Thursday, June 11, 2009

St. Petersburg

On Monday at lunch the following conversation took place between Kimberly and myself:

Eli: Darn, it's too bad I never made it to St. Petersburg.
Kimberly: Shoot. That is too bad.
Eli: I really want some vafly.
Kimberly: We can't have vafly today because it's not vafly Vednesday yet.
Eli: No!
Kimberly: We should totally go to St. Petersburg tonight.
Eli: Yeah. What? What about our jobs?
Kimberly: ah . . .
Eli: O.k.

Three hours later we were traveling to three very frustrating train stations in a frantic daze to try to buy last minute, reasonably priced tickets. We waited in lines for hours on end only to get yelled at and told that the tickets we just located online didn't actually exist until we finally got to the last of the train stations around 10:00PM and got to the window of a bob with a moustache who we lovingly refer to now as "Olga Voksal" as we never did get her real name. Olga Voksal helped us like a champ and even made sure we understood our itinerary before we left. I would have jumped over the counter and proposed to her on the spot had there not been bullet proof glass between us. The moustache might have been enough as well.

So we did the communal train thing with about 12,000,000 other people and kept ourselves entertained for quite a while trying to figure out how the heck to maneuver ourselves correctly to fit in the top bunks. Eight hours later we arrived in a cold and rainy St. Pete's where we took a bus tour of the city, went to multiple churches, stood in line at the Hermatage for about an hour and half, walked around the Hermitage/Winter Palace for a couple of hours (mostly because it was so huge that we couldn't figure out how the heck to get out; we still think there were entire wings of the palace we didn't even get close to---it was absolutely gorgeous as well), took a cold but beautiful boat cruise down the rivers, and ate at every food place we could find in the whole city. Our train left again that night after 1:00AM. It didn't feel that late however because of White Nights--we never did see it get dark.

The city was absolutely gorgeous and worth a trip all by itself. I will definitely go back (and hopefully when it's warm) and spend days there.

Don't have too much time to write now; I've got to go pick up the travel group at the airport in a bit but I just wanted to get these pictures out.

For those of you who have followed this blog for a while, I just got word that Great Grandma Whittle died yesterday. I got to see her one last time before I came to Moscow for her 102nd birthday and was happy to see that she was doing very well at that time. I'm sorry I will just miss the funeral. I'm going to miss her very much.

Love you all-

Some building
Colorful buildings along the river cruise
River Cruise
River Cruise
River Cruise
Tired, Cold, and Wet but Happy on the River Cruise
Choir Singing for Petro's Birthday

In the Hermitage/Winter Palace
Hermitage/Winter Palace

Hermitage/Winter Palace
Hermitage/Winter Palace
Hermitage/Winter Palace
Hermitage/Winter Palace
Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood (looks like St. Basil's on the outside)
Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
Giant Church
Beautiful White Church with and Unhelpful Bob Inside Who would not Help us Buy Something

Clastrophobic on the Top Bunk on the Train
~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. I love your pictures - especially the one of you on the top bunk on the train. I COULD NOT handle that.

    Sorry to hear about your Great Grandma.

  2. So sorry to hear about Grandma Whittle, I feel like I've lost a great friend, although have never met her myself, personally.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures! When does work there end?

  3. Sorry to hear about Grandma Whittle. I hate those "saying goodbye" times - especially when you don't get to be there in person.

    Your friend is pretty cute! She'd make a good wife :-).

  4. oh Great Grandma Whittle! I've loved all the stories about her. I'm glad you got to see her before you left. And you'll see her again one day. Fantastic pictures as always! You're looking goooood :)

  5. I am way jealous of all your adventures! I'm glad you got to go to St. Petersburg at last!! The buildings all look gorgeous. I'm also VERY envious of your train ride-- I have always wanted to sleep on a train. Weird, I know.

    I'm so sad about Grandma Whittle :( She was such an awesome lady, and will be missed.

    Have a safe trip back!