Now it’s Saturday afternoon, and my bike is all put together and working – always a relief. The tape my son put on the bike to show where the seat and handlebars should be was a great help in setting up.
I have packed my stuff into two bags, one of the bags is already packed in the van and I will not see it again for five days so hopefully I have got it sorted. I remembered in time that I needed my passport to cross into Estonia in four days so was able to dig through and get this out. We can ask for something from our non-daily bag if it is urgent, but certainly I do not want to be the first – especially as the tour guides said at least three times “don’t pack your passport in your non travel bag”!
After packing I was tired so I decided to have a nap – luckily I had packed first because I woke up at 6pm which was the time we had to get our bags down to the van.
A number of the tour group were heading off to the summer gardens but I have already been so I headed up to the local James Cook (there are three in St Petersburgh). I had native steak caked in Parmesan, fresh garden salad and ludlow potatoes (these turned out to be brown baked fries I think). It was ok, not a lot of taste with the steak but good to try something different.
Tonight if there are enough people booked from the hotel I am going on a night tour to see the bridges being raised on the Neva River so the ships can pass through. I will not get back until 2am so will have to set my alarm. Tomorrow is a very short ride (only 45 km) so I can catch up on my sleep with a nap in the afternoon.
Points of interest
- Russian supermarkets do not stock a lot of things that we take for granted such as plasters and snap lock bags. Luckily I worked out that an “Aптека” is a chemist and there is one just up the road so now I have two more boxes of plasters.
- Russians do not acknowledge or thank you if you hold open a door for them or step aside to let them pass. I guess with the population you would be constantly stepping aside and saying thank you. On the other hand, as I have already mentioned, Russian children do stand up on the metro for older people.
- At the supermarket there is only one door in and out the size of a standard front door at someone’s house, so unless you barge in you can be there for a long time. I have not yet got the knack of shoving my way in front of people, but if I lived here for a while I am sure it would quickly develop.
Today was 32 degrees and I have been eating the most ripe delicious peaches. It seems strange to have been in winter a week ago, and now be in the middle of summer. Apart from the first two days there has been no rain. Igor says that they get maybe 30 perfect summer days in the whole of summer and I have been lucky enough to have had five of them. Hopefully this will remain so for tomorrow.
So, tomorrow the tour begins – off to Lisbon we go.