Friday, 28 June 2019

Thursday 27th June
St Petersburg, Russia

Arrived here late yesterday after a quick lap around a circuit about 35km from here. Most of the drivers are enjoying the track tests which makes a change from some long transit stages. It has been intense driving as there are so many Russian trucks on the roads which makes passing difficult. At one place a few days ago the line of trucks was so long it was taking over an hour to make the right hand turn. Timing has been very tight and we've had to be on the go the whole time. Many were late in last night as the traffic was so bad.
We passed kilometre after kilometre of birch, fir and pine forests. Houses in the countryside are still built of timber and have decorative window architraves.

We are staying in the State Complex, Palace of Congresses. Apart from the hotel it has secure "cottages" where visiting dignitaries are accommodated. It has airline type security. We are in an eight bedroom house, where the bedrooms are suites. Soviet decor and comfortable. There is a kitchen downstairs and the bathroom floor is heated.
Unfortunately the complex is a considerable distance from the city centre so had to take taxis downtown which took 40-60 minutes. It's a very large city and its heritage has been preserved. No Astana like skyscrapers here. The old buildings are beautiful lining the canals and river. Lots of tourists and the queues to the Hermitage and Winter Palace were long.

Yesterday the car developed a vibration which appeared to be a loose bolt on the sump guard which has now been tightened. Checked the plugs, brake pads which were all good.

Tomorrow we head to our fifth country, Finland.


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