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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Exploring Saint Petersburg, Russia

It's crazy to be here because before I came I was actually a bit scared of Russia. The place and the people - or what I thought about the place and the people scared me; I thought it was going to be freezing, and grey and the people were going to be harsh and unfriendly.

It could not be more different. 

The place is vibrant, colourful, feels very safe and is full of the most polite and friendly people. I actually found Russians to be quite funny and the first time one cracked a joke I was genuinely shocked haha. I can't get over how wrong my perception was. It definitely taught me to not judge a book by its cover and I was a bit ashamed of myself for making assumptions; lesson learned. Having said that, it is definitely as cold as I expected haha.
If you've not been because you were feeling the same then you should go and experience it for yourself, it honestly is one of the best places I've been to.

After that little deep moment, it's time to explore!

We started our day sightseeing at St. Isaacs Church; the largest church in Russia. Full of mosaics and paintings but my favourite view was from the roof. We could see Saint Petersburg from behind the angels which was such a great experience because there are no modern buildings here so we got to see the historic city line.

So refreshing after my trip to New York last month.

We wandered around the streets getting a feel for the place and also in search of some hot chocolates. It was so cold we needed them as a matter of survival. Even the drainpipes had frozen...

...we stopped off at the fire pit in the middle of a memorial to heat up. It was actually lovely to be near an open fire and heat up our fingers a little on the way to see more buildings.

We headed on to the Kazan Cathedral. We didn't spend that long in here because even though its filled with beautiful paintings it's also full of locals praying and lighting candles and I felt that if I stayed for too long that might be a bit disrespectful and in people's way. I always worry about upsetting locals when I go away so I was glad to appreciate the cathedral more from the outside where I didn't have to think about that.

We went to get a late lunch at Pelmenya; it's known for selling typical Russian dishes and was pretty great. It was so cheap, but it is small so be prepared to wait. Also if you go, there is a button to press for service and we didn't realise for ages which was embarassing haha. We tried the Russian dumplings (pelmeni) filled with potato and meat. Delicious, but not very photogenic so excuse the lack of photos.

Then we headed over to the Church of the saviour of spilled blood.

The outside was amazing but the inside was just incredible. This was definitely my favourite place in all of Saint Petersburg.

Beautiful paintings on every surface, surrounded by colourful mosaics. Malachite seems to have been a real favourite and it contrasts so well with all the gilded surfaces.

We were about ready for a nap before heading out for dinner and drinks so headed back to our hotel for a lie down. We stayed at the Dom Boutique hotel and I so want the chandelier and bath in my home.

See you next time,


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