Day 49: St. Petersburg

Number of tie wraps: 49 (20 added since last blog post, unconfirmed)

Countdown: 6693 miles down, 1892 to go

While Cathy and I were visiting the Hermitage, dining on vegetarian entrees, and hunting down Starbucks mugs this afternoon, Luke and John allegedly added 20 more tie wraps to the Roadster. This information was relayed to me by John at dinner tonight and is currently unconfirmed. I’ll investigate further and post additional details tomorrow after I obtain photographic evidence of said tie wraps, which are reported to be holding one of the front shock absorbers in place because a part from the front shock absorber had to be removed to shore up one of the rear shock absorbers which had some sort of failure involving a U-bolt … well, you get the picture. Stay tuned!

In addition to the beehive of tie wrap activity today, we had a relaxing tour of St. Petersburg, also known as “Venice of the North” due to its many rivers and canals. St. Petersburg was established in 1703 by Peter the Great, who wanted to create a new European city and, from what I saw today, I think most people would agree that his expectations have been exceeded.

In addition to stunning architecture, many of the city’s buildings hold world-class museums, with the crown jewel being the Hermitage, which contains over three million works of art and other cultural items. Our tour guide told us that if you viewed every item in the Hermitage inventory nonstop, with no breaks for food, sleeping, etc. it would take you seven years to complete your mission.

The Hermitage in St. Petersburg

The Hermitage in St. Petersburg (Eileen Bjorkman photo)

Most of the old cathedrals we visited today are restorations that now house museums, but the Church of St. Nicholas shown below is still an active Russian Orthodox Church.

Church of St. Nicholas

Church of St. Nicholas (Eileen Bjorkman photo)

I’ll leave you with this message I spotted on a post outside the Church of St. Nicholas.

Message of peace/Mir

Message of peace/Mir (Eileen Bjorkman photo)

Tomorrow we drive to Pskov, 336 km, for our last full day in Russia until we go to Kaliningrad on July 2. Saturday we make our border crossing into Latvia.