St. Petersburg Day 1 (First Half)

St. Petersburg Day 1 (First Half)

Our train arrived around 10am and I woke thirty minutes earlier to wash my face, get dressed, and eat some food. This was a good idea because when we stepped off the train we met our tour guide and off we went. No time to drop our stuff at the hostel. Into the bus and off to explore the city—reminiscent of somebody in my family during the Disney World Trip. To Dorothy’s credit, the tour guide did show us a bunch of stuff (so much that I took over 600 photos in 3 days, and am going to have at least 4 posts of St. Pete’s) and we had tons of fun, likewise at Disney World.

We drove around the Winter Palace and parked behind it to walk through the square and grab a quick bite to eat for the kids who didn’t bring food. I snapped some shots of the Alexander Column and Winter Palace, and the building opposite the Winter Palace:

The first building I looked at when we entered the square. Probably because it continues left and we walked in basically alongside it. We went through the arch to have breakfast.

The first building I looked at when we entered the square. Probably because it continues left and we walked in basically alongside it. We went through the arch to have breakfast.

The close up shot of the archway. And turning around...

The close up shot of the archway. And turning around…

The Winter Palace, with the Alexander Column just in front standing 47.5m tall, and made of a solid piece of granite. It is set so neatly that it is not attached to the base. So if you were Hercules, you could push it over, or blow it over. This has yet to happen though.

The Winter Palace, with the Alexander Column just in front standing 47.5m tall, and made of a solid piece of granite. It is set so neatly that it is not attached to the base. So if you were Hercules, you could push it over, or blow it over. This has yet to happen though.

We then went across the bridge to take some photos of the river and landmarks there.

One of two original lighthouses in St. Petersburg.

One of two original lighthouses in St. Petersburg.

This dude, Poseidon or lookalike, sits at the base on one side of the lighthouse, presumably to guard it.

This dude, Poseidon or lookalike, sits at the base on one side of the lighthouse, presumably to guard it.

In these next few photos we’re going to play a game. It’s called spot “That Guy.” Some of you might be familiar with this game. It comes from those photos that people take while drunk, at a party, on vacation, touring, or all of the above. When they finally look at the photos they notice a random dude they’ve never seen before in the background of the photo smiling or making a face at the camera. Needless to say, we caught one of them in these photos. He’s in all three. See if you can spot him; it’s real obvious in the third one.

Let me just say that the uninformed would be looking at the building in the background with the Russian Naval flag above it. May I bring your attention to the foreground and slightly to the left of center where one of the most delicious pea coats clothes Mike Weiss. And mark the collared black sweater underneath. Simple elegance. But seriously, check out that pea coat. You don't see that everyday. Without over doing it, Mike's half smile brings the photo together.

Let me just say that the uninformed would be looking at the building in the background with the Russian Naval flag above it. May I bring your attention to the foreground and slightly to the left of center where one of the most delicious pea coats clothes Mike Weiss? And mark the collared black sweater underneath. Simple elegance. But seriously, check out that pea coat. You don’t see that everyday. I’m going to move somewhere colder so I can buy one. Without over doing it, Mike’s half smile brings the photo together.

It felt weird having this picture with other people in it and not me so I included one of me. And it makes the game more fun. This is the hardest picture to spot "that guy" in. And hey, I like my polarfleece; don't get the impression that I don't from above comments.

It felt weird having this picture with other people in it and not me so I included one of me. And it makes the game more fun. This is the hardest picture to spot “that guy” in. And hey, I like my polarfleece; don’t get the impression that I don’t from above comments.

Oh KAKA there he is! Adeel didn't even notice. That dude was super sly in the previous photos, sneaking up like that. Nah just kidding he's one of us. He's Bill, and he's pretty chill. Plays soccer too, and cooks good foo'.

Oh KAKA there he is! Adeel didn’t even notice. That dude was super sly in the previous photos, sneaking up like that. Nah just kidding he’s one of us. He’s Bill, and he’s pretty chill. Plays soccer too, and cooks good foo’.

