Landing in St Petersburg at 14:20 local time I was ready to get off the plane and start exploring. This did not happen, but what did happen was much more advantageous.
Leaving the plane and walking down the tunnel I arrived at a very crowded hall, full of people I quickly realised that this was passport control and I would be spending the best part of an hour queuing.
Whilst waiting I got my ‘Learn to Read Russian in 15 Minutes’ infographic out and started reading and then practicing. By the time I was nearing the front of the queue I was really beginning to get it.
I stopped practicing because I was distracted by the crunching of a mechanical stamp being used 3 times. After a couple of times of hearing this noise I realised that when I heard this noise in triplicate the queue moved forward one place. So I decided to work out roughly how long it takes between each ‘Crunch Crunch Crunch’, the answer about a 90 seconds. A quick count of the people in front of me meant I would have to wait about another 15 minutes.
This was not counting the unfortunate person right in front of me not getting that delightful ‘crunching’ sounds from the stamps and walking off with a Police Officer/Border Control Person. I hope he is ok!
My turn to walk up and wait. I was really hoping for the ‘Crunch Crunch Crunch’ and not the same fate as my predecessor. Then… ‘Crunch’ and then along pause ‘Crunch’ everyone elses was 3 in quick succession, The final one seemed to take ages and then, there it was ‘Crunch’, I was free to start exploring.
When I met my taxi driver I practiced my ‘Thank You‘ in Russian which went down very well. Then for the rest of the journey I practiced my reading skills to see if I had indeed cracked this code. (See the infographic below).
Having got settled I had a little wander, everything seems very close together in St Petersburg. I have heard people say that everything in America is bigger and it feels that way here too, the buildings are huge and very decretive.
The image above is of the Admiralty which is just a 5 minute walk from my room and I can be at the Hermitage with in 10 minutes too.
Would you like to try to learn to read the Russian Language? It is really simple when you know the rules. Can you complete the quiz at the bottom too?
How did you do? Comment below.