(St. Petersburg local time: 7:30pm. Weather: cloudy, cold and raining) Our shuttle from the hotel in Prague to the airport outside of town is spent in silence, punctuated by the occasional hacking cough.
Mr. Keneally Goes to St. Petersburg
Russian Airlines, with the exception of fonts, lettering and some remarkably dour flight attendants, feels like most commercial airline travel. We arrive in St. Petersburg in the rain after an uneventful flight (the best kind).
(from L to R) Jeff, Joe and Mike with a cart of guitars
Carting guitars around airports isn't that big a deal, as long as there are many hands.
At the post-immigration and baggage claim entry point into the St. Petersburg airport main lobby an imposing and youthful green uniformed fellow puts his hand out to stop our caravan of carts. He squints at our large assortment of cases and bags and, perhaps weighing his options against an incipient coffee break, states as inquiry: "Musical instruments?" As I happen to be at the head of our line I answer in the affirmative and he waves us through as if in a hurry to get us out of his area.
We are met by Igor, a friendly 23 year old holding a welcome sign.
Traffic, St. Petersburg style
Our trip into the center of town is only marred by an absurdly long wait to cross the intersection at Nevskiy Prospekt. An enormous amount of honking is involved, which seems to do the trick. This is a night off for us, a travel day, and we celebrate the birthday of Joe's manager, Mick Brigden at a very Russian restaurant. Borscht is involved.
Tomorrow is our Big Rock Show in St. Petersburg.
(See Dispatch 1.)
(Ed. Note: While we are waiting for Allen's 3rd dispatch, why not enjoy this video of Joe Satriani performing "Surfing with the Alien.")