A couple of days before I left the UK I read a few pages in the St Petersburg edition of the Lonely Planet. I am so glad I did and please if you are ever planning on coming here take the advice. Purchase your ticket online before arriving. The queues were huge, so big I am not sure I would have bothered had I needed to queue. I wish I had taken a photo now. If it is the same tomorrow when I walk past I will take a photo and attach it to this post.
So with my pre-paid voucher I head in to the Hermitage to convert it in to my two day ticket. I didn’t find this process too intuitive. there wasn’t any clear signage. I ended up in the wrong place twice. In the end I asked a guy who looked like he may be able to help. His name was Ivan Kozhaev, I know this because as he left he gave me his business card and because he was so helpful I am going to share this travel agents contact details with you, just in case you visit: www.terra-asia.ru.
And if you are wondering, the booth to exchange my voucher was right in the middle of the arch, you can see the flag waving above (see above, click the image to see more images in the gallery). Keep wandering until you see a booth that has a small queue, which is not that easy to spot with so many people around, well that is my excuse anyway 🙂
Once inside the best way to describe it is an opulent maze. Near the start of my route I noticed everybody had a map, so I went back to find there were none left. A little game of charades, with a very helpful and willing lady, later and I was on my way. That was probably my best decision of the day because even with the map it was difficult to get out.
The exhibits were quite amazing and I did find some examples of The Golden Ratio too, which I will be putting on www.the-golden-ratio.com.
I realising I am learning new things each day, so I plan to have a little section at the end of each post.
What I learnt today:
- Pigeons in Russia are as brave as the Pigeons in the UK.
- Number combination locks on bags are annoying when they reset the number by themselves and you can not get to any of your belonging. After trying for an hour I needed to get the hotel reception to break in to my bag – Don’t buy them from Wilkos! I now have Samsonite!
- In the Russian Subway (Sandwich Shop, not train) the workers do not change their gloves after serving a customer who eats meat before serving a vegetarian. With the language barrier I let them carry on.
- Reading a little bit of the lonely planet before going to a destination is really helpful.
I am sure there will be more meaningful and cultural discoveries as I travel but these are the main ones from today.