Trans-Mongolian: St. Petersburg
The final stop on our Trans-Mongolian adventure was St Petersburg, home to the Hermitage. When my wife started traveling, it was to see art museums and the Hermitage always eluded her. We only allotted two days and two nights in St Petersburg because of this we spent an entire day in this massive, elaborate, and beautiful museum.
When we arrived in St Petersburg, Victory Day celebrations were still going on, the streets were packed with people. A few metro stops were closed, some streets closed, so it took a while to decide what our plan was. We decided to just walk to our hotel, which happened to be one block from the Hermitage, which is why Carmen selected it. We spent some time getting to the hotel, leaving us little time for the Hermitage that day. We decided to get food and spend the evening in. We ate at an Indian food place on the corner of our street. Indian is usually a safe bet for vegetarian.
Before we were able to fall asleep, we heard some commotion outside, so we ventured out. Under a barely setting sun at 11:30 pm, there were Victory Day fireworks. It was quite a thing to see fireworks over the city while the sun was not fully set. We retired to our room again, ready to see the Hermitage the next day.
We had purchased two-day passes to the museum, just in case we were able to make it the first day. While we were not able to do this, it was still a good choice to purchase two-day tickets. We got there right at opening the second day. This museum is absolutely massive. I'm not sure I can properly convey just how big.
The museum was worth more than the day we spent there, and do not think words are what I should use to describe it, just photos, so I'll do that.
The next day, our final day, we packed up, not really ready to leave Russia, a country that was both daunting and amazing. I barely felt like we scratched the surface of what this country had in its borders. We took a bus to the airport. We had some difficulty finding exactly which bus to take from the bus stop, but I figured following the Russian looking people with luggage was the best option, this paid off in the end.
Russia was a stunning country, with friendly people, and amazing sights. Go to Russia if you get the chance.