Sunday, May 25, 2008

St. Petersburg Day 2

Crown Princess Deck Log
Noon Position: Alongside in St. Petersburg
Sky: Clear Skies
Temperature: 54 F

Today our tour guide was Irini, but she didn't mind being called Irene. The driver's name was Constantine. Irini is a high school English teacher. I wonder how many high school Russian teachers we have here in this country... She is well-informed and well-spoken, and quite political! She is definitely anti-Putin, not sure how she feels about Medvedev. She had praise for Brezhnev and scorn for Gorbechov.

Constantine proved what a good driver he is. Because of the city-wide celebration of the birthday of St. Petersburg, many main streets were closed off for parades, booths, etc. He had to back down some streets, and make really difficult U turns on others. We were all quite impressed!
Here are Irini and Constantine:
We did a little sightseeing, a little geocaching,>
May 25 by basswoodbend (1762 found)
Quite an adventure! Just after breakfast yesterday a police car
pulled up to the river bank opposite our cabin and the cops got out
and walked down to look at a black bundle in the river. After checking
it out, they hauled the dead mans body just out of the water and left.
It stayed there for over 12 hours. It was removed sometime between 5
and 9 PM.
We don't know if he was a tourist who took a wrong turn or not but we
are being very careful to stay with our guide and in our assigned
group. We were not about to start wandering and looking for caches as we have done in other towns.
St Petersburg is overwhelming! The number of palaces and churches is truly amazing for a town that is younger than most of our east coast cities. This church and its story is captivating. Unfortunately for us, the building is currently closed.
We have sent the email with the answers, picture to follow. Since we leave soon for Tallinn, this is the only cache we will seek in Russia. We will use it to launch our "Russia" geocoin.

and a little souvenir shopping. The man on the left is the shopkeeper. He was most anxious to make a good deal for me because I was his first customer of the day. In the Russian shops they have a superstition that if the first customer buys something, the whole day will go well. If they don't buy, you'll have a bad day. So because I was the first customer, he took $10 off the price.

Here's to Cruising! Dinner in the dining room: