Well we’re here. The bus ride was fine – it had AC – and we learned that seat reservations do not count but after kicking a lady out of the seat she was sitting in we were able to sit together. It was awkward and I wish I was one of those people that just picks up languages and can communicate in the local dialect wherever I am – oh well. It worked out. We arrived in St. Petersburg and were quickly overwhelmed. This city is huge, busy, loud, and hot. The heat is what is really getting to us as our hostel has no AC and leaving the window open only helps marginally- while letting in the loud traffic noise – I really hate those 50cc scooters right now. Last night we slept very little but are hopeful in that the forecast is for rain and that should help. The internet here is terrible so I’ll just be posting little updates and catching up with pictures later.
Today we made it to the Hermitage – amazing. I got to see Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal, which was very moving. Such an amazing portrait of grace in action. We’ve also gone to the Church on the Spilled Blood, which is amazing. And we’ve wandered the Nevskiy Prospekt – very busy. There are some really beautiful gardens we’ve spent a few cool minutes wandering and the canals are beautiful. Lots more updates to come – I think that tomorrow we’re going out to Peterhof and I’m so excited to see the splendid gardens.