Monday (23rd), after an early morning arrival, we decided to explore the area around our hotel near the popular Nevsky Prospekt which is close to the Hermitage and the Church of the Saviour on Blood and a climb up the tower of St Isaac's. After a bit of wandering we decided to have a relaxing dinner in the sun (it is light until 9:30 - 10:00pm) for some, well, maybe not entirely but tasty, Russian cuisine. After only a day in St Petersburg, we were certain that we had made the right decision to spend more time there than in Moscow. It is more of a European city, which is no real surprise as they hired architects from all over Europe (mostly Italy and France) to design much of the impressive centre of the city.
Near Nevsky Prospect ... pre breakfast!
The top of the tower of St Isaac's
Church of the Saviour on Blood, modelled on St Basil's in Moscow
Tuesday (24th) we took a walk across the river to Peter and Paul's fortress. As luck would have it we happened to be there at 12pm, the time a canon is fired across the river. Although it was not one of the old school ball canons that were hanging around it was still bloody loud and impressive, especially from our vantage point on the roof - which was about 100m from where it went off! From the fortress we wandered back to the hotel via the Church of the Saviour on Blood and the obviously named souvenir markets, for yep you guesssed it a little souvenir shopping.
The Peter and Paul's Fortress
And another shot of the Church of Saviour on Blood
Wednesday (25th), our last day, we decided was a perfect one to spend wandering around the Hermitage. Due to a quick internet search we purchased tickets online, which enabled us to avoid the hour long queue to get in! Whilst wandering around the rooms of the Hermitage which were impressive enough as is, we also took in works by greats such as Rembrandt, Picasso, Monet, Mattise, Van Gogh, Gaugin, Cezanne, and were lucky enough to also see a special Picasso exhibition that was on! Not a bad way to spend the better part of a day. After the museum we hit some rain and thought the best way to get out of the weather was to take a canal cruise around St Petersburg in a covered canal boat. Actually we had already decided to do the cruise, getting out of the rain was a plus! Following that we got ourselves organised for our next train journey to Berlin, via Belarus and Poland, a relatively short one at only 36 hrs!
Using the audio guide, which looks suspiciously like a mobile phone
Some may recognize this famous painting by Monet