St. Petersburg Day 2 - 07/03/19
03 July 2019 | Gulf of Finland
Our alarm was set for 7 am. Got up and showered. Then dressed and walked up to Deck 14, Lido, for breakfast. Took some water back to the room and filled up our empty one to take with me today. Met our group in the atrium and headed off the ship. Mark came with us. He took some pictures of our group in front of the ship. Then went by the Duty Free shop only to find it closed. He returned around lunch time. He checked out the things that they sold but didn't end up buying anything. We cleared Customs/Immigration very fast this morning. We waited for our bus to arrive. We had a 2-hour drive to the Peterhof Fountain Park. This was a 2000 acre, mostly treed area with several difference residences used by Peter the Great and his family. Lots of beautiful fountains, statues and one section was on the water. We walked a very long way to the top of a hill, with many steps. The cascading fountains were impressive. Our next stop was another lengthy drive to Catherine's Palace. There were crowds of tourists waiting to get in, but our tour entered thru the back and did not wait long to get in. We had to put on covers over our shoes. Toured the upstairs rooms, including the Amber Room which did not allow pictures to be taken. Lots more walking. We ended up walking to our restaurant. It was around 2pm when we finally ate lunch. It was not impressive like yesterday's lunch. There was supposed to be another place to stop, but everyone was worried about getting back to the ship by 5:30 pm. So, we just too the long ride back to our ship, arriving there around 4:30. Had a few minutes to put my feet up before getting ready for dinner. Ian & Beverly were there and I guess we were early today as we beat Greg and Maxine. Enjoyed our dinner together. Headed back to our cabin as I wanted to get my notebook to take the Princess Theater to play games while we waited for the show to start. If we didn't go early, we wouldn't get a seat. Tonight's entertainment was the singers and dancers and we knew it would be packed. Mark took some headsets to listen to a Youtube audio. However, with the full house, it was just too noisy to hear anything. The show was good, but not as good as some of the previous ones. Our ship was delayed some leaving the harbor. By the time dinner was over, the ship had dropped the lines and were heading out the channel. We joined many other passengers out on Deck 7 to watch our departure thru the many islands and channel entrance. The pilot is supposed to be with us for 3 hours. It was sprinkling and the breeze was very cold. We got to see the naval harbor with all their big war ships and subs. Very interesting as the channel was not very wide. From our port side, we could see a gate that they could use to close the channel entrance. Also, we noticed that there were plenty of cars on a hiway heading towards the edge of the channel. But they disappeared into a tunnel that went under the channel. We were cold by this point, so we headed up to Deck 14, Lido, for some coffee and dessert. Lots of passengers up there. Stopped at Deck 12 for some popcorn, but there was none this evening. With the rain and departing, the Movie Under the Stars was canceled. We thought they canceled it due to the rain. I have to tell you that I am beat from the two days of touring. We walked a huge number of miles at each place we visited. Our tour group definitely found the Oriental tourists were very loud and pushy. Just when we took a picture, they would barge right into our picture. The crowds waiting to get into Catherine's Palace had over a 4 hour wait. Many tourists in Russia. Glad I joined the Alla Tour, which got us into all the major tourist sights. It's still overcast and breezy with more rain, tonight. We did get a light shower at while touring the Peterhof, but thankfully, it didn't last long. It's not even 10 pm and I am ready to head to bed. Thanks to everyone for your emails and messages. Our ship is heading to Sweden and we have a day at sea tomorrow. Mark spent time researching England for our 5-night stay which is coming up in a week's time. Happy 4th of July holiday to everyone!