January 21, 2018

From Russia With Love (Pt III)

Alexander Palace
Wet as a dog, happy as a clam is the motto for our third and last day in Saint Petersburg. 

As I mentioned in a previous blogpost, Russia's weather is rainy and cold for about 362 days of the year. The weather couldn't dampen our mood though, because our last day was packed with the most incredible sights. The palace and cathedrals we visited this day were my favorite out of the several we visited - SPB is home to more museums, palaces, and cathedrals one can visit in a lifetime, and I still can't believe we didn't even make a dent in their impressive list.
Like most of the places we visited, we cued up in line to enter Alexander Palace. Once inside, we lined up once again to exit into the gardens - that's where the magic lies.
Rain-soaked, we came to eat our final lunch with our group at this beautiful banquet hall. I felt so bad, tracking in mud and dirt from my shoes. We didn't live up to the royalty of our surroundings! 

Based on our three lunches, however, we didn't leave with a great impression of Russian food. It may look good, but borscht, the least visually-appealing of them all, became my favorite when it came to taste.
Russian potato salad
Pork skewer, potatoes, and horseradish sauce
Rhubarb tart
St. Isaac's Cathedral
Church of the Spilled Blood, an icon of SPB
Our little secret: the denim jacket (GAP) and embroidered pants each cost $2 from the Salvation Army ;-)!
Can you believe a 90,000 ton ship can squeeze through that opening? 
In order to exit out of the port, we cruised past the Leningrad Naval Base. Fun fact: Saint Petersburg has been known by many other names, including Leningrad and Petrograd!
Did I ever imagine myself visiting Russia? 

Honestly, no. The language barrier, the stories we associate with Russian politics are all intimidating. Yes, it's true that not many strangers will smile at you on the streets like they do in Spain, but our taste of Russia from these three days left a lasting impression of her rich culture, beautifully ornate architecture, and fascinating history. 

Being able to experience Russia alongside conversations with friends from near and far (Cornell to South Africa) was just the cherry to top it all off.

If you missed the previous parts of the "From Russia with Love" series, you can find them here:

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