St. Petersburg yet again and Novgorod
Today was a day for historical learning. We learned all about the Siege of Leningrad from 1941-44 by Hilter’s Nazi German army at the memorial located where Russia broke through the blockade. Over a million people died and the memorial commemorating the events was well-done.
On the inside were candles inside of mortar shells found in St. Petersburg after the war- 900 candles to signify the 900 days that the siege occurred.
Also today in St. Petersburg we saw:
The Church of Saviour on Spilled Blood again. I just love looking at this- so gorgeous!
The Summer Gardens:
The Summer Gardens are across the street from Mikhailovsky Castle where Paul I was killed after only living there 40 days. Bummer.
Then I headed to the Russian Museum where I ran out of money and couldn’t pay the entry fee. #andreafail Oh well, I only had about 30 minutes to explore before I had to meet up with the bus.
3 hours later and 1 more instance of us getting pulled over and having to bribe the policemen, we arrived in Novgorod.
Novgorod was the first cultural center in Russia which was settled in 862 by the Viking Rurik. Ivan the Terrible in the 1500s and WWII provided much devastation to Novgorod but the Kremlin (or fortress) still remain.
Inside is the Millennium of Russia Monument
Cathedral of St. Sophia- built in 1050
With awesome doors from the 12th century
And the rest: Bell tower, more St. Sophia, outside the Kremlin
Courtney reminded me that I neglected to write about the ballet. It was awesome!!! They were so good- even the chorus dancers were excellent. And the lead swan Odette was the best I have ever seen. Sort of funny though, 30 of us went, about 20 feel asleep in the first act (there are 3 acts). We had been sightseeing all day and were so tired, plus is was about 80 degrees in the theater- there is no air-conditioning in Russia really. I kept myself awake by snapping my hair tie on my wrist but the people on either side of me were doing the sleepy head-bob. Between acts 1 and 2 we all ran out and got cokes to wake us up. It worked and the rest of the ballet were awake. A couple of guys went with us and they even liked it. A Russian ballet in Russia was a favorite moment for sure.
Tomorrow we are driving 6 hours to Moscow (6 1/2 if you count the time it will take for us to get pulled over again and have to bribe someone). Tomorrow’s post should not be too exciting.