Second day in St. Petersburg

Our second day in St. Petersburg was spent in the city visiting landmark sights including the Hermitage, Church on Spilled Blood, Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral and a stroll down the main shopping drag Nevsky Prospect.

The Hermitage is exhausting! The palace itself features lavish interiors and of course is filled with art and crowds. Being with a private guide allowed us to navigate the museum with ease yet still had us in museum overload.

One of the big draws is an amazing and intricate peacock clock.

Thankfully our next stop was a short drive away so we had a chance to sit! We also enjoyed a typical Russian lunch of borscht and little meat dumplings. The soup was fantastic!

One thing I love about travel are the unexpected moments such as a band floating down a Russian canal!

The military presence is due to the city preparing for a huge football event which also caused horrible traffic delays. Don’t worry, the city feels perfectly safe.

Church on Spilled Blood is built on the site of the assassination of Czar Alexander II.

While the exterior is fantastic it matches the brilliant interior.

With one assassination on the mind, our final church stop was the resting place of the Romanovs from Peter the Great to Nicholas II who along with his family were executed by the Bolsheviks.

The West has romanticized their fate that one can’t but be touched seeing the room where those who have been recovered rest.

Our final stop of the day was a  stroll along Nevsky Prospect and reminds that this is a busy city like any other around the world. The primary distinction seems to be a complete lack of traffic rules!

Soon we were back aboard the ship. St. Petersburg has been very interesting and our guide fantastic. I found the comments about nationalism to be interesting. Numerous references to works of art being taken from families and nationalized as well as comments about fairness and living in equality.  Much of the last eighty years seemed to have never happened.

But let’s wrap up Russia with a fun stereotype. While we didn’t find dark smokey communist vodka halls we did find tacky tourist shops. And yes, we indulged.

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