Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Gas Street

Back from the big trip to Russia via Berlin, Warsaw, Minsk, Moscow, Novgorad, St Petersberg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Antwerp and through Holland. Very tiring but also very enjoyable.

I finally got to see St Basil's Cathedral in Red Square and it didn't disappoint. It was beautiful. Moscow was all decorated for their Victory Day parade on 7 March though we had to leave before it started.

Berlin had really changed since our last visit just after the wall came down. Our hotel was well into the old East Berlin and a trip on the U-Bahn to Alexanderplatz would have been very naughty when we were both there in 1971.

Still, coffee and cakes at the old Kranzlers (which has now been renamed) brought back happy memories.

Warsaw (and Poland) were almost unrecognisable - colour, shops, new buildings. We had a wander around the Old Town (which was actually built after 1948!) and found the British Embassy which was still there (there were plans when we were there in 1979 for a new building - obviously they never got the funding).
It was a Sunday and most of the shops were closed - which was a shame because they actually had things to buy in them.
We here held up at the Belyorusse border for 7 1/2 hours (a record for Ledger Holidays) because we did not have a piece of paper for the coach.
A visit to Red Square in Moscow and the Kremlin and a trip on the Metro, then it was off to Novgorad which is one of the oldest cities in Russia and then to St Petersburg and the Hermitage. We succumbed to a river cruise on the River Neva.
We then travelled on to Helsinki via an overnight ferry to find that the Eurovision Song Contest was imminent and they were preparing the outside stage and screen. The next day we drove to Stockholm for a quick visit and then on another ferry to Copenhagen. We took another canal boat trip (suckers for the water!!)
It was then a long slog through Holland for the last night in Antwerp before catching a ferry back to UK. We arrived back at the mooring at 8.30 to discover that Mr David was still at Lyon's Boatyard and the mobile phones with Ian's number was on the boat.
There was nothing for it - we booked into the Hyatt Hotel for the night and David caught the bus to the boatyard and brought the boat back.
You will understand the bliss of our own bed after staying in 11 hotels in the past 17 days.

Now for the card. I have used a toy jet attached to a photograph of the sky and mounted on silver card. Of course, because of the size it comes in a box!!

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