Day 8: City Tour, Hermitage & The Ballet

We have all fallen in love with Saint Petersburg. What a fantastic city full of culture and history. We left the hotel at 10am and our bus promptly stalled on a major road. What was impressive was that a new bus was called and within 30 minutes not only did we have a new bus and driver, but we had all the necessary paperwork for Russia’s strict rules to transport children in their country. It was lucky that we had those papers as the police did a random check on our bus while we were eating lunch today. Only in Russia!

 

We saw many sites of the city such as St. Isaacs Cathedral. I wanted to go inside, but we unfortunately didn’t have time. We also saw where Tchaikovsky and Rasputin died and saw a memorial of Glinka and Rimsky Korsakov.

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We had a little free time to shop and get some lunch. Many of us went to Cha Cha – a Georgian Restaurant. When James and I covered food for Russia he said that I absolutely needed to try Georgian food. He was correct – I had Badridzhani which is Eggplant stuffed with walnuts, Georgian spices and pomegranate and Lavash which is a thin Georgian bread. The food was delicious. Meagan, Matthew and Maddie were at the table next to us and when they got their bill – it came to exactly what I gave them – that has never happened before on any of my tours.

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After lunch we went to The Hermitage. The buildings were spectacular. We saw works by Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Michelangelo etc… The Hermitage was huge and had so many beautiful things to see. We walked a lot – it was all stunning.

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We went to dinner close by and then headed to the ballet. We saw Don Quixote. It was perfect for the kids. The music was lively, the costumes were colorful and it was excellent. The brilliant performance kept them all awake and focused. Charlotte could really appreciate the hard work and excellence of the production. She was in heaven. All my students gave the performers a standing ovation. It was great for them to be in the audience – the loved every minutes of it.

 

The students had a 12 hour day today. We got back to the hotel after 10:30pm.

 

Another full day on tap tomorrow. We go to Pushkin – to Catherine’s Palace and then we have another concert at 4pm.

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