Leaving the Peterhof
After a long time at the fountain we were all rounded up again by Svetlana and started a walk back down the side of the ornamental canal to where the hydrofoils were docked.
There were as many people walking towards the Palace as walking away. I stopped on the bridges to add to my collection of ‘iconic’ images of the canal, the fountains and the palace.
Closer to the hydrofoil dock we could see the busy beaches.
Boarding the hydrofoil
Once at the dock Svetlana checked where the next hydrofoil would be leaving and there we joined the small queue. She suggested that once on the hydrofoil we should go into the front of the three compartments. This one would give us the most comfortable ride.
Our rearranged schedule had an added bonus as the day before the hydrofoils had had to come back from the palace without ‘flying’ as the winds and waves were too high. Across the water we could see the cruise port.
As we waited in the queue grew and the jostling started. Behind us Svetlana talked to another guide whose group was now separated in the queue. She explained to us that the other group should be allowed to pass us when the gates opened.
To our left a group of people arrived at the gate and started to shuffle to the front of the queue. This prompted Svetlana to explain in Russian, in no uncertain terms, that they should move back. This prompted an exchange in Russian that was eventually joined in by the hydrofoil staff until the group of ladies moved away.
Behind me, two Chinese ladies pushed past Linda and only stopped when I leaned back on them to give Linda some space. As the gates opened I let the other folks through the through on the Svetlana’s direction. When the turn came for group to move through the gates, the Chinese ladies pushed forward and tried to get to the gate before us. This prompted another strong protest from Svetlana in Russian and then in English. I’m sure if we had not been under her protection we have been in a rugby scrum getting through the gates.
We duly turned right and all sat on the port side at the back of the forward cabin. I was sat on a single seat so I could try and move about to grab images on our journey back to St Petersburg.
Our hydrofoil ride back to St Petersburg
Looking back we had our last views of the Peterhof Palace and its dock.
Once the hydrofoil left the dock it raised its speed so that we were ‘flying’ but the waves all the wash from other boats made the journey at times quite bumpy. I grabbed images of passing boats, other hydrofoils and the cruise ships as we passed.
Then we passed the tower.
Once in the river the hydrofoil slowed and I watched as we passed small floating docks and other industrial sites until we reached the pier to leave the hydrofoil.
Once off the hydrofoil we rejoined Valeri and set off for the TJ Travel souvenir shop where we were to pay our bills.