Saturday, 15 August 2015


The trouble is there is so much going on that I am way behind with this.
The Gf managed to break our cabin safe so badly that an engineer with a toolbox had to be summoned after the the normal electronic resetting gismo proved ineffective.
She followed this by effectively locking us out on the balcony at 10 pm after having been warned that for security the sliding door to the balcony could not be opened from the outside if it was allowed to close with the handle in any postion other than upright. We avoided having to spend a stormy night outside whilst crossing lake Ladoga,the largest in Europe only by the appearance of our neighbours on their balcony and handing them our room card which I always carry.......but I am getting ahead of myself.
Last day in St.P was a Morning  trip to the Peterhof  palace on the shores of the gulf of Finland,the czars summer palace. Very fine palace, but spectacular  fountains, gravity fed by lakes 2miles away. Big switch on ceremony at 11am every  day with music. Lovely gardens with fantastic  fountains at every turn.
Return to ship delayed by 2 ladies getting lost and requiring  search parties from viking support staff who accompany every outing. 35 mins late meant hurried lunch before next trip to see St.P from the waterways ending with visit to Church of the Spilled Blood which was a great memory to finish amazing multi domed church,the interior of which is covered from floor to ceiling in magnificent  mosaics.
Food is good with good choices.
Breakfast is anything you could want with much cooked to order but we have now opted for the Panorama bar continental breakfasts on our top floor which has great views has only been discovered  by a select few.
In true b team tradition I decided that our fridge and balcony required beer,preferably Russian  and set off one afternoon on a foraging expedition  having learnt from the bar staff that beer was 'peevah '.
Careful observation on our coach outings had pinpointed what might be a general store about a mile away so I thought  it worth a try.
On the boat beer& wine are free with meals in plenty but otherwise a beer is $3.50 and I reckoned it could be bought for less. The store  I had noticed was indeed a grocers and the first thing I saw was a fridge full of beer. Followed by  shelves of beer and then more fridges of beer ....... A very nice man seemed to enquire if he could help so I asked for peevah and being adventurous tried to suggest it should be Russian. ...and was taken round the corner to a huge fridge full of beer of which Balticca seemed to be the top brand. I indicated that 12 cans would be good and he pointed to the labels which were numbered 1-9 and hovered at no.7. Seemed reasonable ,at 60rubles since we are working on 100rubles = £ 1.20.
Turned out that the numbers indicate strength and no.7 is 5.5% so 72p for a 500ml can seems ok.
So my balcony is complete.
At 7pm we set sail at last for Moscow. ..champagne,vodka and canapés as we left the city.


  1. Mum creates a diversion with a "broken safe" whilst you make contact at the "convenience store". Excellent work comrade, though please be careful, Canapes are a tool of the imperialist running dogs, stick to cabbage soup !

    1. I've made contact with the American bteam. ..John & Jim