The cruise terminal
As we approached the docks we could see the Gasprom Tower across the open spaces between the housing developments and the dock.
As we came closer I could see more ships that were now docked at the terminals. After making the arrangements for the next day, we left the minibus and crossed the car park to where other passengers were leaving the row of many coaches.
Once past the coaches we realised that the queue for the terminal stretched around the building and a long past where all the coaches were parked. We were going to have a long wait at the end of the day.
Across the river I could see the Gasprom tower and the Zenith Saint Petersburg stadium. I had lots of time to walk back across the car park to the road to take unobstructed images.
The queue was open to the elements and again I was wishing that I had put on more layers before leaving the ship.
The ship’s daily bulletin had reminded everyone that taking food off the ship or returning with food was a US Federal offence (really, in Russia?). For some reason some passengers were taking this imposition of US Federal law to mean that no water bottles were allowed back on board. Around the final corner to the front of the terminal we were greeted by a huge pile of plastic water bottles perhaps a meter and a half high and practically blocking the pavement.
An official was remonstrating with passengers in front of us to stop throwing bottles on to the growing pile and reassuring everyone that it was okay to take them through.
Thirty minutes later we finally made it to the doors of the terminal. I was directed to have my bag checked to the right and Linda was sent to the left to join the queue for immigration. The souvenir shops didn’t have many customers as everyone was so pleased to be finally inside and now only one barrier nearer to the ship.
My baggage scan was OK and I was soon back in yet another queue. The Immigration official took the white sheet left in our passports from this morning and waved us through.
Explorer’s security then searched all the bags and handbags again as we went back on board. They diverted passengers with alcohol to go to a table to hand in their purchases.We met up at the R bar for a quick drink before going back to our cabins to get changed and showered ready for dinner.
The menu had lots of interesting items and I started with coconut fried prawns, followed by butter chicken with a vegetable curry as a side dish and then an apple pie.
Back in the room I took a time out and backed up all my images from the day. Being docked in St Petersburg apparently made our TV choices limited.
Then a final cup of tea marked the end of a very busy first day in St Petersburg.