Another great night of sleep, and despite being go go go on this vacation, one thing I was managing to do pretty well was catch up on sleep. Now, that might be due to the tremendous amount of walking I was doing in general, but either way, it was actually feeling like a vacation!
My rate at the W included breakfast, so made a point to partake in that before heading out. I would rate it pretty middle of the road as far as hotel breakfast go, but there were plenty of choices including eggs and porridge cooked to order, so it was more than enough to get a start on the day.
After fueling up, it was time for a walk! I had highlighted some of the sights I wanted to try and see, so the plan was to head out and see how much I could do before I got absolutely exhausted from walking. First stop near the hotel was the Fountain of the Admiralty:
Plan was to head over to Nevsky Prospekt and head east-southeast before heading back north and eventually crossing the Neva River. First major site was the Stroganov Palace, and yes, that’s the family that beef stroganoff was named for. Since I only had one full day I opted to walk around and see as many sites as I could from the outside, without spending the time in line for tickets and exploring the inside. Stroganov Palace:
a little further down Nevsky Prospekt was the Kazan Cathedral:
Statue of Field Marshall Prince Kutuzov of Smolensk:
At this point, the grey weather and walking was catching up with me, so I stopped at Starbucks for a large iced coffee and a sandwich. After resting up a bit, I continued the walk. Crossed Nevsky Prospekt, and passed the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood:
Very impressive up close, and swarming with tourists:
Best part about tourists? All sorts of souvenir stands. I was pretty disappointed they only had this shirt left in a small size, because I totally wanted to buy it:
I did, however, managed to find a whole bunch of awesome magnets:
From this point, back to Nevsky Prospekt to catch the metro up to Finlandsky Station and continue my walk on the north side of the Neva River.
Finlandsky Vokzal, you can see how dark and heavy the clouds got, but it never did rain.
Two reasons for coming to Finlandsky Vokzal. First was to see where it was so I knew where to go for my train the next day, and second reason was the giant statue of Lenin. Looks especially ominous against the clouds:
The fountains in front of the train station made a nice contrast. I love this shot with the bright reddish-orange brick, the dark greyish-blue sky, and the contrast of the bright coats the pedestrians are wearing.
Finally figured out where/how to cross the tributary of the river, and a great view of the Nakhimov Naval Academy with the cruiser Aurora docked in front:
Another shot downriver with the Aurora:
The Aurora was closed to tours today, but that didn’t stop the large groups of Asian tourists from milling about and taking pictures:
Close-up of the Aurora:
Bit more of a walk, and the Peter and Paul Fortress:
Kept walking…and walking…and eventually passed the Yubilyeni Sports Palace. Wait, is that an ad for a pre-season hockey game…tonight? Even better, a bit of googling, and it appeared absolutely free. Registeted on the website, and very quickly my free tickets were e-mailed to me! Score. I had planned on a relaxing evening after over 10 miles of walking during the day, but how could I pass that up!
Given the game was less than two hours away, I cut my walk a little short and took the metro back to the hotel to change clothes and rest up a little bit. Only had about 30 minutes to rest before I had to catch the metro right back to the arena for the game. It was open seating, and appeared 25% full at most:
Let’s get a little closer to the ice…now these are great seats!
Cheerleaders and dragon mascots:
Old Soviet National team memorabilia on display:
It was nearly 9pm at this point, so I opted to skip the third period and head out to get some food and drink before it got too late. On a recommendation from a friend, I headed to Craft Pub to have a bite. Keeping in the theme of the day, a delicious beef stroganoff and a few great beers to wash it down:
Unusual decor in the restaurant…what would the Singapore First Class lounge think of this?!
One final local imperial stout to close out the evening:
With that, more than 10 miles walked and a hockey game, I think I made a pretty amazing dent in seeing St. Petersburg given the extremely limited time I had there. Now, it was time to get to bed so I could enjoy my train ride the next day…and my final stop: Helsinki.