Dear Tanya and Ed,
Back in July, my friend and I decided at the last minute to squeeze in a trip to St. Petersburg during our travels to Khabarovsk (where my friend and I met her new son who she will adopt this month).  The adoption was our primary concern, but at the last minute we decided to sneak in a trip to St. Petersburg.  We are certainly glad that we did!!
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Ed for coordinating the logistics of our trip and to commend Anna on her splendid tour of her city.  Anna's thorough explanations and extremely pleasant personality were greatly appreciated!!  Anna was delightful during the entire day.  Her excitement about touring us around St. Petersburg was evident in her detailed explanations of not only the sites themselves, but also the history and the stories behind the sites.  We quickly realized that the pride and knowledge that Anna displayed of St. Petersburg was genuine.  [We walked the entire day and even climbed the stairs of the cathedral, and I still cannot determine how Anna walked in her high heels all day long!!!]
Again, thanks for your help and especially thanks for aligning us with Anna for our tour of St. Petersburg.  She's a great asset to your team, and I would highly recommend her to anyone who is looking for a complete tour of St. Petersburg by an easy-going, friendly guide (whose English is also very good)!!
Dottie Soland
Philadelphia, PA


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

Hi Ed,

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.


-Jim wrote:

Hello Jim,

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?


Ed Ryder

Subj: Feedback on Anna
Date: 10/20/2002 9:08:11 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: (Jim Larson)


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.


Subj: Review
Date: 5/21/2003 10:09:23 PM Eastern Daylight Time

I have just returned from St. Petersburg.
Anna K is wonderful. She is the most professional, attentive and agreeable person I have met in a long time. I was amazed at how attentive she was to making sure that each day was productive. She made special efforts to ensure that I was never left alone and safely at my apartment before she made her commute home.
Anna is very gifted in her use of English. Her knowledge of the city and it's attractions round out the attributes of this wonderful young lady.
As as an example of the extreme dedication that she has to her clients, she didn't know for sure when I would arrive but was waiting at the airport when my first opportunity to arrive landed. I was glad that I was on the airplane as I would not have wanted her to have to wait for me.
She also used her ability to communicate with the locals to determine in advance which attractions should be scheduled for a given time due to closures etc. She prevented me from wasting time that I would have spent on closed attractions.
Anna made my trip to St. Petersburg 10 times better than if I had tried to navigate on my own. Frankly speaking, she is great!
Steve Fowler
Captain, Northwest Airlines


Subj: Guide service - Anna K.
Date: 6/11/2003 5:53:27 PM Eastern Daylight Time
To: TPozdnyakova

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

Subj: Deep gratitude
Date: 7/17/2003 11:11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

Dear Ed
We have returned from our cruise and visit to St.Peterbourg, and it is with great pleasure I write this to tell you how much we enjoyed the visit, to a very great extent thanks to your outfit and to Anna. Everything you promised was indeed so, and Anna was very good.
She has a deep knowledge of the subject, even beyond what is required from a guide, and knows how to present it to her customers.She also knows very well how to navigate in difficult situations.The best example is our visit to the Catherine Palace and the Amber Room. On that specific day, while Sasha and Anna had planned to use VIP tickets, upon arrival we found out that due to the large crowds they cancelled all VIP tickets for that day.Nevertheless, we were inside the Amber room 10 minutes after the Palace was opened to the public, and completed the visit to the inside of the Palace in 25 minutes, simply because Anna knew how to talk to the Security people, and more than that, had the initiative to go around and before  the big groups.All this for $10 to a security guard just to let us in.
I will certainly recommend your company to anybody who travels to Russia.
Gary Gerber
Subj: worked out beautifully, fbb
Date: 7/31/2003 10:08:48 AM Eastern Daylight Time
To: TPozdnyakova,

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
To: Asummerinrussia

Dear Ed,

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


Subj: Re:
Date: 9/6/2004 1:57:39 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Trip was great. Anna K. was really helpful. She was always punctual and friendly. She was very informed about Russian history and art. She made sure we saw all the sites in which we had shown an interest. Thanks