When I was about 12 I was an unstoppable letter writer. I wrote to aircraft companies for pictures of planes but I also wrote to countries asking what it was like to live there. One such letter was sent to the, then, Soviet Union. It obviously ended up on the desk at the tourist bureau because a month or so later I received a pile of travel pamphlets from the Soviet Union. Two items particularly struck me: the Trans Siberia Railroad and, what was then, Leningrad. Well finally I am on my way to to one: St Petersburg. The name change itself reminds us how much the world has changed in those 53 years.
Thursday 24th of September. Hetty and I are on the Princess Maria waiting to head to Russia!
We have now been in St Petersburg for three days. It is an amazing city of contrasts: wealth and poverty, old Ladas and brand new Range Rovers, smartly dressed people and the poor.
Highlights: the Hermitage Museum, The Peter Paul fortress, the Museum of Political History, the Church on the Spilled Blood and much much more.