st. petersburg {part one!}

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i had been pining to go to russia for about twenty years, so i was super excited as we made our way from our flat to the tube to the airport to get on a flight to st. petersburg.

when we planned this trip, we figured that by mid-april it wouldn’t be too too cold in russia and we could explore without freezing our bums off. and we were wrong. as easter weekend approached, my weather app told me that the highest temperature we would likely be experiencing during our five days in russia was thirty seven degrees farenheit. so we pulled out our winter gear, borrowed a warm baby suit from a friend with a slightly older baby, and braced ourselves.

it was a wild adventure in a lot of different ways, but we loved visiting russia. our time in st. petersburg and moscow was absolutely fascinating and we saw so much unique beauty. i thought i’d go to russia once and feel pretty satisfied, but i am now totally eager to go back one day.

click through to see some photos from our first evening and day in russia!

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^^ as we landed in st. petersburg, we dove straight into a blizzard. it was snowing hard! ^^
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^^ we tried to do some exploring after we dropped off our stuff at our hotel, but we seriously could barely look a foot in front of us in the blowing snow! ^^
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^^ we did brave the walk along the canals to the mariinsky theatre, because i had a ticket to see the ballet! we snapped this quick photo outside the theatre ^^  before i said goodbye to ian and moses, who headed back to the hotel while i thoroughly  arguably the best ballet company in the entire world perform romeo and juliet. ^^
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^^ i took these photos as i was waiting for the ballet to start and my heart was fluttering with excitement. ^^ it was really amazing (especially as a former dancer and true ballet enthusiast) to witness the mariinsky ballet on their home stage. the performance was spellbinding and the dancers just made it all look so easy. it was stunning.
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^^ the next morning, the clouds had cleared and we encountered a lot of ice and then slush. although the falling snow was magical in some ways, we were relieved to see blue skies for a while! ^^
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^^ we walked down a busy street and saw this blanket of snow in front of kazan cathedral, and then gasped when we looked down the canal and saw the church of the saviour on spilled blood. so so cool and so so iconically russian. ^^
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^^ this building is seriously so breathtaking! the colourful onion tops! the details along every ridge! even the carefully fitted drainpipes are pretty! i love love love it. ^^
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^^ there’s souvineer stalls set up in a row in front of the church with russian nesting dolls gallore. ^^
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^^ and some pretty sweet furry hats! ian ended up buying not this one pictured here (ha!) but a classic sheepskin one you’ll see in later pictures. he thinks it’s the coolest (i think it’s pretty rad too!). ^^
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^^ okay. the inside of this church. it is jaw dropping with its floor to ceiling mosaics. i have been in a lot of churches in my time, and this is the most impressive interior i’ve ever seen (in second place is the stained glass at sainte chapelle in paris). it’s just mindboggling – and cannot be captured in photographs! ^^
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^^ moses snoozed in the stroller (not at all bothered that his hat had slipped over his eyes – haha!) while we wandered around in awe, recognizing different scenes from the bibe and the life of christ. it was an awesome good friday activity and through this beauty we truly drew closer to the saviour. ^^
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^^ yes, everything you are seeing in these photos is made up of those teeny tiny tiles! just incredible. and when moses woke up and looked around he was astounded (seriously, he was so wide-eyed and looking all over). ^^
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^^ st. petersburg is so colourful. around every corner there’s some vividly painted building! ^^
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^^ a last peek at the church of the saviour on spilled blood from our walk to st. isaac’s cathedral. ^^
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^^ which was super stunning in a totally different way. another magificent monument of faith and devotion. ^^
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^^ i love those green pillars! and the fact that we could go up into the dome of the cathedral for sweeping views over the snowy city. ^^
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^^ we spotted the teal-coloured hermitage (the winter palace turned gigantic museum) from the cathedral dome. that was our third and final destination for the day. ^^
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^^ it started snowing again on our walk to the hermitage // i cannot and never willg et over the colour of this building. ^^
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^^ inside, we explored the endless galleries. the hermitage is only a bit smaller than the louvre! and it’s so so grand. ^^
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^^ maybe my favourite part was the wood inlay on the floors of pretty much every room. so pretty and intricate and amazing! ^^
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^^ some precious and gorgeous da vincis. ^^
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^^ i love rembrandt’s depiction of the holy family here. ^^
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^^ sneaking a mirror selfie in a fancy smancy room. ^^
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^^ and having some fun in the chapel before heading back out into the frigid evening! ^^
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these last few pictures are from the hermitage impressionist/post-modern collection, which is awesome. it’s housed across the plaza from the main teal hermitage building, and because we were there close to closing time, we almost had the galleries to ourselves! this is my favourite type of art and i looooved seeing these masterpeices.
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^^ a classic picasso (so many picassos at the hermitage!) and a blue period picasso that i adore. it’s called “sisters.” ^^
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^^ we caught this last glimpse of the lit up hermitage as we headed back to our hotel. ^^

to be continued…

10 comments:

  1. So awesome! What beautiful photos. I love that you share your adventures here. We took this same trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg with four of our kids when our then baby was exactly Moses age. It was fabulous and totally nuts all mixed in one. Your photos bring back such happy memories! I didn't go to a ballet however...what an incredible experience!

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  2. Thank you. So excited to share these amazing photos with my kids. Appreciate your sharing!

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  3. Looks stunning! We're you worried about visiting after the recent attacks in St. Petersburg?

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    1. no. if anything recent events made us feel more safe in st. petersburg because we assumed security would be beefed up. we felt totally safe our entire trip.

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  4. Beautiful! 2 questions. Have you and Ian ever considered going on the amazing race? Also, i'd love to read a blog post with tips and tricks you have for traveling with kids!

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    1. haha, we have never considered it but maybe we should? i have never seen the show so i'm not really familiar with how it works!

      i am planning a post about traveling with a baby, but i still feel like a total novice with just one small child. i'm sure it's a whole other ball game with several kids. i honestly can't even imagine what it will be like when we are outnumbered (insert shocked/scream emoji here)!

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  5. Super jealous of the ballet! It looks amazing!

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  6. Great pix.

    When I first read about how cold it was there & then saw Ian without a hat on it made me wonder how on earth he coped without a hat! glad he got one in the end:)

    Just curious, do you pronounce Moscow as Brits do or Americans? I know Americans say Moscow like in the animal.

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    1. P.S. Did you buy a magnet for your collection?

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    2. we pronounce it like the animal :) and of course we got a magnet :)

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