Saturday, 15 October 2011

St. Petersburg: closed on Wednesdays!

We didn't plan out our Tallinn posts very well so we are planing these St. Petersburg posts a little bit better.

I am calling this post St. Petersburg: Closed on Wednesday because we had a big laugh when we noticed that everything was closed on Wednesdays. These are some of the things that were closed: the Church on the Spilled Blood, Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Issac's Cathedral, and many others places!

Our flickr album is never closed!

We took the Monday night St. Peters Line ferry and got to St. Petersburg Tuesday morning, then we had from 12:00 to 6:00 at the Hermitage Museum. First though, we had a tour of the city courtesy of Anatoli (see Daddy's future post). The Hermitage is one of the largest art museums in the world but it isn't just all art there (but more about that later). We got a really nice room in a micro hotel where we were pleasantly surprised after reading some reviews of other hotels on the web (more on THAT later too!).

Although there was hard rain on Tuesday while we were at the Hermitage, it was sunny on Wednesday while we were walking around the city, and the fall colours made it really pretty. We walked around the city all day and saw lots of cathedrals, monuments, and important sites We found a great restaurant for lunch me and dad had Russian style fish and Jacob and mom had Chicken kiev.

We also went to Peter and Paul fortress to walk around. We took the metro and took that 1 stop and then we walked around the fortress then we walked back near St. Issac's cathedral and found a coffee shop and had dinner. The escalator at the metro was the longest one I have ever seen and it and the metro were very fast. Then at 6:00 we had to head back for the ferry and it started to rain. We got the last bus for the ferry and the driver really wanted to get us there on time. It felt like we were going faster than on a highway through the crowded streets.
On the left we're all together (upright) with St. Isaac's Cathedral behind - 200 kg of gold on that dome! On the right we're on the Peter and Paul beach with the Neva river and the Hermitage behind us.
This picture is to show the mix of cars with the old Lada on the left (like Uncle Steve had) and the limo
hummer on the right side of the picture and on the far side of the limo hummer there
is another limo. Some people really wanted to keep their nice cars safe because they some of them
were actually parking them totally on the sidewalk like they're in Greece or something!
Here is a picture of Jacob's chicken kiev. OK so Kiev's now part of Ukraine and not officially Russian, but it's still authentic and yummy!  
Here is the huge escalator at the metro. It was crazy long, and makes the one at Kamppi in Helsinki seem like a toy slide! The Metro is just packed with people, and only cost 25 rubbles (80 cents)
Another un-Daddy perfect handstand in front of the statue to Catherine the Great, with the Alexandrisky Theatre behind.
I really like the picture on the left, where it looks like the lion figurehead on the ship's prow is leaping over the Winter Palace. The two-headed eagle is the symbol of the Romanovs, the family of the tsars, and are everywhere in the city.
The famous Bronze Horseman statue of Peter the Great, made in his memory by Catherine the Great. Here on the right I'm tree-hugging this huge column at the Kazan Cathedral.

St. Petersburg was founded in 1703 by guess who? Peter the Great of course! Many people were forced into labour and died to build the city, so it was not always a happy memory of Peter. It was the capital of Russia until the Soviets moved it to Moscow. There was so much to see in St. Petersburg that we'll have at least one more post of just the sights - stay tuned!


  1. So how micro was the hotel? Are we talking pod rooms? What makes a fish dish a Russian fish dish? Was it marinated in vodka and then topped off with caviar? What's with the blue deck chair? Is that where the gun toting car guard sits to take care of anyone who dings your hummer while it is parked on the sidewalk? Inquiring minds want to know!!! And the most important question of all: Did you get the Jedi Queen a museum catalogue of the Hermitage collection? Your acquisition of the lego millenium falcon depends on it:-)

  2. The way you guys were dressed in St. Petersburg, it definitely looks like the onset of winter!

    So, how was the Chicken Kiev? Is it like the Chicken Kiev they serve over here? So the metro was cheap. How about the cost of food? Any Starbucks or MacDonalds? We thought the cafes in France were very expensive so we resorted to getting our Lattes at MacDonald's MacCafes.

    With that long escalator ride, did you ever find out how deep underground you got? Deep enough to have your ears go "pop"?

    Zachary, I thought you might have fallen asleep leaning up against the big column. Looks like it would have taken at least three of you linking hands to completely hug the column.

  3. It was actually an incredible fall day in 'Peter" and was perfect for walking about. Was probably 10o or so - the gloves were helpful but not essential, and it wasn't so hot that we were sweating with our backpacks.

    Food prices depended on where you go. The lunch at the Cafe St. Petersburg right next to the Church on Spilled Blood was great. The big lunch of Chicken Kiev (and the fish dish Zach and I each had) were only the equivalent of $6CAN per dish, all inclusive for a sit-down restaurant meal! On the other hand, our 2xhot chocolates, 2xcappuccinos, and 2 pretty small and plain paninis cost ~$30 at another cafe!

    Unlike the Moscow subway, the 'Peter' subways were much plainer. Our ears didn't pop, but I thought we'd get coal miner helmet lights with our ticket it went so deep!