Wednesday, February 2, 2011

August 8 Saint Petersburg

Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan on Nevsky Prospekt

We had breakfast at the hotel, which was nice enough. Russian
pancakes are perhaps more like crepes or blintzes, but they were good. It
was raining, but we set out anyway and crossed the Neva on the bridge that
leads to the Nicolaevsky Palace. The guide/map literature at the hotel
advertised a police museum of KGB/NKVD/Cheka activities and equipment.
It was at #2 Gorokhovaya Street. Anyway, we couldn’t find the doggone
place. Isn’t that funny?

So we went on to the next destination, which was
the Central Naval Museum. It is located in a very impressive building at the
spit of Vasilevsky Island…the old stock exchange before 1917. Nice
museum! Penny was a very good sport about this, especially since entry was
320 RBL each . Lots of great models and paintings. It was interesting to see
how understated was their display on the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905
and of the Battle of Tsushima. That had a Polikarpov PO-16 fighter
displayed from the ceiling in one of the rooms. There were models of
several ships that I know about, such as a Kanin DDG, a Kynda CG,
(Varyag, which I saw in the Gulf of Oman in 1990), the Moskva which I saw
off Socotra, and a November class SSN. I was a good tourist and
completely resisted the urge to say “nanner, nanner, nanner” but I did think
it, I do admit. We found a nice café (КАФЕ) with a nicely priced full menu
lunch. Then we headed back to the Shelfort.

This old tram must be pretty rugged to still be running.

The Sundowners tour guide, Alaine Green, knocked on our door a
little before 5 pm. She asked to reschedule the initial group rendezvous at 6
pm because two members’ plane was late. It turns out that the couple, Butch
and Del Sly, are the only two besides ourselves! They are from near
Brisbane. Alaine is from Sydney. She is a nurse by profession. She said
she couldn’t take it any more and went for a job where she deals with happy
people! This is her first year at it, and she has been back and forth between
Saint Petersburg and Hong Kong several times already. We went to a pub
that Alaine likes for an introductory meeting and to go over the ground rules.
They seem like a fun couple and this will be a good trip. Butch and Del
have been traveling for five months now, and will be leaving the group in
Beijing. They had been the only two on a previously scheduled cultural tour
which had been cancelled.

1 comment:

  1. DDG means guided missile destroyer. CG means guided missile cruiser, which is larger than a destroyer. SSN means nuclear-powered submarine, in this case an attack submarine whose main battery is torpedoes.

    PO-16 is a 1930s era fighter. These saw combat during the Spanish Civil War.