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Thursday, 27 April 2017

From Russia with love

A post from Russia with love!

The last few days have been spent wandering around this beautiful city and taking in the wonderful sites. I am in love with St. Petersburg; it's so lovely and the people have been so friendly. Let me take you on a tour...

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First stop is the beautiful palace square. Housing the impressively tall Alexander column.

When it was installed, no attachments were created to fix the column to the pedestal. Our tour guide explained that when it was erected the architect walked his dog by the column everyday to show people it was safely fixed in place by it's weight alone...but no one believed him for quite a while haha. It stands opposite the triumphal arch, built for soldiers returning from defeating Napolean which I think looks a little similar to the Brandenburg in Berlin.

Next lets wander into the winter palace. Read all about it in my separate post here.

After all that walking and sightseeing it's time to eat! We went to Gras which I would definitely recommend. Most of the food in Russia is nice but as a typical rule it's lukewarm. Gras was not only an exception to that (a rarity) but also happened to be one of the most incredible meals I've ever eaten. If your in Saint Petersburg then you have to go and eat everything.

We started with cocktails; honey, bee pollen and grey goose which came on this platter and made us feel all fancy.

There is an English menu but that still doesn't mean you know what you will get as the dish names are obviously Russian and I've never eaten them before. We ended up trying the pittum, it was a little like a cross between a creamy pasta and risotto. Like everything else we ate here - it was truly exceptional.

The pittum was followed by an array of beautiful plates - steak with bone marrow mash and pork belly. I didn't take photos and yes, I'm kicking myself about it! You have to go here. It cost just under £50 for two of us to have cocktails, starters and main courses. I am filled with regret that I was too full for desert, hashtag cry for me.

Now it's time for us to visit...

...the Fabergรฉ museum. One room is dedicated to the famous jewelled eggs; it's incredible because you can get right up to each one and see the detail. This beautiful tree egg was one of my favourites.

Alongside the coronation egg. I learned that each egg took an entire year to finish which seemed a bit OTT until you see all of the craftsmanship in each piece, then it made sense!

There were other rooms housing silverware and everyday pieces for incredibly wealthy people, like this rather fabulous gilded my plainly covered kindle some serious side eye right now.

The museum is a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours, especially as its located in an old palace which would be worth going to see regardless of the exhibits.

The tickets are cheap - I think on the basis that you will then buy an audio guide. I didn't and had mild regret because there's no information in the museum; Where museums normally have a few words on an item (i.e. Exhibit 23: Coronation egg of Tsar Nicholas II) there was only a number and a big box of giant outdated index's that were not fun to look at. I think it would be better to get an audio guide for the trip. Another tip would be to get your ticket online if there's a long queue outside so that you can skip it.

Now lets wander down the main shopping street of Nevski. A great place to spend a couple of hours as it's filled with locals doing their shopping and of course, beautiful buildings. The further down the street you wander the less touristy it gets.

After wandering and eating our way around the city there is time for a late night stop off at the church of the saviour on spilled blood.

Built over the spot where Alexander the II was assassinated. It was commissioned by his son who decided the position of the river was in the way of the building, so he had it moved. Naturally. What remains is a beautiful tribute and by far my favourite monument in Saint Petersburg. I can't wait to show you in my next post.

After all that walking, it's time for a nap. 

I hope you enjoyed our little tour.  Until next time,


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