Tuesday 4 April 2017

Safely reunited

So Gail arrived back from St Petersburg just before midnight on Monday, and wanted to know all about how I had got on with Neil over the weekend.

Well I simply told her that I had enjoyed a lovely time at Neil's 'eco-home' retreat near Inverness, but we had agreed between us, he and I, that "what goes on at Kiltarlity stays at Kiltarlity".

And anyway, I think Gail wants to tell our blog friends about her trip (if that is not breaking the terms and conditions of this blog).
Nevsky Prospekt - morning of 3 April 2017
Gail here: 

First of all I want to thank all of you who heard about Monday's terrorist attack in St Petersburg and expressed concern for my safety and that of my friend Yvonne. Please be aware we are both fine.

Secondly, I want say that my thoughts are with all the victims of the attack and their families, as they come to terms with this terrible event.

Usually in these circumstances, one can simply reassure friends that of course we were miles away from the atrocity, and it didn't really affect us at all. 


Although we were not directly involved in the terrorist attack, we were in fact far, far too close for comfort. My friend Yvonne and I were in the Nevsky Prospect metro station, trying to board a train heading in the direction of the airport, when the bomb went off one stop down the line. So for about 15 minutes no one knew why all the trains had stopped, then fragments of news filtered through, the station was evacuated and the whole metro system closed down. On the streets outside it was chaos with the place swarming with emergency vehicles and sirens going off everywhere. Thankfully, guided by a lovely young Russian man who spoke quite good English, we managed to get to the airport by bus (actually 3 buses) arriving just in time for our flight to Frankfurt. 

At one point our very crowded bus was diverted onto a side street as the main thoroughfare had been closed, and we got stuck between parked vehicles for 20 minutes - the photo below is of the bus being guided along the road, inch by painful inch!

On Sunday afternoon I took this photo of Yvonne at the pristine Tekhnologichesky Institut metro station and emailed it to my mother:

And this (from the BBC website) was the scene 24 hours later:

So sad that such terrible events keep happening.

But I must add that,  despite the unnerving ending, Yvonne and I had an absolutely fascinating time exploring this magnificent city, and neither of us would hesitate to go to St Petersburg again.


  1. We are so very relieved that you and Yvonne are both safe and well, Gail. Such a traumatic finish to what must have been a very enjoyable holiday. Our thoughts too, are with the families and friends of those injured and killed.
    We are pleased to hear that Bertie and Neil had a good time on their boy's weekend. I see Bertie is keeping a stiff upper lip on what happened at Kiltarlity (what a delightful name - you couldn't make it up!)

    Inca xx

  2. We were definitely praying when we heard about the attack. Sounds like a good time. I think Bertie was posting pictures of parties, treats, ladies etc on the internets
    Lily & Edward

  3. I am so glad you and Yvonne are safe Thankfully for my peace of mind, I thought you were traveling later and so my concern was whether you still would be going. What a close call. (I hope you haven't told Bertie!!!) I appreciate the photo of the Nevsky Prospekt...but somehow not quite as I envisioned it from images in 19th century Russian novels! Just as the characters in those novels would never have imagined it today!

  4. Hari OM
    My word Bertie - you and Neil surely had a proper boys time methinks!

    Gail - you know we are all relieved for you, as we are also shocked and sorrowful for those more directly affected. Do hope, when you have 'gathered', that we will get to see some of the more positive images from your trip. Sending Love and hugs and wags, YAM (aunty) xxx

  5. Bertie of course you and Neil had fun at the Man Cave and it should just be your thing. It was so good of you to keep each other company while the women were away.

    Gail thank you very much for this update.
    I can honestly say I've never personally know anyone to visit Russia. As soon as I heard about the attack I thought to myself...how can this be. We are so sorry that beautiful city had this tragic event and do send prayers to the families of those injured or who killed and that the city will recover.
    Hugs madi and cecilia

  6. We are so happy you kept missing the devastation, and that you have happy memories of St Petersburg.

    Too bad there is such secrecy about Kiltarlity....

  7. We're glad you had a wonderful time butt are even more glad you got home safe and sound. Our hearts ache for those who were injured/killed in this terrible act!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  8. Bertie... What happens during GUY time... stays in GUY SPACE. THAT's fur SURE.
    WIMMEN would NEVER understand.
    OMD Miss Gail... we were TERRIFIED when we heard what had happened. We Held our BREATH and Said MANY MANY PRAYERS fur YOUR safety and the safety of your friend. We are THRILLED that you are both SAFE.
    From every BAD thing... GOOD things come.
    How wonderful that the young man was willing to help you navigate.
    We KNOW that there are BILLIONS of GOOD apples in every barrel.. and the small number of ROTTEN ones get all the attention.
    We are SO sorry that some ROTTEN APPLE had to chews THAT Time to do his dastardly deed.

  9. We are glad that you had fun and also glad that you are safe!!!


  10. We were very relieved to hear you are safe
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  11. Glad to hear that you have arrived back safely. Such anger out there. Thankfully you have the stoic Bertie manning the home fires.

  12. Crikey Bertie ..... I've been out of action and didn't know Gail was in Russia and you were left with Neil. OMD ..... that was too close for comfort for Gail and Yvonne. I'm so glad they are safe but unfortunately others weren't, aye?? Our hearts go out to the families and friends of all injured and killed in this horrendous act. Mum's looking forward to more photos of Russia when Gail feels she is up to it.

  13. OMD, too close fur comfort indeed! We're glad that you and your friend were safe, and that you're safely reunited with Bertie.

  14. OMD!! So good that you are safe and that Bertie had a good time.
    Yur Furend
    Louis Dog Armstrong

  15. This gave me chills. I am thankful you are safe. Heart broken for this who lost their lives or were injured.

  16. this must have been before we met. this is the type thing going on here in USA... one never knows when we will get caught up in something like this. I think you were brave to just visit Russia, not something I would do