I do not think of us as the cruising type, but a few years ago we could not resist the opportunity that presented itself. We flew to St Petersburg and joined our boat there, then spent two or three days exploring the city. It was a beautiful place, and the palaces and mansions were truly lovely – so much gold!
I think there were about 40 of us onboard with a splendid crew who spoke such good English it put us to shame. Bill attended the fun Russian language classes and joined in the banter on the last night. Our host was an interesting character with quite a lot to say about New Russia, none of which I am prepared to quote here.
It was a small and comfortable ship which was to navigate canals, rivers and inland lakes and to take us to Moscow. This meant we could visit two cities with one hotel.
Our cabin was tiny with two bunks – if only I had known we could have had a bigger cabin with a double bed. We managed, but I swore we would never travel that way again.
Our chef was a very large lady who loved to cook and had to manage on frankly limited stores. She did admit to having an herb garden growing on an upper deck, meaning she could ring the changes.
Another thing that tended to crop up a lot were 15th century icons. I had never dreamed we would see so many of them on our journey towards Moscow.
The crew did a very funny variety show on the fifth evening after our supper. One of the youngsters pretended to be reading a letter from a fellow guest and had us in fits of laughter. The theme was “still looking for the bed in the cabin, and, oh no not another 15th century icon!”
Then we reached Moscow. It is a startling city with iconic views everywhere we looked. We were lucky to have some fascination tours and guided walks. I have selected a few images from the hundreds of pictures I took to give you a taste of the trip – I was simply in my element! A never-to-be-forgotten adventure…