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St. Petersburg – Russia not Florida

June 7, 2008

After our exhausting train station adventure, we went to The Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood because I couldn’t wait any longer. I think I took about 100 pictures of it. I had to get every possible angle. But, as mentioned before, our camera was stolen. However, we did buy a disposable camera so I have a few pictures to share.

Here’s me in front of my favorite church of all time and a closer view of the onion domes. We debated on whether or not to pay the 300 rubles each ($12.75) to go inside. We decided to go and WOW! The walls and ceilings inside are completely covered in mosaics of people and scenes from the Bible. I loved it. This was easily my favorite part of our whole trip.

This was on May 27 which also happened to City Day and St. Petersburg was celebrating its 305th birthday. All the streets were decorated, but we somehow missed all of the festivities. It probably happened during the two hours we were buying our train tickets.

The next day, we strolled along Nevky Prospekt looking at the architecture and going in various churches. We walked to the other side of the river to the Peter & Paul Fortress and St. Peter & St. Paul Cathedral. It was such a beautiful day, we decided to walk 3 miles to the Smolny Cathedral.

We weren’t such a fan of the metro. For one thing, it was always so crowded that you couldn’t breathe. But most importantly, there is nothing telling you what stop you are at. The name isn’t on the wall like most stops. And the name is announced in Russian and hard to hear and understand. Basically, you must count the number of stops and hope. However, we were in the middle of no where at this cathedral, so after wandering for a bit, we took the metro to Alexander Nevky Monastery and Tikhvin Cemetery.

The cemetery was quite interesting despite the fact that it was 160 rubles each for us to go in and only 10 rubles for Russians. (This country obviously does not cater to tourists.) There were lots of famous Russian artists laid to rest in there, but I can’t really remember who at the moment.

From there, we mistakenly took the metro back to our hotel. As we came out of the metro, I reached into my purse for my camera. I couldn’t find it. Josh said he didn’t have it. Hmmm… Maybe I dropped it in the cemetery. I did take quite a few pictures in there. But I’m pretty confident that I put it in my jacket or my purse. I was on the verge of tears. So, Josh went back to the cemetery while I went back to the hotel and tried not to panic. Eventually, Josh came back empty-handed as expected. I guess I was pick-pocketed on the metro and didn’t even know it. I keep checking this blog, Found Cameras and Orphan Pictures, just in case the thief is nice enough to turn in the memory card. All I want are the pictures. You can keep the camera!

That ruined the rest of the day. We just hung out in the hotel for the rest of the night. The next day, I woke up hoping the camera fiasco was a dream, but it wasn’t. We went into a tourist shop and bought an overpriced disposable camera and went to Dvortsovaya Ploshchad (Palace Square) and The Hermitage.

The Hermitage, appropriately said to be one of the world’s great art museums, is massive and it took up most of the day.

After the museum, we went to the Souvenir fair and bought our ornament. Then we headed to the train station for our overnight train to Moscow.

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