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Published: September 10th 2011
Sep 6 to 10
The week has sped by with amazing places, ruins, cathedrals with domes, monasteries, pioneer homes and lots of souvenir shops wherever we go. Have bought the standard souvenirs so far, Matrushka doll, bell doll, cloth doll, bell ringing CD, serpentine box and of course, my sherry glass.
A Diane incident happened yesterday. We came out of a lecture on Soviet history (I thought I was going to nap but Polina was an excellent speaker and had everyone enthralled and impressed). As we left the lecture and were descending the stairs, my foot caught in the tread’s steel rim and and I started to fall. I had to grab the lady in front of me to prevent her and me from falling down the rest of the stairs. I was now on my knees with my feet stuck on the stair above me after whacking my shins on the edge of the stair. I couldn’t move and I couldn’t let go of the lady or we would both have fallen and broken something. Well Velcro (nickname of the lady) gave a yell and started yelling “Get off me, get off”. You’d have thought I was intent on raping her and this lady seemed to have a voice designed for a gym teacher. Everyone around was trying to help hold us both in place so I could untangle my legs but Velcro just kept yelling. I finally hissed in her ear that I couldn’t move because if I did she’d fall with me on top of her. Dan and Deb and another woman from behind and above helped me to stand and then I let go of Velcro. She practically ran to the bottom of the stairs yelling, “Florence, it wasn’t me this time – it was her fault”. Apparently she’s had 3 falls already. Anyway, she then turned around hugged me and made sure I was alright. Off we all went. All day yesterday we saw and heard her telling everyone, including the hotel manager and the head restaurant guy all about it. Get off me was heard all over the ship as she retold and retold her harrowing experience where she was almost airlifted back to the States because of close call on such a bad fall. She had remained upright the whole time.
We had vodka tasting last night and after the 6th Deb was ready to go find Velcro and shut her up for good. The vodka was excellent if you get Russian Standard Platinum – forget the cranberry or pine birch but the mandarin would do in a pinch. After this morning’s headache and inability to stand upright I think I’ll do the very unRussian thing and stick to vodka with a mixer.
We are in Yaroslavl where the hockey plane went down. We go into town at 3 and visit the markets.
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