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Published: July 18th 2018
(Ok, I added some pics in to yesterday's post)
Another busy day today! Thankfully customs went waaaaay quicker - not even 5min. We started with a quick photoshop at St Isaac's Cathedral - it wasn't open yet, but we got pictures from outside at least. It's the 4th largest domed church in... Europe? World? I forget. Regardless, it's big lol.
We drove out to another summer palace - Peterhof - but instead of going inside we enjoyed the gardens. It was a long drive, I think most of us napped lol. It's still quite hot, so def makes you sleepy.
Anyway, Peter the Great built this palace/garden after he visited Versailles in France. Its main attraction is the system of cascading fountains - they don't use any electricity or pumps, it's all through gravity which is a pretty unique feat to accomplish when you look at the intricacy of the grounds.
We walked around the park for about an hour which was a good amount of time. I really like SPB - it's a good mix of actively doing things and being on the bus/taking a short break. We had a good laugh on the way in
- while our guide went to get the tickets, we were left in a photo area. 2 of our group "went to the bathroom" and when the guide came back he's like there are no bathrooms that way...?? So he had to wander all over talking into our mics like "ok if you're ____ I'm this way and if you're over there... please come back... or no... ok maybe I come find you some where...?" Basically just mumbling to himself in the mic while he hunted.
For lunch we went to a little restaurant in the same town - it was a set-lunch today which was great: chicken borscht soup and beef stroganoff. Perfect! I'd never seen borscht with stuff in it - it's so much better this way..!! We also got some ice cream and were ready to continue on our way.
We headed back into the city and off to Peter and Paul Fortresss. We didn't spend very long here - it's the one place where I was kind of left feeling we hadn't done it justice. We basically just went in to see the Cathedral where the Imperial family members were all buried. I loved
this church - the light green hues were very unusual and made for beautiful photos. The grave markers were beautiful as well.
Last stop for the day was the subway! St Petersburg is know for super deep stations since they go under the canals - that was a cool touch that we got to go see it. We took the loooooooooong escalator ride down and took the train one station over. The stations are beautiful too - giant mosaics all over the place.
On the drive back to the cruiseport he taught us how to say "I love you" in Russian - "yellow blue bus" apparently sounds very similar to the Russian phrase lol. (Except a v for bus). Cute. We also had a fun little quiz which I won because teacher brain... soaking up the historical facts thank you. I got a keychain for my efforts. We also stopped at a gift shop that gave out free vodka (... there was literally a bottle and cups for you to help yourself). It was the cheap stuff though - I took a tiny shot and woof... the guide was laughing afterwards and basically listed every other Russian vodka
that is better than this brand.
And that was that! I definitely want to come back to Russia and actually visit it rather than just be toured about.
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