My Work Here Is Done
Saint Petersburg Travel Blog› entry 6 of 19 › view all entries
This is the first day I have any kind of time for an hour on the computer not related to my conference presentation. I arrived late on May 15 because my flight from New York City was delayed for 4 hours on the tarmac because of some weather delay. I missed my connection in Moscow, but it was changed without much fuss. I am staying in Hotel Oktyabrskaya (named for the October revolution) which is mediocre. I would not pay the $180 to stay, so I am glad the conference is taking care of the bill. The location, however, is irreproachable - right on Uprising Square in the commercial center of the city. On my first full day I walked across the street to Moscow Train Station to buy tickets for Jeff and I when we go to Moscow on May 29.
The next few days I got a bus tour of the city, which I liked because the weather was so astonishingly good - 75 and sunny. We had a 2 hour boat ride through the canals and the River Neva in less spectacular weather. The director of the conference, Dr. Kalueff, a Russian-born scientist now working at Tulane, invited me for dinner.
The conference dinner was at an especially kitschy and upscale restaurant called "To Your Health.
Today I woke up to buy S7 tickets to Yerevan, Armenia. I am leaving tomorrow night and returning in time for Jeff's flight to St. Petersburg. I met a Russian colleague (I get to use that word now!) at Peterhof - Peter the Great's Pleasure Palace on the Baltic about an hour outside the city. There probably will not be a better day to visit this year. Outside the palace that a later tsar built, are dozens of fountains in a large park along the shore. Large, baroque and highly-detailed, they sparkle in the bright sunshine. Reflecting Peter's sense of humor, there are timed fountains ready to surprise passers-by with a dousing. I promised to send postcards to Viktor, my Russian colleage who works at an institute outside Moscow.
It has been among the best weeks I have ever spent in St. Petersburg. I leave for Yerevan, Armenia tomorrow night!