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Day #7: St. Petersburg

We’re back in Russia.

Like the rest of northern Europe, we last visited St. Petersburg for a single day six years ago when Emerson was only a little more than a year old. Due to Russian visa requirements, it’s generally easiest to do a shore execursion arranged by the cruise line. So, we did a brief panorama tour but didn’t really get in to see any major sights–that seemed like the best compromise at the time.

On this trip, we opted instead for two in-depth tours: one of St. Petersburg’s major cathedrals (today) and another of the Hermitage museum (tomorrow). Today’s tour departed around noon for the city center. 

First, we visited the Church of the Spilled Blood. It was built in the neo-Russian style on the site of Alexander II’s assassination. 

The interior is festooned with mosaics. 

Next, we drove to the Peter and Paul Fortress, which is both the birthplace of St. Petersburg and home to the cathedral of the same name. 

Here the interior is festooned with dead Czars and Czarinas.

Last, we visited the neoclassical St. Issac’s Cathedral, which is reported to be the fourth largest in Christendom. 

What’s interesting is that all of these churches, aside from a small chapel at St. Issac’s, function as museums and aren’t used for religious services. 

We returned to the ship around 6:30 for dinner at Ocean Blue, which was rather delectable. Emerson and I especially liked our lemon tart:

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