Country #73 - Russia Day 2

The Hermitage

My mom and I both got a great night’s sleep at M-Hotel before our second day in St. Petersburg! We started off the day visiting Savior on the Spilled Blood. This famous church deserves all of the recognition that it receives, because it truly was spectacular. Unfortunately there was scaffolding on the outside, but the inside was incredible because it was entirely a mosaic! It was just amazing to think how much work must have gone into it. After Savior on the Spilled Blood we walked over to The Hermitage, where we would be spending the majority of our day.

DSC01501.JPG

The Hermitage is the second largest museum in the world and was established in 1764. It is absolutely massive. Like three buildings, multiple floors, and more art and artifacts than you can imagine. It reminds me a bit of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam if I had to make a comparison, but it really is on a whole other level of its own. We went through every room in the museum over the span of between three and four hours, with only a small break in the middle to grab a quick snack. In many instances the rooms themselves were just as spectacular, if not more so, than what they were displaying. It is definitely obvious that the building used to be a palace, and it was just an incredible experience to walk through and see all of the rooms. Pretty exhausting, though!

After we finished up we walked about ten minutes to St. Isaac’s Cathedral. During the walk, it was now a downpour of snow. We were literally covered in snow by the time we finished the ten-minute walk, but walking was definitely worth it because we were able to hear the really cool church bells playing at St. Isaac’s – they were like nothing else I’ve ever heard, almost like it was playing a song for a few minutes! The inside was very beautiful as well, and after we finished there we took an Uber to the mall type store next to M-Hotel, called Bol'shoy Gostinyy Dvor. We shopped around for souvenirs for about thirty minutes before grabbing our bags and taking an Uber back to the ferry terminal to head back to Helsinki, Finland. It took about an hour to get there as traffic was pretty bad around rush hour, but we ended up making it in time as there was a delay anyways to go through customs and immigration.

IMG_3590.JPG

The boat actually ended up being delayed by an hour so everyone could board, but we were on pretty early in that process and were able to eat dinner (a very meh burger) before the ship even departed. We called a few family members before heading back to our room and going to sleep pretty early once again. The boat seemed to be moving around a bit more this time, but I still slept pretty solidly through it. Tomorrow will be a busy travel day as well, as we have a quick stop in Copenhagen before ending in Rotterdam for the night. I had a really great time in St. Petersburg and am really glad I was able to experience Russia for a few days. It might have been freezing, but there were very few tourists or lines everywhere that we went, and it was totally worth going in the winter as a result! Added bonus: the snow made everything so beautiful!

73 countries down, 124 to go.

Read about my first day in Russia here.

To learn more about M-Hotel click here.