St. Petersburg Day 6 and Travel - October 10-11, 2006

On our last day in Russia we had our best lecture by Igor Stupnikov in the conference room right across the hall form our hotel room. The topic was The History of the Russian Ballet. He was a witty and worldly man who told us much about Russian ballet both within and outside Russia. Again we had free time until 3:00 PM and we decided to go back to the Heritage for another quick look around. We did that, going again by city bus, and had a brief review of some areas not much touched on earlier. We had lunch at the museum and then went back to the hotel for some rest. We needed that since we were slated to leave on a flight at 6;15 am the next morning and this would require leaving the hotel at 4 am!

For that reason Barbara decided to pass up the boat ride scheduled for the afternoon and we both passed up the farewell dinner. However, I couldn't pass up such a photo op and so I went on the boat ride. It was very good, although the weather was cold and gray. We started in the canals near St. Isaac's and then went into the Neva River, returning by another set of canals. A small boy ran along ahead of us, waving from every bridge, and even connecting with us again after leaving the Neva. To no one's surprise he was waiting for us at the end, ready to accept a tip. It was interesting to see the architecture of St. Petersburg without the distraction of the shop fronts and advertising. We also saw the Cruiser Aurora, which, during the October revolution of 1917 gave the signal (by firing a blank shot) to storm of the Winter Palace, which was being used as a residence by the democratic, but largely ineffective Provisional Government.

When I got back we packed and rested up, going to the hotel dining room for dinner when the Cafe didn't take credit cards. It turned out that the hotel was quite capable of fine dining when the price was right.

October 11

We slept till about 2 am and were more than ready by 4 am for the van to the airport. Even then Violetta was there to see us off. We had a little breakfast there and were off to Frankfurt on time. With the time zone change, We got to Frankfurt about 5 hours before our flight to Newark. We tried a little shopping but that palled and we were fortunate to find two recliners available for an extended rest. We were joined there by the Redstones and this is memorialized in the last picture of the trip. The flight from Frankfurt to Newark was uneventful, although the food was good for a change, and we were met at the airport by Angie with our car. We were glad to see her! We were home by 5 pm, just 23 hours after awakening in St. Petersburg!

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