Friday, June 02, 2006

Cruise, Day 8: St. Petersburg, Russia

Omigod! There's so much to say and I can't let myself get started!

But for now, I'll say this: The “winds of change” decided to wreak havoc on the plans of mice and men this morning! At approximately 1:30a, the St. Petersburg port authorities informed our Captain that they closed the port due to 35-40 mph strong winds. A cruise vessel already berthed was unable to leave during the night as scheduled and couldn’t leave till 6:30a. Why that’s important is because they were berthed in our spot, so we had to wait till they left before we could dock. Long story short, we didn’t dock till noon today, which meant that all tours scheduled this morning had to be cancelled, including ours to nearby Pushkin, the site of Catherine’s Palace.

That’s definitely one way to get some much-needed rest! But we were up and at it for our 4-1/2 hour tour this afternoon to the Peterhof Pavilions of the Russian Tsarinas and the Lower Gardens.

Again, just to whet your appetite, these few pics: above is one of the Tsarina pavilions. And below just happens to be this 100-year-old Russian Orthodox church (a young one, by Russian standards) as seen from the pavilions.

Near the pavilions, a short van ride away, are the Lower Gardens of the Peterhof Palace: 400 acres with 114 fountains, including the Grand Cascade below. (BTW, we've been on bus-coaches every tour thus far except this one today, which was a 13-person van, plus guide and driver--a nice small group!)

I've been saying "Omigod" all day long and thanking the gods for a mostly sunny day. Tomorrow we have a morning and afternoon tour, with lunch in between. Pinch me. Are we really in Russia? Oh yes. We had to go through passport control the minute we stepped off the ship. This is NOT like any other more ways than one.

But like I said, I can't get started on that now. Later.... And, yes, I'm off to bed again.


  1. Hi Ginnie! I've been really busy those days, and now I'm catching you in St.Petersburg! Omigod! :O) Isn't that the city that was built from nothing in the 18th century?

    I've looked all your trip and it is just fabulous! Hope you "rest" fine! I'll be with you for the rest of the trip! :O)

  2. Wow!! These places are amazing, ...and that church!! A truly magnificent 'young' church :)

    I am looking sooo forward to the album at the end of your adventure. (When you have a moment, that is. I think you will need a rest after this trip:))

    Sleep well :)

  3. I’m glad it was a mostly sunny day.
    I like especially second photo. Because it is VERY RUSSIA, eh?
    By the way, I don’t understand Russian at all.
    Ah! I know only one word. “Thank you” is “Спасибо”. ;)


  4. What a lucky woman! One day I want to do the same.

  5. Wow....what beautiful photos! I want to see the entire St. Petersburg photo album. Hurry home! We are looking foward to meeting you in Duesseldorf!!

  6. Wow! That is really one fabulous trip you two have chosen. The last picture looks so great (maybe due to my love of fountains/water). I can't wait to go through the rest of your pictures. What a treat!

  7. It's like you are on cue with every post! I love it, but you guys are maniacs! I love the photos once again. I'm not sure who will be more tired, you or me! (Just a really crazy week for me.)

    But it will be so wonderful to have so much written down from the trip... You could be a good trip advisor!!!


  8. Beautiful photos, so crisp and clear. Feel like i'm there. Do hope you'll rest enough!

  9. I can't wait to hear why Russia is so different! What an amazing journey you have been on. Does the cruise line set up all of your tours- my goodness, you have been to so many beautiful places- or did you have to plan it all yourself?

  10. More on Russia one of these days, I promise!