News and Views

From my kids accomplishments, to my heretical perspective of the world

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St. Petersburg — Day One

June 23rd, 2008 · 3 Comments

Today was our first day at St. Petersburg. We were concerned when the tour tickets we had bought hadn’t arrived last night. This morning I had to scurry around finding tour agents, and they finally made us duplicate tickets. Then about an hour later, the original tickets showed up at our room. I’m guessing the were delivered to the wrong cabin, and they then forwarded them to us.

It’s more complicated visiting Russia than the Scandinavian countries we have been to. If you want to wander around on your own you have to have a visa, and to get a visa you have to have a letter of invitation from the government. Needles to say, we didn’t have these things. The only other option is a guided tour, so that’s what we did.

Today we saw the Hermitage. If you remember from Derek’s blog, the Hermitage is closed on Mondays. However, they opened it up just for the Princess Cruise guests. That means instead of thousands of people pressing and pushing, there were just a few hundred in the whole museum. The guides kept exclaiming about how lucky we were to be able to see everything so easily. I was able to walk into some of the rooms and be the only one there viewing the priceless works of art. Paintings by Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Monet, Picasso, etc. etc., and sculptures by Michelangelo, Rodin, etc. It is really quite impressive. It seems that the works are not as protected as they are at the Louvre. You can walk right up to most of them and could touch if you dared to violate the rules, but I was a good boy!

Tomorrow we are going to the Peterhoff Palace and Fountains. I have seen pictures, but don’t know too much about this. I guess I will know more by tomorrow.

We are probably eating way too much, and not exercising enough, though I try to use the stairs as much as possible. Our room is on the 10th deck, and meals either the 6th or 15th, so we get a little exercise every time we go to eat, but certainly not enough to burn off the calories we are taking in.

We haven’t seen Derek, and I’m sure we won’t be able to. It’s just too difficult with the visa requirements. He can roam freely, but we can’t and trying to hook up with him is just about impossible.

Tags: Family Updates

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Derek // Jun 23, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    The only thing I can think is if I stopped by your boat, but I don’t know if they’d let me on. If you think they would for a few hours, that’d be quite easy for me to do.

  • 2 Heather // Jun 24, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    It sounds like you are having a great time and seeing some very cool sights. I love paintings and can only imagine how awesome it would be to see some of the names you mentioned. Looking forward to your next post!

  • 3 Dianna // Jun 27, 2008 at 10:11 am

    I’m so glad you got to the Hermitage since you had posted you didn’t remember knowing about it. And how wonderful that you had it almost to your selves!