This morning we woke up early and began our tour of St. Petersburg. We dropped the kids off by their clubs and made our way to the room where we met up with our group.
The weather has been dreary all morning, so some photos may be complimented by rain drops.
The first stop on our tour was St. Isaacs Cathedral. This place is a museum now. It took around 40 years to build and the pillars weigh approximately 117 tons each.
Our next stop was at the Hermitage museum, the third 3rd largest in the world. In 1764 the museum's collection began by Catherine the Great. The oldest painting of Catherine's collection is by Rembrandt and dates back to the beginning of the 17th century but was bought later on in the 1700s for the museum. Also, there was a large vase inside. This vase is all one piece of granite and was placed inside the museum before the construction was completed.
Da Vinci also had a display. 2 of only 13 da Vinci's exist in the world; the Hermitage has two of the originals.
We saw some lovely art pieces that vary by style, etc. One item we came across weighs 3 tons of pure silver.
Our next stop was for lunch. We ate Russian salad, soup, a beefish crepe thing and then dessert (vanilla ice cream). It was good overall, but very small portions. Our meal also included a few beverages including Russian vodka. The Russians and Poles argue who was the first to create vodka, so it was interesting to taste their version.
After lunch, we walked down to the shopping area. There we saw the courtyard area which is the behind the winter palace and the Hermitage museum. We were able to find a few souvenirs but plan to let the kids pick their own tomorrow when we come back out.
Our final stop was at the Church of Resurrection on the Spilled Blood. It was completed in 1907. It has this name because the current czar (Alexander II) was assassinated on the grounds where it was built (and the blood spilled). This church is what I see when I picture St. Petersburg. This is such an iconic place, and I'm so happy I could see it in person. Unfortunately, the busses parked in front of the church, so it was hard to get a photo without the bus in it.
On our way back to the ship we were able to see a few major streets, buildings, and rivers.
When we got back to the ship we picked Maddie up from the nursery. We then made our way over to see the Russian Mickey and Minnie Mouse. After our visit with them, Caleb met us in the room and we got ready for dinner.
Dinner was mediocre compared to our earlier meals, but it was still great. The kids ate great and enjoyed ice cream and cake for dessert.
After dinner we decided to see Goofy and then Cinderella. We also saw the mice who helped Cinderella make her dress.
After we visited with the characters we got the kids ready for bed. Everyone has had a full day and we're looking forward to tomorrow.