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Trip Report St. Petersburg, Russia Day 2

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Day Two Russia:
Hello, my blogaliscious peeps. Thanks for taking this journey with me, and hope you are enjoying. Today we awoke from our lovely surroundings in downtown St. Petersburg. We are just steps away from the world famous Hermitage Museum. This has been #1 on my wish list for years-so this is a dream come true. We are staying in a microhotel-which is a small hotel with very personalized services, located squarely in the historic district. There are only 6 rooms in this hotel and the conceriege is right outside our door. It is warm, clean with a lovely hot shower. Close to everything, and of course WIFI. I have no complaints. Our lovely host cooked us breakfast this morning consisting of eggs made to order, hot coffee and toast.
We ventured out with the mission of having Russian currency-the Rubel. It is approximatly $1000 for 9000 rubels. You do the math... But, as far as I can see so far everything seems a little pricey. Anyhow, after numerous attempts and many ATM's out of commission we got our money and found our way to a cozy little cafe. A Russian Starbucks of sorts, we sat windowside and people watched. I had hot chocolate, and, a sweet tasty little pastry,the hot chocolate was so thick that my spoon could stand straight up in ,and was the consistancy of pudding. Too sweet for my liking. We planned our day as the sky turned gray and started to rain. No biggie, since we had planned for this.
We made our way to the Peter and Paul Fortress. Built in St. Petersburg , back in 1703, a wall of stone on a small island. It has a gruesome history of sorts, with torture of prisoners and death. The journey to the fort involved plenty of walking, all along the Neva River. Once we were in the vacinity of the fort, we saw Russian brides, in their satin gowns, too numerous too count. Apparently, it is quite popular to wed in Russia, as we saw young and old brides. Traditional, and not so traditional , and the tackiest of tacky limos with big fake flowers on the hood. Vodka shots were enjoyed by all in the wedding party, as each bride fought for attention. It was, at the very least, very entertaining.
We trudged on, taking pictures and enjoying the view, and not allowing the battering cold and rain interrupt our delight. After a brief rest at the hotel, we changed into our finest attire and walked through thriving Russian neighborhoods to get to the Concert Hall for our evening's activity of the opera -Shakespear's A Midnight Summer's Dream . Our seats were fantastic in this modern, very comfortable theater. The performance in itself was magical and illuminating. There were fairies that were strung up on wires, in a cirque de soleil style, with mirrory , luminescent lighting in a surreal setting. The music performed by a symphony was enchanting, and the whole thing had a soothing lullaby effect. In truth, the evening was 4 hrs long with intermissions, but for the most part, me, Frank and several children under 10 sat on the edge of our seats awaiting the next acrobatic attempt. It was a combination of ballet in the air, sopranic perfection and
costumes , backdrop and imagery better than anything we have ever seen.
After the performance, we headed back in search of dinner. We had not had anything of significance to eat since our early morning treat. Everything was closed and the hungry beast in me came out. After a minor temper tantrum, and some forgiveness on Frankster's part, we found a local pizza place and nourished our weary bones. Its been a day of crappy weather, beautiful sights, magnificant sounds and a great partner along for the ride.
Thanks for allowing me to share my travels with you. Tune in tomorrow.
Happy blogging trails to you,
`Brooke and Frank

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