St. Petersburg (Day 1)

Date: 30 – 31/08/2017
From/To: Helsinki – St. Petersburg
Distance: 0 Km
Total Distance: 14046 Km
Weather: Sunny
Road: Paved

We packed our gear, this time we parked the bikes in front of the house and one person was always there, so we can’t get another parking ticket. We had some time before the ferry to St. Petersburg goes, so we went to a bank to pay our speeding fine. Better to have it done and forget about it. Inside the bank Sigrid is sitting on the ‘Straffbank’ J. German joke, it means is the penalty bench, where the word bench means as well bank.

And he was standing on the side of the car park and on the right is our ferry.

So we parked the bikes on the long term car park, got everything we needed from the bikes, put the cover over and left. Everybody was saying the bikes will be ok in Helsinki. We hope that they are rigth.

We settled in our cabine and not long after the ferry left the harbour. We were not sure about sea sickness, but the Baltic sea was extremly flat, so we didn’t notice that we were on a boat.

The next morning we arrived in St. Petersburg. The building must have been fantastic when it was build, but at the moment it looked very neglected.

So we had some coffee and waited until we could disembark and waited even a bit longer to let the first wave go. Well…Still at the passport control was a long queue, and it took us two hours before we were finally in Russia. That is not too bad, we had worse in central America J, As soon we left the building, we hopped onto the shuttle and got off at the ‘Issac’s Catherdral’

We didn’t have any plan of St. Petersburg, so we looked for a tourist information. When passing a hotel we ask the porter, he mentioned that they had very capable Concierge and we should go inside and ask them. I wasn’t sure, since this hotel looked very expensive. When we entered the hotel, a woman was approaching us and we told here that we were looking for some information but we are not staying in the hotel. She nodded and ask us to follow her, then she offered us two seat on the Concierge desk. Was that a trick? Would they charge us after the service? Well, even if, it would be worth. The Concierge put a two day visit together, considering the weather, the current time and our budge constrains, unbelievable. He had the prices, the schedule and place where the hydrofoil would leave in his head, amazing. So we said thank you, and left. No charge, just very friendly people. So we walked to the place he described and boarded the hydrofoil to go to the Peterhof Palace.

The trip booked from the ferry would have costed each of us 120Euro, the ticket for hydrofoil and entrance fee was around 30Euro. On our way we saw the old sailboat replica and we earmarked it for later. Wepassed as well some fancy buildings,

Some of them reminded me of Dubai J

45 minutes laterwe arrived in Peterhof castle. First we had a look at the main path leading to the castle. The path was lined with plenty of water foutains and golden sculputer.

This is a view from the castle to the sea, where the boat was.

We had a tour through the castle, but is was forbidden to take pictures. There was no chance not to obey, since there was at least one guard per room. It was really impressive. How much work was in there to build rooms like this, with all the preccious stones, wood and gold. Next we had a look at the rest of the garden. There were multiple founains, each different from the other one. First we had a look at the Dragon Cascade or The Chessboard Hill. The dragons looked really cute.

Next we passed the ‘Roman Foutain’ and the ‘Pyramid Fountain’

the ‘Sun Fountain’

the ‘Umbrella Fountain’. This is fun for kids, since the water stops and you can step under the umbrella and then the fountain starts again. The time you have to go under the fountain varies, for the enjoyments of the kids. Well, all of the sudden the big kidSigrid was under the umbrellaJ

Then there was the ‘Firs Fountain’, which looked like trees spraying water,

And the ‘Great Orangery’ fountain. I guess, in the old times they didn’t have any water restrictions J

Then we hopped onto the hydrofoil and on our way back we passed our ferry.

The boat dropped us off in the center of St. Petersburg from where we walked to the ‘Peter and Paul Fortress’. On our way we passed plenty of building which we would like to visit, but two days are not really enough to see them all.

As planned we passed the sailboat replica, which houses multiple shops, a fitness center and a restaurant. The small canon was just in front of the replica.

Before we entered the frotress, we passed a place where people were throwing sticks at some piles of smaller wood. As it turns out it is a sport here. Well, there was a description, all in russian, but it looks like that there are different formations of small wood pices that has to be washed away with the thrown stick (I guess)

Here a closer look at the fortress wall.

In the fortress there were plenty of art exhibited.

Unfortunatelly the history exhibition was closed when we arrived there, so we just took a picture of the figuriens in front.

Here is Sigrid holding the chathedral tower J and the cathedral in full view.

Here Sigrid found some more art J

Below is a scematic of the whole fortress, which is quite big.

And at night we had a clear sky with a beautiful moon, I couldn’t resist to take a picture of it.

Below are multiple pictures from St. Petersburg at sunset.

At our way home, we passed the ‘Palace Square’ and we noticed as well that St.Petersburg has plenty of small channels lining the city.

And we passed the Hermitage museum.Well, either we do that tomorrow and nothing else or we have to skip it.

Arround 10PM we hopped on the transfer to the ferry and got on board without any problems. What a beautful day.

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