For all time, our first lasting impression of St Petersburg will be that one we experienced as we woke at about 6:30am: the smell. It was a pungent sulphur smell. When we drew back the curtains we found that Azamara Journey was travelling through a busy industrial port. The passage was fairly narrow, so we got a close-up view of cargo ships docked along the port as we passed them.
Before the ship reached Blagoveshchensky Bridge on the Neva River, it turned 180 and then made its way to the Lieutenant Schmidt embankment. We noticed that the ship was heading to dock right next to an old Soviet submarine. This early Cold-War Soviet project 613 (Nato designation Whiskey class) patrol submarine is now a museum, manned by retired Soviet/Russian sailors. Felt somewhat strange to pull up next to it. After watching our ship dock we made our way up to Windows Café for breakfast. We had an excursion scheduled to start at 8:30am. It was, actually, the first day of a three day excursion to maximize the touring and minimize any overlapping sightseeing. Our initial meeting point was the Cabaret Lounge on Deck 5. We didn’t need to wait too long before our group was called and we made our way to the gangway and off the ship.
Saint Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on May 27 1703. The name was changed to Petrograd on September 1, 1914 to remove the German influences on the name.
On January 26, 1924 following the death of Vladimir Lenin the name of the city was again changed to Leningrad. Following a referendum the name was reverted back to the original Saint Petersburg on October 1, 1991.
It is interesting that a sign at the entrance to the city port still bears the name Leningrad as written in the Cyrillic alphabet. We thought it appropriate to have some fun with the photo we took of the sign - with the current day image and our created retro image befitting the Soviet era name.
WHITEonline is the digital home of Gary & Linda White. We’ve been married since 1980 and live just outside Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Linda was born and raised in Toronto while Gary was born in London, England and moved to Canada at the age of 11. We enjoy travelling and taking photos while we travel. WHITEonline provides the opportunity to share some of our photos & experiences.