STP – day 2

Today sort of was a whirlwind honestly. But luckily we had a bus for most of it! Our grand tour of St Petersburg started out slowly today with us sitting in traffic for over an hour. That was not fun! I would have prefered to just take the metro into town and have the bus pick us up there or something.

Our first stop was St Isacs Cathedral. It was nice and all, but at the point we had no real idea about it, so we just took our photos and moved on to the next sight. I think the next was a view of Peter & Paul’s fortress from the water. It was nice, but freezing cold outside, so we hustled ourselves back to the van as soon as we could! And then to a souvenir shop to pick up some items and then time for St Basil’s copy called the Church of Spilled Blood. It was nice, but not as inspiring as St Basil in Moscow. Then to lunch. We went to an all you can eat place. Everyone loved it.. but I kind of would have preferred to go down the street with Grant & Charlotte to McDonalds for my fish sandwich as there wasn’t much for me to eat at the ‘all you can eat’ place! But no biggie.. i’d been able to eat most places.

The rest of the afternoon was reserved for our visit to the Hermitage museum. I’m not a big museum person, but some museum’s you have to visit since they are so known and thats the Hermitage. It’s a massive palace that is now a museum housing art from all over the world. Apparently if you spent even 5 seconds looking at each peice in the museum it would take over 5 years to see everything! Obviously we did a quicker version!

Some of us even did a quicker quicker version and left after about an hour to go do a bit of exploring on our own. I ended up finding the Soviet posters book that I had wanted in Moscow and I got a few posters too. I was very happy and felt that I could finally be finished with my shopping.

After our little break, it was time to meet up for our evening boat ride through St Petersburg. Unfortunately it was absolutely freezing, but luckily the boat had an inside area where we all sat. I ventured outside here and there to get photos, but otherwise it was just way too cold with our limited amount of winter wear on.

Another long day, but at least we weren’t as pooped as we were in Moscow. Granny decided to head back with a group of people while I stayed in the city center to venture around. Granny’s group got messed up on the train somehow and ended up going 6 stations out of the way and had to have a little 14 yr old girl (who apparently spoke great english) guide them back to the right line! I’m so glad this didn’t happen to us b/c we left town with only 30 minutes to spare before the trains shut off – we would have been totally screwed!

Our little adventure wasn’t much better though. We had another lesson in the wonderful customer service industry of Russia. The first bar we were at was fine except you almost had to beg to be served. After a while we started looking for a place to eat dinner and somehow ended up at another Italian place. It looked great an all, but it seriously took almost 2 hrs to get just half of our orders. It was then that we realized that we didn’t have much time before the metro stopped so we had to cause a bit of a ruckus to get our remaining pizza’s. grr. Another lesson.. don’t eat out with a big group and expect to be served in a reasonable amount of time!

Our next day is another long day couch tour, so shouldn’t be too strenous.
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