Hotel Neva - TEMPORARILY CLOSED
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... clear passport control and got our passports stamped. Maria met us in the terminal. Our first stop was Pavlovsk Palace, home to Tsar Paul and his wife Maria. As we drove through St. Petersburg, we made a quick stop at St. Nicholas Church arriving just as the service was finishing. This was one of the few churches that was not closed during the Soviet era and it continues to function as a Russian Orthodox Church today. We also stopped at a ...
This was the title of the first book I read by philosopher Alain de Botton and it seemed apt after our recent experiences!
So far I've learned a few very important things about travelling.
1. Pack at least a day before you leave in case something unexpected happens.
As it did. Rick mocks me for doing this but I think now he's learned his lesson.
The Friday before we were due to leave, our Aussie bank told us our account had been frozen. ...
... the site of the Vladimirskaya Metro.
The metro, unlike Moscow appeared to be much simpler and signage was in both English and Russian. We arrived at Gostiny Dvor metro in seemingly no time, crossed the famous Nevsky Prospect and followed the Sadovaya Street to the impressive St Michael's' Castle.
This beautiful castle has been silent witness to some of St Petersburg's most savage and dramatic events, including ...
... a huge fan of museums and can’t last more than about an hour inside. I ended up spending almost four hours in the Hermitage. Sure, I got lost a few times and probably spent about an hour of that just trying to find out where the heck I was, but it was incredible. I was not so interested with the artwork inside (which I’m sure is blasphemy to a lot of people), but the ...
... giant cats prowling was breath-taking however as soon as the tigers didn't perform a giant metal pole was inserted on stage and used to poke the cats to get them to move. The minute I saw this that initial sense of awe and amazement quickly vanished as I realised that what I was watching was cruelty to the animals.
We had a farewell dinner that night at the hotel which ended up with me arguing with staff over an incorrect bill, it wasn't anything serious but it just wasn't ...