Tania and Ed:
I recently was in Russia to meet my new son and finalize an Adoption from Khabarovsk. I had a few extra days to learn about the history and culture of Russia, and decided a trip to historic St. Petersburg was a necessity. Within a week of finding you on the Internet, we were secured with a wonderful guide named Anna.
Anna met us at the Airport and during the next 15 hours, she shared with us the culture, history and sites of St. Petersburg. She was very well informed, spoke excellent English, had a fun loving personality and was able to keep us awake and excited in spite of our jet lag! Being in St. Petersburg during the White Nights, gave us a lot of daylight to see the city and tour well into the early hours of the morning. We shared lots of laughs and cultural differences that made our stay in St. Petersburg unforgettable.
Anna is an excellent guide and your agency should be very proud of the representation she makes of your company, her city and the country of Russia! I recommend her to anyone planning a trip to St. Petersburg for a day or longer!
Linda M. Kinney
Houston, Texas USA
I'm still in Finland. We had planned to send you and Tanya short report after we return to the US on Oct. 3. However, I don't mind giving you a hint about what it will be. We were very pleased with Anna, and we had a great time. More info coming later.
If you could spare a moment, I'm very curious in any feedback you could give us on the service and how everything went for you in Saint Petersburg. Where you happy with Anna?
|Subj:||Feedback on Anna|
|Date:||10/20/2002 9:08:11 AM Eastern Daylight Time|
|From: email@example.com (Jim
To: TPozdnyakova@aol.com, Carol@larson-tech.com
We had described ourselves and gave a very rough idea of what we wanted
to do for our stay in St. Petersburg via e-mail before we arrived in St.
Petersburg. We arranged a place to meet Anna at the train station.
Anna met our train when it arrived and took us to the hotel we had
booked via the underground. (Your guide to St. Petersburg hotels was
very helpful.) She made sure that we were properly checked in and helped
us buy postage stamps and exchange money. Anna made a couple of
suggestions of additional places we might visit, and clarified what
types of arts and crafts we wanted to look for. We spent the rest of the
first day exploring downtown St. Petersburg and took a boat tour of the
canals. This gave us a good orientation to the layout, architecture, and
history of St. Petersburg.
On our second day, Anna met us at our hotel and took us to a couple of
places she thought we would like. She was right. We enjoyed St. Isaac's
Cathedral very much. We also visited a variety of arts and crafts
stores. Then, we visited my number one site that I wanted to see, The
Church of the Spilled Blood. She pointed out all of the interesting
artwork, including some that most tourists would miss (standing directly
beneath one of the onion-shaped towers and looking straight up).
On the third day, we visited the Hermitage. There were long lines of
people waiting to get in when we arrived. Anna recognized an old friend
who was close to the front of the line and arranged for us to join that
tour group, so we didn't have to wait very long to enter. Anna also
sweet-talked (this is a good thing) guards into letting us visit a
variety of businesses and stores.
Also on the third day, Anna wrote down instructions for getting to the
train station from our hotel. She had us rehearse the pronunciation for
the names of the major landmarks between the hotel and the train station
so, if necessary, we could either ask for help or find our way there the
next day. (We only hired Anna for the first three days.) Her
instructions and training enabled us to negotiate the underground and
arrive at the train station by ourselves.
Anna is very articulate in English. We never had to ask her to repeat
what she said. She was also able to track what we said and understood
what we wanted.
Anna was very sensitive about our wishes and concerns. We were concerned
about drinking the water in St. Petersburg, so she helped us buy bottled
water and plastic cups. She helped us order food at restaurants. Both my
wife and I enjoy wandering. Anna would let us wander at our own pace
through interesting streets and alleys, while filling us in on the
history and fun facts for buildings, squares, and streets.
