June 15, 2014 ~ St. Petersburg, Russia

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunrise: 4:36 am Sunset: 11:34 pm

We had a nice breakfast and then met Mary Lou and the others for our tour. DenRus is giving us everything that was planned and I would recommend them. We had the same driver, Andrew, and guide, Elena. The first part of our tour was a boat trip on the River Neva and Canals. We had the boat to ourselves and it had indoor and outdoor seating areas. It truly felt like Venice of the North, or Amsterdam. It was an hour and a half and was wonderful! I just fell in love with the beautiful buildings, they are majestic. It will take me a long time to Photoshop all my photos.

 

We then went to Our-Lady-of-Kazan Cathedral for a visit and then walked over to Nevsky Prospect to a large bookstore inside an old Singer sewing machine building. It was beautiful. On the second floor there was a coffee shop where we had a snack. It was much better than yesterday’s snack. I had a ham, onion, and cheese pirogee (not pierogi) and Ray had an almond pastry. Our waiter spoke wonderful English and told us he was collecting State quarters, but we left all coins in the cabin. Elena helped me look for a book on quilling, but we couldn’t find one.

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We then went to the Russian museum. It used to be a palace. There was a big flight of stairs to get to the first floor and it was enough for Ray. There were two more flights to get to the second floor and was too much for him. Elena stayed with him as we had to have a museum guide for the tour. The museum was divided into periods with paintings sorted accordingly. It was warm inside and not too many places to sit. Some of the paintings were huge and the frames were gorgeous. We were not allowed to take pictures. It is so hard to image living in a place like that.

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Our last stop was an inside visit to the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. They charged 230 Rubles to enter. The entire Orthodox Church was decorated with mosaics. Some wanted to tear it down because it didn’t "go" with the area. That would have been a shame.  There are icons all over. Elena said some of the mosaics were done on the floor and then put on the walls and others done right on the wall. The ceiling was also covered. They have services in the summer on Sunday mornings. We then returned to the ship.

 

We were invited to a private visit to the navigational bridge because we were on the Cruise Critic Connections list. Again, it was very interesting. Our guide was a First Officer from Poland and she was so beautiful. Her blue eyes and dark hair was so attractive.

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After dinner we went to the show to see Jonathan Stamp, one of the world’s greatest jugglers. Ray says we saw him before. He uses audience participation which makes it very funny along with his skills. We enjoyed it.

We went up on deck to see the ‘white night’ and it was amazing. It was almost 9:30 and the sun was still high in the sky. I didn’t have the camera with me, so when I got back to the cabin, I took a picture from the TV.  It was taken around 9:30 pm and the sun was still high in the sky.   It was a long day and I went to bed early. We got to set our clocks back one hour tonight.

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