We seriously considered calling this one “the city of fishy water.” It’s the first place we couldn’t drink tap water …
When Tom and I first started planning our trip, I tossed out the idea of going to St. Petersburg as a complete dream. And our weekend there was just that. We took a ferry from Stockholm (there is one called the St. Peter’s Line that allows you to go to St. Petersburg for 72 hours without acquiring a visa), arriving Friday just before lunch and leaving on Sunday just after lunch. Although there were maybe a couple of things we missed due to our limited time, we loved every moment of our visit and have no regrets.
- Some of our preconceptions were confirmed (Russians love vodka and ballet), while some of them were tested (Russians are gruff and unfriendly, which most of them were not, and Russia is not safe, which at least in the center of St. Petersburg we never felt).
- Everything was quite a bit cheaper (a 2-drink, 3-course meal was $50) which made us feel like we were completely living it up all the time!
- Hand gestures and a “thank you” in Russian always garnered a smile. Many Russians spoke very little English.
- Russians are weird about churches. The most beautiful churches were used to store vegetables and corpses during the WWII era and were almost torn down rather than restored. And they are B-E-A-UTIFUL!
- Tom and I are realizing how much experiencing new things, and sometimes uncomfortable things, is drawing out the best in us and drawing us closer together. We are so glad we are doing this trip after a few years of marriage, building upon a foundation we have already worked so hard on. Not everyone can be a good travel buddy, but we found great ones in each other!
No words are able to describe the beauty and richness we experienced. We feel so lucky and blessed to experience this first-hand, but hopefully between my captions and our attempt with photos, you will get a taste of it too!