Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Saint Petersburg, Russia, Day 1 - Hermitage Museum

So 2 days ago I came back from Saint Petersburg after spending a few days there (April 5th to 9th).  Here's what I can recall from memory.  I didn't blog everyday like I did last year because of time concerns (It takes an hour approximately to just write one post).

Day 1, Hermitage Museum, April 5th

3:15am till 5:30am  Woke up, had breakfast, and caught the train to the airport.  It was cold and really quiet walking to the train station from where I live.  Almost like walking through a graveyard.

7:30am Boarded the plane to Stockholm, and from Stockholm it was another flight to Pulkovo which is the airport terminal in Saint Petersburg.  The flights were pretty smooth, and it was all on time.  SAS provides no meals whatsoever, so good thing I had something to eat before boarding.

1pm Arrived at the airport after going through paranoid customs.  I have to say customs here is pretty paranoid as far as I'm concerned.  I mean it would be understandable if I was from a third world country.  But coming from Norway why on Earth would they be paranoid that I would want to move to Russia, for work?  To live?

2pm (or so..) Caught the K-3 bus and checked into the hotel.  From the outside this is what the hotel looked like.

Parts of the floor were still undergoing renovations but the rooms are pretty nice even though the building itself is quite old.  Reception is in an adjacent building which itself is pretty old.  I had to register myself at the hotel which cost 200 rubles, it seems like the government really wants to know where I am!

Lunch was at Tepemok which was just a short walk from the hotel.  I had a meal, was it pancakes?  Perhaps.  With borsch and a kvass.

3pm Caught the Metro from Sennaya ploschad' to Nevsky prospekt and then walked to the Winter Palace where I finally got to visit the Hermitage.  It was free entrance that day, the first Thursday of every month.  There was a queue at the entrance but thankfully it was short and didn't take too long before it was cleared.  Unfortunately I didn't take any photos in the museum, however I can say that the Hermitage is quite big and you could spend hours exploring each floor.  A really cool artefact residing in the Hermitage is the Peacock Clock, an elaborately constructed timepiece from the 18th century.

6pm-ish Dinner was sushi at Yaposha.  I think this was shortly after 6pm, that's when the museum closed.  Also bought some water.  I can't remember what time it was nights out but I sure was buggered from walking so much that day and not getting enough sleep.

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