We began our day with a nice and early wake up call for a fitness session at 7am with one of our new S & C coaches, Sybot, who looks like he has been sent to us in a time machine from the 90’s. After telling him this I think I should be dreading the next fitness session we do! Then followed a hard gym session and then a team mop of the gym floor after Fergus the ‘Sweat box’ Taylor had finished his set.
The Russian cuisine has been interesting and flavoursome, especially with the amount of Dill used in quite literally everything. But after some negotiation with the chefs about the menu it is all tasting very dill-icious.
After lunch we were all given a great tour of the city, seeing all the main sights, such as the cathedral of Spilled Blood and St Isaacs Cathedral, both of which the architecture is absolutely incredible! Sadly we didn’t get a chance to go inside either of them, but I hope a few of us might be able to if time permits. We also stopped to look at the Sphinxes which were a gift from Egypt and are around 3000 years old. These are located on the River Neva, and as requested our tour submarine Ben Symington had to test the water to see if it was safe to swim in. While stripping off he failed to notice the police a little further along the bank, who had a lovely full frontal view. Lucky for Ben Russian policemen do seem to have a sense of humour and obviously our tour guide some negotiating skills as he was let off with a warning.
Usual proceedings have continued with the Ferret Watch by Henry Lamont, Joke of the Day by Will Boardman, and our Thoughts of the Day by Guy Western which have been very insightful and interesting as we learn about his life in Kenya – raised by wild dogs, adopted by a baboon, and taken under the wing of a Maasai Mara….I think we are all looking forward to his next instalment! However his thoughts are making my role with the Thought of the Thought of Yesterday much harder as I cannot apply my usual ‘idiot abroad’ approach I used last year, I actually have to use my brain!
After dinner we then hopped onto the Metro, which is also the deepest underground in the world, and headed into town! On the way James Wade’s ego obviously needed a bit of massaging as he challenged some of the lads to a ‘core-off’ on the tube. He was quickly brought back down to earth by the boys as he can’t quite keep up with the level of banter being dished out. We all had a good night and I think a lot of the squad became closer and some found their voices after a few, most notably Matt ‘Snoopy’ Geiger our youngest tourist. Snoopy has to learn the hard way in his role of looking after the team mascot – Panini – I wonder if he will realise it is on the opposite building’s roof.
Thus came to a close a very enjoyable day.
Not as an eventful day as Thursday, we started off doing a nice stretch and Yoga in the local park with our new physio Jamie Hamment – a good cure for some of the lads’ heads. At breakfast, as all roles and games are always in play, Chris Mansfield managed to achieve what some believed to be impossible and caught the Ferret on a ‘Hows That’ with a tub of honey! Tim completed this task honourably however I think he should have his blood sugar level tested on his return to the UK.
Training then took place and everything is beginning to slot into place for the game on Sunday with the team being announced to the players. Snoopy’s search for Panini still continues as he did not notice her raised up a flag pole at the training ground. I wonder how long it will take this time…?
There is also now a distinct lack of Dill at our dinners, I think some of the guys are missing it, especially after our esteemed leader read us an essay on its nutritional value. As good as it was, I think it was more useful in helping the guys get some sleep as snores sounded around the bus!
Our search for the imposter on tour know as Zoltan still continues – more to come on this over the next few days!