Sunday, 31 March 2013

Hilarious journey from Moscow to St Petersburg

We arrived in St Petersburg yesterday after an exhausting but truly hilarious night after missing our 10pm train by 2 minutes! Trains to St P usually leave from Leningradsky station and we had failed to notice the three tiny cyrillic letters KYP on our tickets indicating that ours would leave from elsewhere. Of course.
Lee did a stirling job of trying to run, moving at a truly heroic pace across squares and platforms, up and down steps and escalators into and out of metro stations, Shane performing his usual feat of pulling and carrying her Calvin Klein trolley bag (and Tom's) as well as lugging an over-stuffed backpack. (Note: Lee pulled out a glass jar of gherkins and bottle of wine from said bag last night...) It was excruciating watching the minutes tick by on the metro - we alighted with just four minutes to spare - would it be enough to 'run' through to the main train station?

But it was all in vain. We arrived at KYR station just in time to watch the train roll off the departures board.
Of course, the weather chucked everything it could at us!
Helen and Lee (Helen providing an arm for Lee as they crossed snow and ice) laughed until they cried.

11pm saw Helen struggling through our hopelessly inadequate Russian phrase book negotiating with surly bloody-minded Russian railway staff trying to get a refund and book tickets for the next (1am) train. Mission accomplished after just 45 minutes, we then had to cross Moscow once again back to the station we had originally gone to, from where the 1am train would depart. Of course.

The next challenge was to keep the children (tired from three days pavement bashing in Moscow) from falling in a complete heap as we waited. Even three day old doughnuts and cheese sandwiches failed to help. Lee gave hers to the resident Bag Lady!
When we finally boarded our train (heaven!) we were confronted by Russian Chief Bitch Travelling Companion who totally picked the wrong time to fluff her feathers in a small 4 berth cupe. She got quite a hiding from Lee and Helen!
Finally sleeping at 2:30am to arrive at 7am, only to search for a hostel in bucketing wet snow with only written instructions that were absolutely crap, poor Lee barely able to put one foot in front of the other after 'running' through Moscow last night and negotiating her first ever top bunk on the train. Shane had to physically manoeuvre her up into it, she didn't get a wink of sleep for fear of falling off, and then she 'jumped' down into his arms in the morning. "I feel like my bones have been through a washing machine!" she declared on safe descent.
We FINALLY found the hostel to be told that they had booked us into their overflow building which was ONLY five minutes round the corner (boy, did they nearly get a serve!) which of course isn't five minutes with an exhausted babushka negotiating steps and iced walkways and Shane lugging The Bags.
Breakfast was a celebration of not screaming at each other, indeed laughing in the face of traveling adversity.
Shane, Helen, Rosie, Tom, Babushka

Location:улица Итальянская,St. Petersburg,Russia

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