Russian Around: Part 3

Sit right back and you’ll hear a tale of raccoon street performers, sketchy hostels, a bus accident, and snow in May.

All of which added up to the crossing off of my top travel bucket list item.

 

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Day 2 we traversed the city and discovered that google is sometimes not to be trusted.

After wandering down the Neva River, leading to some amazing photoshoot quality photos like the one above, we were ready to try out the St. Pete metro for the first time.

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We bought just one trip at a time from the machines as we had planned to walk most places, but there are various day/multi-day passes available

Our main stop of the day was Yelagin Island, one of many small isles in the middle of the river. We chose this particular one because of a massive palace (also named Yelagin) and grounds to explore. However, Google failed us and because of various holidays around the time we were there, the palace was closed for the duration of our time in the city. However, we still enjoyed wandering the grounds and enjoying some tranquility in the midst of a busy metropolis.

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Luckily the rain held off until we were back in the city, however, due to our apparent inability to check the weather nor foresight to buy tickets in advance, stop #2, the Fabergé Museum, saw us standing in line in the rain for an hour. {Pro tip: Definitely buy tickets in advance OR join a group tour of the museum}

Worth. It.

Because we got to see these beautiful editions of Harry Potter.

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But also because these were waiting for us inside:

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We were very lucky and for some oddball reason, the museum was hosting a Frida Kahlo/Diego Rivera exhibit, so we got a bonus round of incredible art to finish our visit.

Because we hadn’t done quite enough for the day (*sarcasm font*), we headed down the street to the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, home to a long name that we continually got wrong, and also one of the more iconic structures in the city.

My jaw was gaping from start to finish. The level of artistry seen in most cathedrals is breathtaking but this was another level, floor to ceiling frescos (some art major please tell me if that’s the correct term) covering every available inch of space. And after so many years of seeing mostly Gothic cathedrals, this was such a change and breath of fresh air. There’s no way to do it true justice in photos, so just get yourself a visa and go. Just go.

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To end the day on a more human, mundane note, we walked back along Nevsky Propekt to a specialty shop, Eliseyev Emporium, where we bought a lot of chocolate and other goodies as souvenirs. VzC8QYOkSoSi6U+UqUDg2QWgW9ka+dQ2q2BzHyU4BZ+g

After a jolting walk in the now POURING rain to our hostel, we dried as much as possible before heading back out to dinner, luckily just around the block from us.

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