Tuesday, June 24, 2008

St Petersburg

Of all the places we visited on this trip, I was probably most excited about St Petersburg, mostly because it is one of those places I never really thought I'd get to see. We stayed in St Petersburg for 2 days and even though we were exhausted by the end of the second day, there were still tons of things we'd like to have seen. We signed up for an excursion through the ship to avoid having to get a Russian visa (not a easy thing to do on your own.) It was the first time we were part of the cruise group and I had mixed feelings about it since I'd usually prefer to explore on my own. But the tour was great, and we quickly realized that it would have been an extremely difficult place to explore on our own.

We had a great tour guide, who was happy to answer any question and brought along receivers and headphones so we could easily here her throughout the two days. I feel like I didn't just see some cool old churches and palaces, but I learned a bit about Russian history and the current situation in the country. What a wonderful experience. We even had the chance to see Swan Lake the first evening we were in town, and since it during the "White Nights" period is was still light when we left the Ballet at 11 PM. Very surreal.

One of the highlights of the visit for me was the running boy. As we boarded a boat for a canal tour of the city, I noticed a group of 3 boys hanging around. As we passed under the first bridge I noticed him on the bridge waving at us, he then took off running, and was at the next bridge, and the next. He ran the entire time we were on the boat and met us at every bridge and it wasn't a short trip. We were of course charmed and every tipped him. A pretty ingenious way to make some money.
In running boy's honor, a great song I discovered through Veronica Mars, the show I still miss every week, "Run" by Air.

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