We arrived in St Petersburg at around 6pm. We had to go through passport control, where the airport staff looked particularly frightening, and were lucky enough to find our bag within a couple of minutes. I say that as though it happened really smoothly, but I did actually have to dash across the airport in snow boots when I saw our bag from a hundred meters away! We then debated whether or not to get a taxi to our hotel (the easy option) or try and find our way there using public transport.
We found the bus stop, hopped aboard the K-13 (as the signposts had instructed us do to) and started wondering how we would possibly know when to get off. Embarrassingly, I also find it difficult to know when to get off buses in London sometimes. Anyway, we did what every sensible person does and simply got off when everybody else did. Thankfully, it was the right stop and we successfully found our way down to the metro and, after a quick change of metro lines, at the right station. I expertly(ish) navigated our way from the station to the hotel and, in under an hour from landing, we had arrived!
After quickly freshening up, we headed out to see what St Petersburg had to offer and to find something to eat. We had been warned that it would be cold but thankfully it didn’t seem too bad. I was a little bit worried about finding somewhere to eat after a previous incident on our very first night in Hanoi. I have copied in a little excerpt from that night:
“We then headed back to our hotel room to get showered, before heading off in search of dinner. We both felt incredibly well-rested after our lie-in and incredibly relaxed after a wonderful first day. Unfortunately, those feelings weren’t to last. Having again consulted our guide book, we wandered forty five minutes to a restaurant which had fantastic reviews. For no apparent reason, it was closed. Mildly frustrated but still optimistic, we got in a taxi to another recommended restaurant. However, when we looked at the menu, the prices were higher than what you would expect to pay in a top London restaurant. So that was a no. We wandered around the area and couldn’t see a single place to eat. We hadn’t taken the guide book and so were left with an awful map which we had picked up at the hotel. We couldn’t work out which street we were on and, after a lot of marching about and bickering, we finally managed to find a taxi. Back at Hoan Kiem lake, we had a brief look around before having one final row and heading back to the hotel in silence.
We finished the crisps and biscuits that we had bought for our journey and sat on opposite sides of the room.”
I was anxious not to relive that experience and made sure that finding food remained our number one priority. Thankfully, I needn’t have worried. We had a wonderful meal at a lovely little restaurant. We ordered a variety of mini dishes, all of which were delicious, and even opted for the dessert wine.
PS: I’m really proud of that first photograph! It’s the first one I’ve felt happy sharing.