Ancient City Of Wonders

Trip Start Oct 13, 2012
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Trip End Nov 19, 2012

Flag of Russia  , North-West Russia,
Thursday, October 18, 2012

I have been wanting to visit St. Petersburg for years! There are so many amazing things to see and I've heard so much about it that I couldn't wait to get up and start checking it all out. Of course there is no way to see everything in the three days I'll be here, but I'm determined to see as much as possible. Fortunately, Maria had been here several times before so I left it up to her to organize our itinerary.

Our first day was spent exploring 3 of the most famous cathedrals in Russia. First up was St. Isaac's Cathedral where we were able to actually go up onto the roof surrounding the dome and take in some truly breathtaking views of the city. Right next to the cathedral is the beautiful Alexander Garden. It was the perfect place to relax a bit after climbing those stairs.

Then we headed over to a great pasta and salad place for lunch. The food was great, but I had to be careful what I was ordering. Oh you want to add croutons to your salad? That will be $1 extra. Olives? $1. Cheese? $1.50. Crazy......

Up next was the Kazan Cathedral. Most large cathedrals in Europe are little more than museums with religious services only being held occasionally, but this place was different. It was really busy with visitors coming to pray at all the various old religious artifacts in the cathedral. And they were serious too. Some were even crying. In one corner I saw the tomb belonging to a famous Russian general and on the walls were keys to seventeen cities and eight fortresses that were brought by the victorious Russian army from Europe and placed in the cathedral in 1815. Totally cool!

Our last stop of the day was the beautifully renovated Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, which was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory.

We finished off the day by visiting Maria's favorite Irish pub which has an excellent selection of beers and great food that's not very expensive at all. Exhausted and a little drunk, we walked back to the hotel along the beautifully lit streets to get ready for the next day's adventure.......
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