7.18.2012

Russia: St. Petersburg (day 1 of 4)

Day 12 was the first of 4 days in St. Petersburg and the our last stop on the Russia trip.  AC was feeling better and back on the tour but Mo was starting to feel bad and didn't make it through the day.  I found myself on another bus taking a city tour.  Here we go again, AC commented with a sigh as the bus left the boat.  I promptly fell asleep as soon as we started driving around.

As a reminder, (in case you missed my rants during Moscow) I hated seeing a place from a speeding bus.  I feel like I missed everything.  This day was no different.  I did wake up and ended up putting on my headphones to listen to some music.  That way I just felt like I was on a city bus watching the world go by.

One of the stops on the tour that day was the Peter & Paul Fortress.  We visited a church (an A.B.C. =Another Beautiful Church) in this fortress where all the Russian Zsars were buried.  It was a stunning A.B.C. but very crowded.

Lunch was included at some "local" restaurant and then the options were to go on an optional tour to Peterhof or take the bus back to the boat.  Mom went to Peterhof but neither option seemed good to me. I got a quick lesson in how to get back to the ship on my own from Konstantin, and took off to explore St. Petersburg on my own.  I put on my headphones and started off.  My first stop was the Summer Garden in St. Petersburg.
I have a thing for gardens.  I love the peace they gush, the freedom they give, and the secrets they hold.  I am drawn to gardens and this day was no different.  My soul needed a little soothing after being trapped on a bus and I spent a lot of time exploring the gardens in St. Petersburg.

I wandered around St. Petersburg a bit taking time to stop at a cafe and call T back in the States via Skype.  Eventually I made my way to the metro to head back to the ship.
The metro system in St. Petersburg is a little different than the metro in Moscow.  It works on a token system but I did see some sort of metro card for a few people.  Most used tokens.  The train seemed narrower, (maybe just my perception) and the lights would blink before the train was going to stop.  The specific train I took (to get to the bus, to get to the ship) was in a tunnel so the only time I could see anything around me was when the train stopped and the doors opened.  Not all trains were like this, but the one I had to ride was....

When I exited the metro I had to find the bus that stopped near the ship.  In this case it was the 119 or the 8.  I hoped on the 119 and made my way back to the ship.
The picture above was taken close to midnight from the ship in St. Petersburg.  We lucky to be there during the White Nights of St. Petersburg.  During this time of the year the sun never really sets and the city stays alive all night.  It was beautiful and I am glad I got to experience St. Petersburg during this time.

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