Rain, rain, everywhere rain.
Apparently the lovely weather I had in Moscow is being paid for in St Petersburg.
It’s a shame because this looks like it would be a lovely city to wander around when it’s sunny, but that wasn’t to be, so instead I’m left trying to find affordable things to do indoors. Generally this means churches and museums, which I imagine I will be seeing a lot of in Europe. Is there anything else you can do without money or sunshine? It’s a good thing I’m nearly home or I might have to resort to selling one of my kidneys to pay for tourist attractions.
St Petersburg does at least have a rather impressive church – with domes almost as cartoon coloured as St Basil’s, this is the Church on Spilled Blood. A charming name, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Unlike Basil’s gaff, I did actually go inside this one, which is very much recommended as the mosaics covering the walls are totally amazing.
Including: Mary in the burning bush?? Now admittedly I’m not that well up on my bible stories, but I definitely don’t remember this one.
The other big (BIG) thing to do in St Petersburg is the State Hermitage museum, which I spent a good 5 hours in and didn’t come close to finishing. I assume this means it’s the country’s biggest art museum, and as well as the exhibits, the building itself is pretty dang impressive.
The bottom is full of antiquities, and then the exhibits get newer as you work your way upstairs to the more familiar Monets and Picassos and Van Goghs.
My favourite item in the whole museum though was this tiny little wooden box from the 16th century with the most minute carvings all over it. For scale, this is about the size of a wine glass. I got told off for leaning on the case to get a better look. Booo.
Aside from this, I spent a lot of my time in the hostel, where I tried to be sociable, but most people only spoke Russian and the only guy slurring at me in English told me that he liked the simple beauty of my aesthetics because he could see that I had a lot of blood.
So in between rain and avoiding undesirable company I had plenty of time to finish planning out the last two weeks of my trip. I know! The last two weeks! It’s gone so fast! As I’m writing this I’m sitting in a flat in Helsinki (drinking lots of gin), and from tomorrow I’ll be going through Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Warsaw, Berlin and Paris. Any suggestions and recommendations would be great!
Not too many churches and museums though.