Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Back from the Baltics and a St. Petersburg Recap!

I just returned from my trip to the Baltics!  More on that vacation soon.  But first, I owe you all a recap of our Bing Trip to St. Petersburg.

October 26

Our train arrived to early morning снежинка in St. Petersburg at 6:40AM.

Kevin, Matt, Sharia, and Bekah on the overnight train

Since St. Petersburg is approximately 400 miles north of Moscow, the sun did not rise until around 9:30AM.  But when the sun did rise, it illuminated a stately city rising from the banks of the Neva River.

We began our day with a tour of The Peter and Paul Fortress.  The major tourist season of the summer months has ended and winter is nearly upon us, so much of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul was under construction.

Inside, we saw the final resting places of the tsars, including the graves of the last tsar, Tsar Nicholas, and his family.

Then we visited the Trubetskoy Bastion, which served as a prison.

Our guide told us that prison life in St. Petersburg was not all that difficult.  The prison was heated, prisoners were entied to 400 grams of meat per day, and the rooms were not terribly small.  It's all relative, I guess.

We also saw a statue of Peter the Great.

Supposedly, this statue is very life-like.  Tsar Peter the Great had a small head, but a huge body.

We did some souvenir shopping, then, we went to lunch at Rossi Club, an underground restaurant centrally located near Nevsky Prospect.  All I can say is, Russians certainly know how to eat.  Our lunch was a gut-busting four courses of traditional Russian fare.



Broccoli Soup

Fish cakes and mashed potatoes

We ended our day with a tour of the Hermitage, home to one of the greatest art collections in the world.
The Hermitage

Our guide took us through the Winter Palace, pointing out the intricate mosaics on priceless decorations and even cawing like a peacock to impersonate the famous peacock clock that Potemkin gave to Catherine the Great.
Our very intense tour guide

Look at the tiny mosaics on this table!

Peacock Clock

With time running short, Sharia and I explored some of the top art pieces in the museum.  Supposedly, to see everything, it would take a visitor 11 years.  Given the short amount of time we had, I think we did a pretty good job.
Da Vinci



Me on the staircase

Stay tuned for day 2!    

1 comment:

  1. I love this! It's so nice to see that you visited so many of the places I was at just a few months prior. Isn't St. Petes a breathtaking city? I was awe-struck the entire time. It's great that you got a history lesson at each location as well (I learned so much from this post), next time I return to the city I definitely want to have a tour guide to explain all the sites.