While in SPB, I was staying at the far eastern end of Vasilyevsky Island which was approximately 6 kilometers from the city center so I decided to explore around on by own feett. At the time of this tip I had covered 27 km of Vasilyevsky Island via running!
Throughout Vasilyevsky Island I discovered Smolensky Cemetery, Smolenka Canal and great views of the Neve River. All of the street has good sidewalks and Vasilyevsky Island was congested at all in my view which made for great running. I was generally able to maintain a speed of 11 kilometers per hour. I think running in the city center would be more difficult with many more road crossing and much bigger crowds.
The traffic in SPB is known to be chaotic and it is so be careful crossing streets. Just because the walking symbol is up, I'd still check and be a little extra precautious in some of the crossings. As a result I'd also recommend not running with ear buds. Enjoy the sounds of the city.
In areas where I didn't have the large landscape views, you still get to admire the great architechure. Only minimally time was spend in residential areas with apartment buildings. I was a little surprised I didn't see many other runners out there but that could have been for any number of other factors such as time of day, etcetera. I had to fit my runs in over lunch breaks.
In one park area a yapping Chiwawa chased me down. It turns out the Chiwawa's in Russia are just like there are everywhere and their bark was worst than their bite. I was uneasy but eventually an elderly lady scolded her pet and reined it in!
One day, I took the subway and then ran back to my hotel to cover more new territory. In summary I highly recommend you run SPB. It was safe and beautiful and if you opt for a treadmill it will have been your loss.
If I can think of more interesting points about running SPB, I'll add them again later. Run Full Tilt
Visiting Russia by private boat is not a simple matter. Most of the traffic is commercial, government (as in Navy) or by cruise ship.
We didn't see when the ship came in to port because it was quite early. When we left port it was during dinner (photo 3). After dinner, I went out on deck and took pictures of various aids to navigation (lighthouses etc. until I got too cold to stay out there (about 2000).
If you should want to go by private yacht, I obtained this information from a sailor's blog.
Vladimir Ivankiev on Jimmy Cornell's website, www.noonsite.com is a Freelance Yachting Consultant and Tour Manager. He is also the Russian Representative of the British Cruising Association, The Royal Cruising Club, The Swedish Cruising Club and the Ocean Cruising Club Port Officer in St. Petersburg. In addition to taking care of all the red tape, visas, financing, berth reservations, etc., he is also a great guide, having a solid knowledge of the country's history.
There are strict rules as to how to enter Russian waters. From Haapasaari, it is a 106- mile overnighter to the Russian check-in point at Krohnstadt. To get there, you have to follow well-defined shipping lanes heavily trafficked with freighters, ferries and cruise ships. We contacted Vladimir via SMS 15 miles out of Kronstadt and stayed in touch with him until we arrived at the customs dock in St. Petersburg where he met us and cleared us through customs. It only took an hour. Without his help, it might have taken days! The Russian authorities are not really set up for pleasure boats. Their main interest is in cruise ships. Private yachts are neglected if there is better business at hand. Therefore, Vladimir's assistance is invaluable.
The predominant winds in the Gulf of Finland are from the west. Most of the Gulf is also quite shallow (15-20 metres) so the waves tend to be steep and uncomfortable. So it is important to allow plenty of time for the right weather window when heading back into the Baltic again. Once you leave St. Petersburg, your visa expires and you are not allowed to return again. Not even if the weather turns bad.
Equipment: If you don't have your own boat, about the best you can do is a River Cruise: St. Petersburg - Moscow, Ship Nizhniy Novgorod. I have not done this cruise so cannot vouch for it.
Tour Duration: 10 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 12 people
Season: July - September
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 1932 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 3428 US Dollar (USD)
Sports exercise clubs are fairly popular in the city, especially inteh winter wqhen it is forsty and uninviting outside.
Planeta Fitness has been around 10 years and has 12 clubs in St. Petersburg.
We found the one on Kazanskaya friendly to english speaking foreigners and well equipped with machines and classes all day.
Equipment: Exercise clothes
With a sled or just on your fanny you can enjoy sliding down ice in many local parks.
Entrance is free and the only hazard is watching for the many children who might want to slide into you.
For more exercise you can rent a Finlandski sled on Krestovsky Ostrov. One person can ride while the other stands and pushes and rides the rails when possible.
Equipment: Plastic snow sled or just your waterproof pants.
At last time it is very popular to visit fitness centers. Now we have some huge centers wich have some points in different districts of the city and many small sport clubs.
The most known clubs are:
Planeta Fitness http://www.fitness.ru/
Sport Life www.sportlifeclub.ru
New Age Fitness http://www.newagefitness.ru/
Lider Sport http://www.lider-sport.ru/
you can buy year card, half year card or single visit..
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