August 30, 2014
I stepped foot off the ship and walked on solid ground cautiously. Honestly, I was a little nervous. With all that’s happing with Russia and the Ukraine, my family’s deep concern about my first port, and the extensive safety warnings Semester at Sea had given me, walking on Russian soil was a little uneasy. Nevertheless, I walked on.
It turns out that St. Petersburg is quite welcoming. There are definitely parts of the country that I wouldn’t want to travel to, but I’ve been learning in class all week that St. Petersburg is actually one of the least Russian cities in all of Russia, with most of it’s design coming from Greek, French, Roman, Dutch, and Spanish influence. Since I was on a walking tour, I trotted around the city, seeing the sites from unbelievable cultures. I didn’t get to go inside many places, but I snagged pictures of everything that looked awesome – so basically the entire city. Here a few.
I spent most of today at The Winter Palace. Now home to the Hermitage Museum, it was monumental. Inside the museum was a plethora of artifacts dating back centuries, but the most amazing part was the art. Stay tuned for a post completely devoted to it.
For lunch I had potatoes with lots of butter, an apple pastry, and roasted chicken with Russian seasoning (which probably means vodka since they use that for everything here). It was good!
I really enjoyed seeing The Church of Spilled Blood. Odd name, but it’s one of the few places in St. Petersburg that actually looks Russian. Check out the details.
I later went to a Russian market. You can find everything in one of those! The people there were very hospitable. Sometimes, as they in Russian, “Poyti na eto.” I have no idea what that means, so if you figure it out, could you fill me in?