Yet again I must grovel and apologise for the fiasco over the photos. I have decided that the photos are too large and that combined with the fact that the internet beamed in by satellite is very slow means that the photos take longer and longer to download to the blog. I am pleased to say that after we had left St Petersburg I found out how to reduce them in the camera. So hopefully Lithuania onwards will be much easier.
On Day 2 Mira collected us at 10.00 with a different driver. We toured areas we had not visited before and then arrived at the Hermitage. It must be the largest museum in the world. 3.5 million exhibits, it is said. It was packed with people, but again Mira filtered us into pole position whenever there was a queue or a jam. Usually we were going against the flow, but Mira knew where all the rooms or paintings she wanted us to see were to be found.
The only problem Mira had to face was with a lift that we needed to get us down to ground level. There was a large notice on it saying it was out of order. Jane had seen a notice in it, when the four of us had used it earlier, saying that it could only take a wheelchair and one Carer. So we had probably broken it. Please don’t tell anyone.
It meant that we had to walk about half a mile on the level we were on, to another lift that would take us down. That was fine until we left the lift. The only way out was down some steps. Mira grabbed 2 male tourists, pointed at Jane and the wheel chair, and gamely they helped to lift Jane down all the steps.
It was a great day. I will not attempt to input any images today but I will tell you a little story about the internet here on the ship.
When you board you can buy a package of internet time. If you are a frequent Cunard cruiser you get a fair amount free. The clock ticks every time you log in, but what you have to remember is to logout of the ships system, when you have finished. If you don’t log out the clock continues to tick. Sounds easy, but if Jane or Kim suddenly need something then logging off can be forgotten. It’s not just a matter of shutting the laptop or iPad, you have do more than that and get out of the ships system.
The other day I forgot, went down to the lady in charge, told her what had happened and expected her to give me the time back. About 2 hours of time was involved. It was obvious that I had downloaded the Sunday Times which had taken about 4 minutes and nothing else. But she said there was lots of activity because emails had come in. Of course emails come in. But I had not used the internet. Much argument and eventually she gave it back, but what terrible customer relations. It cost them nothing. Of course if I had run out of free time then I might have had to buy time. That’s what they could have missed.
I hate being treated like some sort of criminal. The lady was effectively saying she didn’t believe me. In the past similar situations have been dealt with instantly and sensibly. I hope someone senior in Cunard reads this.