The ship did not leave until 6 pm so we had a lazy day and time to get some laundry done. The campground has a vehicle storage area that we could leave the bikes for the 4 days at 16 E per day. Not cheap, but at least they are secure.
We took the tram to the harbor and checked in at the St. Peter’s line. You have to go thru Finish passport control and we got an exit stamp. The ferry is a bit of a mini cruise with casino and discos and the like, but we had a drink on the sky deck, some dinner we had brought on board, and were in bed by 930.
The ship left an hour late at 7 pm, but still arrived to the port of St Petersburg on time at 930 am. The number of cranes on the skyline was incredible!
Getting off the boat the arrivals hall is totally chaos. You have to line up to get your tourist card. Lets say the Russians are Not like the uber friendly Brazilians! They photocopy every page of your passport as well, which was a bit creepy.
We had arranged a driver and guide for a city tour. Maria was awesome and very knowledgeable. She was of an age that she remembers a lot of the events that have shaped this country in the last 50 years.
We took in most of the major sites in the downtown area. Including the Egyptian sphinxes, the Winter Palace, the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Catherine palace, the Nicholas statue, St. Isaacs Cathedral.
The Peter and Paul Fortress is the burial place of the Russian royalty. So that means all the Nicholas and Alexanders and their wives “Maria”. There is a cannon salute everyday at noon. The entire crown flinched when it went off it was SO loud.
The blue of the Catherine Palace is stunning.
The statue of Nicolas I is in St. Isaac’s Square.
We took some time to rest and then set out again to the Main square of the city at the winter palace.
Walking past the Admiralty it started to torrentially rain and we had to hide out under the trees, but got drenched anyway.
There are hundreds of bridges in this city and a number cross the Neva River.
The bronze horseman is the monument to the founder of St. Petersburg, Peter the Great. It stands in Senatskaia Square facing the Neva River.
For our second day we spent the morning in the museum of the winter palace with thousands of others.
In the afternoon we did a walking tour of the city sights. This included walking along the canal and a visit to the Church of the Spilled Blood.
It was Harley-Davidson Days here in Petersburg so we checked it out. There were a lot of very loud bikes being driven very fast all over the city as well.
Several venues had military bands playing and this group was very good. Here they are doing an awesome rendition of “We will rock you”.
This city is also spectacular by night. There are fireworks in St. Isaac’s Square every night.
Here at Peterhoff, the fountains are the main attraction.