Thursday, November 8, 2012

27 октября в Санкт-Петербурге

For those of you that missed Day One in St. Petersburg, here is the link: Day One.

October 27 

Ron, Matt, and I woke up before the sunrise (not a difficult thing to do) on our second day in St. Petersburg and set out for a run on a light layer of freshly fallen snow. It was a frigid morning, but nothing beats starting the day with a three mile adrenaline rush!

Our tour guide met us promptly at 10:00AM in the lobby of our hotel and brought us to the Cruiser Aurora. 

This famed ship fired a blank shot to signal the storming of the Winter Palace, which then began the 1917 Revolution.

Our tour guide then took us to see the Bronze Horseman. She went into excessive detail about the perils of crossing the street to photograph the statue.
How did we make it across?

The Bronze Horseman inspired Alexander Pushkin's poem of the same name. I have yet to read the poem, though it is one of the most famous Russian literary pieces.

We made it back to the bus without getting run over by any cars and were off to our next stop, the Cathedral of our Lady of Kazan and an exterior view of the Church on Spilled Blood. According to our guide, the Church on Spilled Blood was best viewed from a distance and only gets uglier as one nears it. We didn't believe her and made plans to return during our free time the next day.


The Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan was inspired by St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. During Soviet times, the cathedral housed a museum of atheism.

Patrick and Bekah dancing on ice outside the Cathedral

Following our tour of the interior of the Cathedral, we visited the Smolny Convent of the Resurrection. Originally, this church was intended for Peter the Great's daughter, Elizabeth. However, after Ivan VI was overthrown, Elizabeth opted for the life of a Russian leader instead of life in a monastery.

Then, our guide brought us to lunch at Da Vinci's an Italian chain restaurant. I was rather disappointed in the dining experiences provided with our tour. Of all the places to eat in St. Petersburg, our guide chose Da Vinci's.
Chicken and French Fries (?)

After lunch, we toured St. Isaac's Cathedral, the largest Cathedral in Russia.  The Cathedral took 40 years to construct and the dome is coated in pure gold.   

Column Huggers


Icons and Altar
Though our tour guide warned us profusely of the dangers of climbing to the viewing platform on the dome, we decided to risk our lives for the second time that day and view St. Petersburg from above.

We survived our trip to the dome and were able to go shopping for amber. While idling outside of the shop, our guide lectured us on the pricelessness of amber. "Buy the biggest piece of amber you can because not even Obama will be able to buy it in a few years time. The world is running out of amber!"  We think she was working on commission.
Sharia in the Amber Shop
Though, in case you were wondering, I did "invest" in some amber.

I wore my new investment later that night when we went out to meet with Josie, a former Russian language classmate who is currently studying abroad in St. Petersburg through Vassar College. She brought us to one of her favorite St. Petersburg cafes, Cafe Zoom, which was so much more delicious and aesthetically pleasing than Da Vinci's.

From left to right:
Kyle, Josie, Stephanie, Patrick, Me, Matt (and морковb), Ron, Sharia 
We had such a nice evening catching up over a delicious dinner and pot of tea.

Matt even got to keep морковкa!

After dinner, Annie, Patrick, Kyle, and I didn't want the night to end, so we decided to walk back to our hotel and see the city at night. During the summer months, the bridges are drawn so that cruise ships can enter and exit the city, but since it is winter, the city leaves the bridges down at night.

Our walk home was frigid, but full of bizarre adventures into strange alleyways, bars, and cake stores. 
Club Barack Obama?
Eating cake at 2AM on a St. Petersburg Street
Day 3 coming soon!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the history lesson! We spent our week in St. Petes running around everywhere with little time to stop and learn about every location, and I'm so glad you're explaining it all briefly! My dad realllyy wanted to see the bridges being raised at night but we always crashed too early. Needless to say, he was upset :/