A travel and lifestyle blog

Thursday, 27 April 2017

From Russia with love

A post from Russia with love!

I visited Russia because I got one of those scratch maps for my birthday and it was just getting depressing scratching out piddly little countries...it made me feel like I had been no where. So I thought 'Right, that's it, I'm going to Russia' haha. It sounds like I'm joking but I'm not - that is actually why I came but it turned out to be a really nice place to visit.

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I thought I would share a bit of what we got up to. We went on a walking tour when we first got there. I love walking tours; I resisted them for years because I just thought they'd be really boring but they're really great for getting bearings in a new place. I won't say the name of the one we did because we didn't love it - it was interesting but so slow that we got unbelievably cold and had to nip off early.

We started off at palace square, it's really nice and houses 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 so people were madly swerving it 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.

We passed the winter palace which is next door but I've done a separate post on it that you can read about here.

We had a great meal at Gras which I would definitely recommend. Most of the food in Russia was nice but lukewarm...I've no idea why but it was like that almost everywhere. Gras was not only an exception to that (a rarity) but was so nice. If your in Saint Petersburg then you should 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 and tha'.

There is an English menu but that still doesn't mean you know what you will get as the dish names are Russian and I personally hadn't had Russian foot before. We ended up trying the pittum, it was a little like a cross between a creamy pasta and risotto. Like everything else we had here it was great.

The pittum was followed by an array of beautiful plates - steak with bone marrow mash and pork belly. I didn't take photos because I felt like a grade A moron 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.

We also went to 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 get close up and see how fancy they all are.

There were other rooms housing silverware and everyday pieces for incredibly wealthy people, like golden books because why not haha.

The museum was great to visit and it's an old palace as well so the building was really beautiful.

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, we did that and it felt so smug walking past about a hundred people all freezing outside.

We also went 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.

Even though we had a great time seeing everything, my favourite by far was this...

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 haha. 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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