Saturday, September 16, 2006

Has it been two days?

Boy, this trip is flying by. Not sure if I want to go back to work or not. Well, I know I don't, but sometimes I miss having a reason to get up in the morning. I know, I'm sick and twisted.

Day ??? something or other on this cruise. Helsinki was awesome. Saw some more castles and a glass blowing factory. Picked up some cheap china in the store there. A lot like Ikea, but they have seconds - which are perfect. Picked up some new plates and serving dishes. I should have bought the coffee cups and bowls to match too. MIght have to order some when I get home. Loved the colors of everything. Very basic - colors and styles. Love the simple lines over here.

Docked in St. Petersburg this morning and had a busy day touring the city. I'm glad we get two days here - there's too much to see. We also had our first day of cool weather. Only 14 degrees celsius. In the mid 50's. Nice. Actually, with the wind, it seemed cooler. You could see your breath. I love the cold weather so today was perfect. Hope tomorrow is just as cool.

So, I saw Peterhof palace today. Then we went to St. Isaacs Cathedral and some other cathedral. It was a long day and I can't remember the name of the third place. There was lunch in there somewhere. A traditional lunch with vodka, caviar and all the other stuff. I don't eat half of the 'native' foods over here, but its fun to see what they do eat. I will say that the bread is fantastic over here. And I LOVE lingon berry jam. Or anything made with lingon berry. :)

Can't wait to get home and start posting some pictures. Nothing too fantastic since its only my Canon point and shoot camera. I didn't want to rish my Rebel over here. I don't know what I'd do if they made me pack it. I've heard some airlines are very restrctive and will not let you carry anything on. I won't pack that camera. I can only think of my mental state if they lose the bag its in or break it in transport. No, I'll just live with my little Canon A80. It takes great photos. Not as nice as the Rebel, but nice photos. I think I've up over 500 photos now. I'll have to sort through them when I get home and can actually view them.

On tap for tomorrow is more St. Petersburg. Tsarkoye Selo, Church of the Spilled Blood and more. I think she said we have a canal tour in there somewhere. Good, I love boat rides. And for anyone who remembers the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon, our bus guide sounds like the character Natasha.

The city (St. Petersburg) is beautiful. Old and beautiful. Its clean but not clean. There is no litter and very little grafiti. Very little. Only in the areas down by the dock. But the buildings are so old and not very well kept up. Its funny (olay, not funny, but odd) to see the people living in poverty while the palaces and cathedrals are being restored. There is money somewhere here in St. Petersburg, just not with the people. The amount of gold leaf in some of these buildings is incredible. It is real gold leaf - 24k. And some of these rooms are just coated in it.

Since I love Russian history (especially the Romanovs) I'm just loving the tours. I've read so many books about the life of the family - how they lived, what they did, where they lived and now I'm actually seeing the places. Thats what I love. Reading about a place and then actually seeing it. I love anything about European history anyway so you could drop me in any city, in any country and I would find something.

I better finish this before I rack up too much on the bill. 35 cents a minute! Its a good thing I type fast!

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