 a.m. I stayed up until midnight which is unusual for me with my jet lag. I'm usually asleep, or want to be by 9 pm.

Posted by Linda K 11:23 Archived in Russia Tagged hotel in petersburg st ferry passport russian comfort control grocery hop-on hop-off jeremy's

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