St. Petersburg!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

6:45 p.m. (St. Petersburg time)
I've survived my first full day in the city! It started off with breakfast in the Canteen. It's basically a big cafeteria. Our breakfast was cereal with yogurt which was really good. We also had bread, orange juice, and some type of cream of wheat looking thing. It kind of looked like pancake mix made out of rice. I didn't eat so much of that. After breakfast we started our bus tour of the city. I'm not going to lie. It is cold here. It feels like mid to late October. It was very overcast but still decently dry. I do the love that weather though and it also means I'll be able to bust out my new peacoat even sooner than expected!!

While our part of the city is pretty ugly, the rest of the city completely makes up for it. There are over 500 palaces, 300 museums, and 300 bridges. They are (mostly) all beautiful. Our first stop was to the battleship Aurora. From the cannon on this ship a blank shot was fired that started the Revolution. There was a little exhibit inside the ship and when we came out it was raining. Russian rain seems different. The drops were bigger but fewer so you got soaked even though it wasn't down pouring. As one person said before we got on the bus, "there's a bit of oppressive communism in each drop."
Cannon that fired the shot that started the Revolution
 Of course once we got on the bus the rain stopped. We drove around for a few hours, stopping at St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Church of Spilt Blood, and The Eternal Flame for those lost in street fighting during the riots of the Revolution. We also stopped at these two things that were once lighthouses. I believe they are just monuments now, but there were three weddings going on all around the place. There was a really nice fountain in the river behind them.

St. Isaac's

Church on Split Blood

Eternal Flame
We drove around some more, changed money, and then came back here. We again had lunch in the Canteen. This time it was soup with bread and kind of dry pasta. We got a nice bagged dinner to take home with us. We had about an hour to sit around so a few of us ran down the street to the market. The market was tiny. The shopping carts were really cute, they were like ½ the size of our carts at home and were wicked easy to control. The isles, however, were almost too small to get them through with out running over a babushka or two. After meeting back up with the group again, we took a walk down in the other direction to get pictures taken for our student registration. We also found civilization down there! It seemed like our area of the city was completely desolate but there were actually a ton of people down there. There is a very large mall area with a Home Depot like shopping place inside. We bought a hair dryer for our suite. I feel like we were there for a few hours but we finally got back. I'm very tired. Time for a trip to McDonald's. I'll post this soon!

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