To the Hermitage
After the boat docked, we all stood at the side of the road and watched as runners past us by. We waited for a long break in the passing runners before dashing across the road.
Further down the road there was a small group of spectators cheering the runners as they passed by.
We turned away from the road at the side of the river and walked past the walls of the Hermitage.
Svetlana directed us into a souvenir shop to pass the time before we could enter the Hermitage. For a time we were the only people in the shop wandering around looking at the Russian dolls, fridge magnets and all the other souvenirs on sale.
After our souvenir shopping, Svetlana rounded us all up and we walked around the corner into Palace Square. This was where the marathon runners finished.
The weather was completely different from the day before and now we were boiling hot despite being in the shade. The runners who had finished all look hot and bothered below us. While we waited we listened to the heavy metal music booming out across the square to greet the finishers.
Our group had a defined time to enter the museum and as a group we joined the queue waiting to enter.
At precisely 9.45 am the doors opened and all the group surged forward for their tickets to be checked. We then passed through security and entered the museum. Svetlana explained that we needed our tickets in order to leave through this entrance. This entrance was reserved for groups but was very convenient for the square. We were reminded that the guards would stop anyone from leaving into the square without this ticket.
After we passed through the Egyptian collection we climbed the stairs and started our tour.