RST Day 2: snow, sights & shine.

(I started writing this on Saturday, but ended up being pretty fail and only getting around to finishing it today. So references to today actually mean Saturday, rather than Thursday…!)

St Petersburg is cold. I expected cold, but this was cooold! AND IT SNOWED TODAY! Ok, so maybe I have seen falling snow that one time in the Blue Mountains, during Maculty Getaway, but continuous snow falling from the sky was SO AWESOME. I wish I had a better macro lens. :)

Anyway. Today…

Bufffet breakfast.

pastries, egg, sausages, wedges, 'blinis'.

Bus sightseeing tour. But first we had to wait for two people who hadn’t managed to wake up… Then we were on our way. The thing I love about St Petersburg, as well as European cities, is how picturesque everything is. I just want to wrap entire cities up and take them home. Everything back home in Sydney is just too modern and city-like. Nothing is pretty, except maybe some of the older suburbs…

We made a stop at St Isaac’s Cathedral…

st isaac's cathedral.

We passed through a park, where there were lots of people raking up fallen leaves. I have kind of missed deciduous trees while in Copenhagen…


Then we paused for a while to admire The Bronze Horseman, a statue of Peter the Great.

peter the great; senate and synod buildings

After freezing our butts off for a while, we headed back onto the bus and headed towards the Peter and Paul Fortress. Before we got there though, we stopped at the two old lighthouses… where we also froze, but it was exciting because there was REAL snow falling from the sky. Not to mention the numerous wedding photos going on.

red lighthouse, with second one in the back-ish...

Then we finally got to the fortress and headed in to the Peter and Paul Cathedral, but not before being distracted by a band of guards.

guards are super cool.

The cathedral was so elaborate and ornate inside. Many of the past tsars have been buried inside, although much further underground than their tombs might indicate.

peter and paul cathedral; and interior.

l-r: elizabeth i, catherine i, peter the great. (double headed eagle on the corners of the marble blocks indicate that the person buried there was in power at one stage.)

But what I was most eager to see was the final resting place of the last Romanov family: Nicholas II, Alexandra, Olga, Tatiana and Maria. Also buried there are a number of the family’s servants. The remains of who are thought to be Alexei and Anastasia were found recently, but are yet to be buried with the rest of their family in the side chapel of St Catherine the Martyr, while DNA testing is being conducted.

the chapel of st catherine the martyr.

We headed outside, by the side of the church, to hang out with Peter the Great’s statue.

peter the great. touch his fingers for luck, apparently?

random building. :)

After our stop at the Peter and Paul Fortress, we took the bus back towards the main part of the city and to the Church of Spilled Blood.

church of spilled blood.

After admiring the onion domes, we headed across the road to the souvenir fair, where Ben found a matrushka doll related to some sport team… but didn’t buy anything. We resolved to go back later.

souvenir fair.

We took a bit of a walk along Nevsky Prospect, the main street through the city of St Petersburg, before catching the metro to Udelnaya to visit a flea market there. When we got there, we stumbled around a bit trying to find the place before we came across what seemed to be the right place. It wasn’t quite what we were expecting though, as the front was made up of a number of stalls that were inside numbered buildings, selling clothes, shoes, but not a lot of random ‘flea market’ type stuff. As we kept walking through, the buildings disappeared, replaced with shelters under which people were displaying piles and piles of clothing. You could tell that things were being sold for bargain prices, but our lack of Russian communication made it difficult t even contemplate buying anything if we had wanted to. Still, it was worth a look.

udelnaya flea market.

We took the metro back to Nevsky Prospect and stopped by at “север”, which the translation of Russian wiki tells me that is one of the oldest patisseries in St Petersburg. We ended up buying an entire cake, because it worked out to be much cheaper than just buying a slice each. It was so good, and creamy and just full of awesome goodness. :)

super awesome cake. :)

After cake we ran into a couple of people and then took a bit of a walk back to the hotel, following the canals. It took over half an hour, but it was a decent walk, and definitely a better
way to see a little bit more than just by simply taking the metro.

walking back to azimut.

Got back to the hotel, freshened up a little bit, got distracted by some random movie that included an outrageous car chase scene with ridiculous violence, then headed down to “Meet
the Locals”. We followed Alex, her cousin Pavl and …? (Man, I am SO bad with names!) to the metro, and to an old sports bar called ‘Barcelona’ (or at least, something similar to that in Russian).


When we walked in and got seated in a separate room, we were told that something had happened to the power, and so they started to bring out numerous candles. We ended up ordering paella and some meatball tapas. It was kind of weird though because we ended up kind of sitting as one group of us internationals and then the Russians next to us, and then a few of us at the other end, so our little group didn’t end up talking to them very much.

The dramas from the night?
– Food took forever to come out. In the end we spent about 3 hours at dinner…
– Meatballs were brought out and they were not warm at all. So we sent them back. Luckily we didn’t get sick or anything from that.
– Towards the end of the meal, a picture fell on Ben’s head. So Alex talked to the waitress and in the end they brought out another dish thing by way of apologise. It was basically potato done 5 ways. So that was interesting to share that around, although there was one portion that was a bit of meat.

After the dinner, we ended up going to a club, which was a little bit swanky, with drinks costing way more than necessary.


russian dancing... yeaaah.


Sam and Vanessa danced with the Russians a bit, while the rest of us hung back on some of the couches, chatting and such, before one of the Russian security guards approached us and told us that we had to pay 1000 rubles or something to sit there. Alex tried to sort it out with him, but we found out that the tables were permanently reserved, so we just went to stand by the dance floor, watching the Russian guys dance, which was entertainment in itself.

In the end, Carla, Ben and I decided to head back to the hotel, while Sam, Vanessa and Joao stayed with the Russians and headed to a Soviet-style bar.

More posts to come eventually about the rest of the Russia trip. Possibly when I get back to Copenhagen, after my EICL exam, and after Beck comes and we jet over to Stockholm. :)


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  • Comments (2)
  1. wuhhh you went to a club? in russia?!! woooow!!!!
    also russian buildings are quite colourful!! and oooo you did kinda find anastasia! (or, her family..)

      • misselty
      • November 7th, 2010

      lol. amazed? it was the thing to do… *-)
      i thought the challenge was to find dmitri!

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