(Click pics to enlarge throughout)
Holiday! Celebrate! I went to St. Petersburg in Russia recently, and had a decidedly mixed experience. Here are 16 things I did there.
1. Developed an immediate dislike of Air France and the staff at Pulkovo airport.
We changed flights in Paris. Our luggage didn’t.
While one might expect to receive some sympathy or apology for this, the staff at St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport approached the issue differently. Their approach involved making us fill out lots of forms – including an inventory of everything in said luggage, repeated several times – and generally making us feel as if we’d done something wrong.
And woe betide any fool who has to get these forms approved by the monumental, power-drunk pricks who work in the customs division. I’m using bad language here to illustrate my frustration at the time, when a fair amount of naughties also escaped my lips.
This was after getting on for two hours’ queueing for passport control. We’d been up since 3am. It was a bad start, but we figured things could only get better.
2. Travelled on a motorway that looked like a giant ribcage:
3. Received birthday wishes from the lovely staff at the Alexander House hotel:
For reasons that will become apparent, the hotel was one of the highlights of the trip. Helpful staff, great buffet breakfasts and underfloor heating in the bathroom, plus numerous other touches, justify its Trip Advisor ranking. It’s a bit of a walk from the main attractions, but for most people this will only really be an issue in the kind of weather that freezes canals.
4. Saw some frozen canals.
My mum’s family comes from the Scottish Borders, and on a visit there we went to visit my Auntie & Uncle who live in a town called Dalbeattie.
Dalbeattie has a small museum of local history, which my Auntie & Uncle help to run. The artifacts on display there cover a range of periods, and there’s a sizeable space dedicated to local man William Murdoch, who was First Mate on the Titanic. That section takes pains to clarify that, contrary to how he was portrayed in James Cameron’s moderately successful film, Murdoch wasn’t a grubby, murderous coward. There’s a letter from one of the film’s producers on the museum’s wall acknowledging this fact.
There are a number of weird and wonderful exhibits elsewhere in the museum. My photos document my favourites, with the latter shots taking a definite turn for the… the… the… electric.
I couldn’t help looking at this beautifully decorated old thing and mentally comparing it with the bleeping Serve-U-Bots in my local Tesco. Old tills never barked at you for putting unauthorised items in the bagging area, did they?
Brrr! It’s cold out there! If you’re anything like the team here at Stuart Waterman Towers, nothing warms your winter-ravaged heart like a collection of cuties oozing hot warm hunkiness into your eyes. In which case – stay reading, because have we got a treat for you!
You might think man-foxes only started to exist when R-Gos strutted out of his mum’s womb, but listen up, girls. It turns out swoonsome chaps have been out there tickling loins for at least seventy years!
Take this collection of black and white beef on show during our recent trip to Hastings Fisherman’s Museum. These dishermen were breaking shells – and hearts – before you’d even sipped your first babyccino!
Ready to climb onboard our totty trawler?