St Petersburg

On arrival at our hotel we were greeted with the words, "Would you like a welcome glass of champagne?"  I knew right away I was going to like St P!  It got better though as we were informed that with our rooms, we had use of the Exec Lounge which just happened to serve free drinks and food!!!  Champagne on tap - who needs duty free champage?  We all sat down for a drink and reminisced over the days adventures, laying all the blame for our flight troubles with the pesky stale croissant, but most of all we just appreciated how it was worth it now we were actually in St Petersburg!

On Sunday morning we set off down Nevsky Prospekt headed for the Hermitage, an impressive building, dazzling green white and gold in the sun shine.  We were all expecting snow and ice so were pleasantly surprised by the warmth of the sun.  The Hermitage is huge.  Legend has it that if you spend 5 seconds looking at each item, it would take you 11 years.  Not quite having that much free time on our hands we opted to check out the State Rooms on the first floor.  Feeling a bit weary wondering around I took a rest on a sofa, well maybe a bit of a lie down, only to be shouted at by the room attendant, "Baboushka, baboushka".  (Translation: grandma, grandma).  How could she not tell that I was the only one in the group still in their mid thirties, how very dare she?!  With everyone starting to feel a bit wary of all the glitz and gold we headed out in search of something to eat.  Borsch is definitely the way forward, wish I'd had more of it. 

By the time we'd finished eating and drinking the day was about over so we headed down the road to the Church of the Spilled Blood, the most colourful onion domed church I've seen, sun glinting on the gold spires, just stunning.  A popular choice it seems as parked in front were two massive stretch hummers and a very glam gold stretch limo!  The inside of the church is covered in the most gorgeous mosaics.  This is definitely one place you have to visit if you ever come to St P.   (Not to mention it's just across the road from the market full of Russian dolls and fury hats!)

Not wanting to miss out on our free drinks, we headed back to the hotel for a quick snack and champagne before heading out to the Soviet Cafe, a bar just down the road from the hotel...
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