Summary (both days): High temperatures of 58º F; threatening rain clouds both days. Breezy the first day, downright windy the second (reports of “hurricane-level” gusts outside the city; trees are blown over). Walked 3.65 miles (9,119 steps) first day, 3.97 miles (9,915 steps) the second. Private tour with Anastasia Travel, Anna was our guide, Slava our driver.
Russia. Ooh, it sounds mysterious, quite alien and a little dangerous–especially for those “of a certain age” who lived in the USA and grew up in the midst of the Cold War. But here we were, heading out on the Star and slated for two full days in the city Peter the Great created as his portal to the west.
You need a visa (expensive and time-consuming to get) to travel “on your own” in Russia; Mom and I opted for a two-day tour with Anastasia Travel (anastasia.travel) and they took care of the visa thing for us. Whew!
[Look for my post specifically about the cost of the tour, advantages, etc. here:]
Our two days in St. Petersburg were a blur and overwhelming and a bit tiring–and amazing! We saw things I never thought I’d see (Mom and I stood right beside a DaVinci Madonna painting–and have the photo to prove it) and a culture that previously only existed for me in geography books in school. (read more)