05 July 2009

Saturday- St Pete's day 1

So we hurried off the train and followed our tour guide to the bus. she was quite the the guide. We would randomly stop and then she would say we have 100 more meters til the street, then we will get on the bus...haha.
so we got on the bus. and drove down to the hotel and checked in luckily breakfast wasn't starting til 7;30 so i ran to my room and took a hot shower. this was amazing. i think i have forgot to mention but moscow turns of the hot water for 2 weeks at a time in different parts of the city to check pipes. i was on my 2 weeks. towards then end and in desperate need for a hot shower. needless to say the hot shower made me fall in love with st. pete's at once. then we went down stairs and had a massive breakfast complete with pork and steamed vegetables if you wanted. i stuck to more traditional breakfast food like blini (crepes) and kasha (rice oatmeal) it is fantastic. after breakfast we got back on the bus and began our 5 hour tour of st. petersburg. we stopped on a bridge to see the 'lighthouses' they are on the river. st. pete's is covered with canals and water. the venice of russia some say. after that we headed to Peter and Paul fortress which was built by the Peter the Great. we went into the cathedral there which is where all the czars are buried including nicholas the II and his family. After that we also stopped and looked at a couple old ships one was called the aurora and fired the signal to begin the Oct revolution and one was Peter's old boat. pretty cool. then we went shopping and i got some cool stuff. not telling. ha. and then we went to a cathedral. it was st. isaac's cathedral which was built in honor of Nicholas something but you can't really build churches to honor czar so they named it after nicholas's patron saint..isaac. The inside was pretty cool but we didn't have time to go to the top which i was kinda sad about. after the cathedral we went to lunch at around 1. it was fantastic. i didn't realize i was so hungry...i probably shouldn't have been from all i ate at breakfast. after lunch we went to go see a famous statue which is peter the great on a horse who is stepping on a snake. i kinda enjoyed the snake being stepped on even though it was still an ugly thing. after the statue we went to the hermitage which is like the russian louvre. it has some really cool things in there but is known for its collection of Rembrandt, it also had a couple of da vinci and you know monet. it is huge. it is one of those places you can never really see all of it. we spent almost 3 hours there and afterwards stood out in the rain waiting for our bus. it was kinda fun actually things were pretty lively around the water because the end of the boat around the world tour race or something like that was ending in st pete's so we got to see the 'lighthouses' lit up which they never do during the day and usually on national holidays. so that was something. after the hermitage some people went to a play but i was so beat and was pretty sure i didn't want to pay 50 bucks to take a nap so i went to the hotel. some of us that didn't go went to the grocery store and bought dinner and then ended up talking. so much for the nap. we were going to try and stay up for the white nights in St. pete's but it was rainy and gross. it is supposed to be cool because they lift the bridges so boats can come in and you can see, but not til one in the morning. i was gunna go to sleep and wake up and watch it. didn't quite happen like that. i got into my comfortable bed, and my roommate got in the shower and i was watching some news ...plus all of the lights were on. i didn't even stay awake til the end of her shower...i didn't move til like 7 the next morning. oops. i guess that is what happens when you have a bed rather than a chair-bed. it was fantastic.

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