Anna was sensitive to our energy levels, and suggested that we sit down
from time to time so that we didn't get overly tired. By the end of the
third day, both my wife and I were quite tired, so Anna flagged down one
of St. Petersburg's "unofficial taxis" and negotiated a ride back to our
Anna was very concerned about our safety. She herded us like a mother
hen when crossing streets. She warned us about pickpockets and
demonstrated how to carry a purse. And, once, Anna hurried us past what
she suspected was some type of illegal activity.
Anna is very enthusiastic about St. Petersburg and Russia, and the
places and things she showed us. She was especially exited about the
Hermitage. Almost every piece of work was her "favorite." I often find
art museums boring; but, with Anna as our guide, this museum was exciting.
We wanted to learn more about Russia than the history and architecture.
We asked Anna many questions--some personal, some political. Anna was
very open about her life in Russia, politics, and hopes for the future.
We feel that we learned much about the real Russian life. We found
Anna's answers to our questions as interesting as the places we visited
and the things we did.
As a schoolteacher, Anna liked to pose "puzzles" which encouraged us to
listen carefully to what she said and what we saw. We found these
puzzles to be both fun and challenging.
Without an understanding of Russian, it would have been very difficult
to get around, order food at restaurants, and negotiate prices. Hiring a
guide was definitely the right thing for us to do in St. Petersburg.
Anna was the perfect guide. She made our visit informative, fun, and
memorable. Carol says that Anna was the "brightest ray of sunshine" for
our visit to St. Petersburg.
Ed, we highly recommend Anna as a guide. We both think she is terrific.
We think so highly of Anna that we'd be willing to talk with your
potential customers about hiring her. By the way, we asked Anna about
her high heels--we're the "high heels" type of people.
|Date:||5/21/2003 10:09:23 PM Eastern Daylight Time|
|Subj:||Guide service - Anna K.|
|Date:||6/11/2003 5:53:27 PM Eastern Daylight Time|
Dear Ed Ryder:
Thank you for your prompt assistance, upon very brief notice, in arranging a Russian guide for my recent trip to St. Petersburg.
And very special thanks to Anna K. who was my guide for three days. Anna's knowledge of the city's history, art in it's museums, churches and palaces was awesome. Also her handling of all the details of transactions (purchasing admission tickets, negotiating with a taxi driver, showing me how to use the Metro, etc.) made my trip to a foreign country (where I cannot read the alphabet or pronounce the words) one of easiest I have ever had. I highly recommend her services to other travelers who are seeking a memorable & culture rich visit to St. Petersburg with an outstanding guide.
yours truly, George Stueck
|Date:||7/17/2003 11:11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time|
|Subj:||worked out beautifully, fbb|
|Date:||7/31/2003 10:08:48 AM Eastern Daylight Time|
Dear Ed Ryder and company at Russian Guide Network:
We're back from Russia (St. Petersburg, Novgorod, Moscow). It was a full and rewarding trip.
Thanks for working with us despite my contacting you at the last minute, and despite travel delays due to flights cancelled and such. Having Anna as a guide in St. Petersburg was a great help, practically, and lots of fun. She was informative, good-spirited, very tolerant of our eccentricies, and willing to cater to my own particular enthusiasm for architecture and churches. So, many thanks to all who were involved!
--Frank B. Brown
|Subj:||Re: Dave & Mal Goodwin|
|Date:||6/22/2004 4:35:58 PM Eastern Daylight Time|
This message is to say how pleased we were with our guide Anna, who escorted us around St Petersburg in May. We could not have been looked after better, her knowledge of the museums and churches, together with their contents and history was awesome.
We had some difficulty with the port authorities, but she managed to get around it and made sure we got around the city safely, we even took a trip on the underground.
We hope to visit Moscow over Christmas and will definately try to return to St Pete's to see the remainder of the sights we did not have time for. I hope Anna will be free.
Until then, thanks for organising our guide.
Regards, Dave & Mal Goodwin
|Date:||9/6/2004 1:57:39 PM Eastern Daylight Time|