It's #HowToTuesday and, as promised, here are the remainder of the photos from our trip to St.Petersburg.
As I've said, we visited Russia on a cruise and had a visa through said cruise to be in Russia. Even with that blanket visa, we booked a "visa-free" guided tour with TJ Travel. This was the second day of our tour. We started out with a quick stop in Palace Square to take photos and then moved quickly on to the Hermitage/Winter Palace. Our tour got us early admission, so our tiny group of 9 had the place to ourselves.
I don't know about actual square footage or number of works of art, but I feel like the Hermitage is even bigger than the Louvre in Paris. And let's not forget about the gold leaf everywhere. We saw works of art by Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo DaVinci (the only Ninja Turtle without works on display was Donatello), the most amazing peacock clock on the planet, and rooms upon rooms of other pieces of history. The Amber Room, though a reproduction (because the original was disassembled and hidden from the Nazis during WWII and has never been recovered), was mind blowing.
Our next stop was to the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, one of the more iconic buildings in St.Petersburg. The name is quite a mouthful, but is named as such because the church was built upon the site where Emperor Alexander II was murdered in 1881. The outside of the church is a brightly mosaicked work of brick and onion domes (that have really always reminded me of cupcakes). The interior walls are completely covered in mosaics of biblical scenes. It truly is a site to see.
Our day was rounded out by a walk along the Nevsky Prospect (saw Starbucks in Cyrillic... thought that looked quite interesting), a quick lunch of Russian pancakes and dumplings, and a quick visit to Peter and Paul Fortress where the Romanoff's (think "Anastasia") are buried.
... yes, including Anastasia... or so they claim...
Overall, the trip was successful! If you ever find yourself in need of a tour of St.Petersburg, I highly recommend TJ Travel! Our guide, Nina, was amazing/full of history/bubbly and made the whole experience one to remember!