My first impression of Russia was that it was nothing like I had imagined it to be. I have never been outside of the U.S. before (asides from Canada), so it was quite the experience. Saint Petersburg is such a beautiful city! Our first day we had a tour guide telling us all about the city, which was very nice. I could not stop taking pictures of everything I saw; even if it was just a bridge, the fact that it was a Russian bridge made it all the more fascinating. It seemed like every shot I took came out gorgeous; in Russia you don't have to be a professional to take good pictures. The scenery is so beautiful, it does all the work for you.
I especially found this to be true inside the Hermitage Museum. At first, when I heard we were supposed to spend 3 hours inside the museum, I was a little put out; how could I pay attention for that long? I soon found out that time seems to travel differently inside that museum, and 3 hours feels like 15 minutes. The tour guide told us that realistically it would take you 11 years to go through all 5 buildings and see every single exhibit, and I have to tell you, taking 11 years off to camp out in that museum sounds wonderful. I've never been in a museum so extensive before. Of course, I've been to the Detroit Institute of Art back home, but some of the pieces in the Hermitage were beyond words. Two of my favorite pieces are as follows:
I thought the intricacy of this hand-carved wooden item was absolutely incredible. When we all saw it, we realized how long it must have taken the artist to carve everything with such detail, and I fell in love with the piece.
This is an elaborate peacock clock. I believe the tour guide said it was one of Elizabeth's favorite pieces, and it's not hard to see why. I heard on the trip that it was many of our favorite pieces.
Honestly, choosing only a few pictures to share on this blog was extremely difficult. There were so many beautiful aspects of Saint Petersburg I wish I could write about, but realistically, my post would be over 10 pages long -- not counting all the pictures I would add. All I can say is that Saint Petersburg is an incredibly picturesque city, and I can't wait to go back on the 9th -- even if it is only for a little while.
Church of the Savior on Spilt Blood