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Monday, July 2 2012 | From Sankt Petersburg to Gatchina

After an early morning coffee I call my contact at Baltika, to discuss the next steps. It turns out, unfortunately, that today they have no English-speaking personnel and the interview will be have to be postponed for the time being. Not a good start to the day.

I talk it over with the others and we decide to make good use of the time by making our way to Gatchina, where we have an appointment tomorrow with preform manufacturer APG. We have two appointments on the schedule; after APG we head off to Veliky Novgorod for the Deka brewery. Fingers crossed that this goes without a hitch, I think to myself. First on the programme however is a quick visit to the supermarket to get in a few provisions for the journey. And with that we take our leave of St. Petersburg, after I've quickly repaired the faulty locking mechanism of the Editourmobil-refrigerator, and for the umpteenth time stowed Rolf's rather suave silk ties in the cupboard. Contrary to what you might think, these things inexplicably seem to occur. Soon we are on the motorway which later becomes a sort of expressway. Actually, we haven’t far to go, but the weight of traffic makes for slow progress. Eventually we reach Gatchina. We decide that we are already on the way to APG, so perhaps we could find somewhere to park for the night. No sooner said than done. It is about 7 o’oclock when we arrive. After a brief conversation with the security guy, and a phone call to my contact Vladimir, everything is sorted and we look forward to staying overnight near the company’s premises.