I slept in until 8:30 and then Skyped with Lizzy, Dan, Theo and Eva. Lizzy is now 38 weeks and on maternity leave. It was good to catch up and see them all looking well. I even got to see our old cat who looks like she has put on weight, which is reassuring.
I went out and did the laundry, and bought a couple of things from the market. I had plans to sightsee but I have been feeling a bit weary and ended up having a three and a half hour nap. Then I went for a walk. We went through a wall, up an escalator and then we were in the old town. Unlike the new part of town it was full of people – once again street performers, painters etc. There was one particularly novel act – a pair of jandles on a box with a note saying “Naked invisible man”. I gave some money for being so novel.
There is definitely a change in the temperature, after being way too hot, people are wearing jackets, and hats (including us), and the wind is not pleasant – although it would be normal to those of us who live in Wellington, but after the past couple of months is not normal to me!
A couple of things have hit me while I have been looking around, there appears to be much more than the usual number of disabled people that are in wheelchairs. It is a university town so I wonder if they are students or lecturers, but certainly many more than you would see around Wellington.
The other thing that is more numerous is dogs! In many sizes and shapes, they are allowed into the malls and restaurants and general shopping centres. They are everywhere. When you have a meal at a restaurant it is not uncommon to see a few nozzles poking out from under the table, hopefully sniffing the air.
Not sure if you remember back to a very early blog when I first got to St Petersburg when I mentioned that I really missed being able to just make a cup of tea whenever I wanted to. Well unbelievable, this hotel has a kettle in the room plus paper cups. Only two teabags but that was quickly sorted by going to the market. It’s hard to explain the joy I got from making as many cups of tea as I wanted over a 24 hour period!
We have a new rider, Danya’s dad Bill has come to join us to ride five days to Barcelona. Bill flew into Nice and had to manage transferring a bike box and two bags in between platforms on a train change – no mean feat. We have given him some helpful hints such as the tradition that new riders ride baboon style their first day. Tomorrow we will see if he has taken our advice.
The evening finished with a curry, at the first curry place I have seen in two months (my local would be under no threat) then back to the hotel for an early night, as we are back on the road tomorrow.