We then drove further down the river and I took a photo in front of a fairy statue:

Thankfully this one is stuck into the ground so I didn't have much of a chance of pushing it over unlike Alexander.

Thankfully this one is stuck into the ground so I didn’t have much of a chance of pushing it over unlike Alexander.

The Aurora Cruiser from the famous Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. It returned to St. Petersburg and during the October Revolution of 1917 it fired a blank shot to give the signal to strom the Winter Palace. Apparently, the flooding St. Petersburg gets every year is problematic for the ship as it's bolted down to the bottom of the river.

The Aurora Cruiser from the famous Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. It returned to St. Petersburg and during the October Revolution of 1917 it fired a blank shot to give the signal to storm the Winter Palace. Apparently, the flooding St. Petersburg gets every year is problematic for the ship as it’s bolted down to the bottom of the river.

Turning around to look back at the lighthouses. They don't call St. Petersburg the Venice of Russia for nothing. Ah, the air is so pure. It feels really refreshing. The wind too, nice deep breaths in the cold brisk morning air.

Turning around to look back at the lighthouses. They don’t call St. Petersburg the Venice of Russia for nothing. Ah, the air is so pure. It feels really refreshing. The wind too, nice deep breaths in the brisk morning air.

This was the first building in St. Petersburg. Actually, the building inside this one, Peter's log cabin was the first building built in St. Petersburg. But then soldiers immediately began working on this one around it, so we were told.

This was the first building in St. Petersburg. Actually, the building inside this one, Peter’s log cabin was the first building built in St. Petersburg. But then soldiers immediately began working on this one around it, so we were told.

We drove to a park and walked around for a little and were able to see the Church of Christ Our Savior on Spilled Blood from far (there’s a story I’ll try to remember it).

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

St. Isaac's. The most collossal building I have seen yet in Russia. In my opinion it dwarfs Christ Our Savior in Moscow. But it's not listed as a larger church because they turned it into a museum. We went there the last day, and I have photos so I'll tell about it then.

St. Isaac’s. The most collossal building I have seen yet in Russia. In my opinion it dwarfs Christ Our Savior in Moscow. But it’s not listed as a larger church because they turned it into a museum. We went there the last day, and I have photos so I’ll tell about it then. Yes we went up to the upper level via that stairway.

Look at how small those people are. This thing is massive. The inside is absolutely breathtaking. By the way, instead of using "completely" the Russians use "absolutely" when speaking English. For example: The church was absolutely demolished before the third rebuilding. Our tour guide did it a lot (I managed to bite my tongue and didn't correct her, it was kind of amusing anyway).

Look at how small those people are. This thing is massive. The inside is absolutely breathtaking. By the way, instead of using “completely” the Russians use “absolutely” when speaking English. For example: The church was absolutely demolished before the third rebuilding. Our tour guide did it a lot (I managed to bite my tongue and didn’t say anything, it was kind of amusing anyway).

Now a little preview of Yusupov Palace, or Moika Palace, or Yusupov’s Moika Palace. This was the place of conspiracy against Rasputin by Grand Duke Pavlovich of the Romanov family, among others, where Rasputin was shot multiple times in the basement…and eventually died of drowning. Yea it’s a crazy story. I have some photos of it though so I’ll lead you through it. Basically though, Rasputin was almost immortal.

What kind of bathroom has a little shelf like this for dudes like my friends and me. In the boys bathroom too, that was dumb of them. So of course, we all took our turn up there. This bathroom was super nice though; check out the urinals:

What kind of bathroom has a little shelf like this for dudes like my friends and me? In the boys bathroom too, that was dumb of them. So of course, we all took our turn up there. This bathroom was super nice though; check out the urinals:

All that blue tile. We could have left after this and felt it had been a successful trip.

All that blue tile. We could have left after this and felt it had been a successful trip.

More of Yusupov Palace coming tomorrow, with no more photos of bathrooms. But a lot of clocks…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *