When I was in Iceland, I got a text from a friend telling me that we should go to St. Petersburg and that I needed to book my tickets. So I did. That night. A few days in Russia sounded perfect.
From the airport, we immediately went to the hotel. Another trip with an outstanding hotel choice (thanks Julia!). We stayed at the Solos Sokos Palace Bridge Hotel, across the bridge from the Hermitage Museum.
Nothing beats time zone differences like vodka? Our first stop was the vodka museum where we drank authentic Russian vodka with authentic Russian appetizers. Though the food and drinking weren’t my favourite – seeing the old school shot glasses, glass decanters and intricately carved stoppers was fun and felt like part of the ‘Russian culture’ that I wanted to take in.
The weather was so beautiful that we mostly walked to take in the sights. Even the mundane buildings were beautiful.
I couldn’t get this thought out of my head that there was so much history in the city. The cobblestone streets and gorgeous bridges had stories. I felt very small and insignificant – but in a strangely warm-fuzzy way.
This wasn’t Anna’s first trip to St. Pete and she seemed to feel the same, echoing my awe and wonder. There’s something special within the city that’s hard to find elsewhere.
We left Russia in a hurry and in the middle of the night. Though our flight was at 7 AM, we left the beautiful hotel at 3 AM to get around the bridge – which goes up and stays up, preventing us from getting to the airport quickly. I went back and forth between my phone and my camera – taking blurry photos and videos of St. Petersburg so I’d remember it until I could come back to it.
We boarded our flight to Paris and split up – most of the group went home to Seattle, one went to Barcelona with his girlfriend and I decided to stay in Paris. I believe the cliched (but not in any way incorrect) quote is that Paris is always a good idea.