St. Petersburg was absolutely stunning. It is by far one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The first day we got into the city after a few hour delay at the Russia-Estonian borer. Usually tour groups and busses have to bribe the Russian border to let them in for around 250 euros. Lucky for us, we didn’t have to! That was a good introduction to Russia! The first night we got in we just stayed in at the hotel. It was right across the street from the Aurora ship, the ship that fired a shot to signal the start the revolution in 1917! We were about a 25 minute walk into the center of the city where the Cathedral of Our Savior and Spilled Blood was. The Cathedral of Our Savior and Spilled Blood was one of the most magnificent cathedrals I’ve ever seen. The gold domes that can be seen from around the city and the vibrant blue and green colors on the lower domes were remarkable. The cathedral had a variety of domes some of which you could only see from certain angles. It was a highlight of St. Petersburg. The area that the cathedral is around too was great. The main street called Nevsky Prospect was where all of the shops and cafes were around the city. The first day we did a driving tour which pretty much consisted of driving around Nevsky Prospect. We ate pie and drank vodka for a midday snack, a typical Russian snack. After walking around the city, we headed to dinner at a local restaurant. One of the Russians we met out told us that it was her favorite place to eat. When we got there, a tourist would have no idea that it was even a restaurant. It was very hidden and they barely spoke English. The next morning we went to the Hermitage, one of the biggest art galleries in the world. It’s similar to the Louvre if you have been to Paris! I highly recommend going inside. We also walked by St. Isaacs Cathedral which was beautiful with a massive golden dome on top. After that we hung out around Nevsky Prospect some more because it’s just beautiful. There are a lot of musicians around and locals just lying out to catch some sun. From there we had some borsht, a traditional Russian food, and headed to a Russian Folk Show! It was pretty interesting. It was nothing like anything I’ve seen before. The boys were very athletic doing half of the movement with just their legs, and the girls would walk around fast, but it looked like they were rolling around – true ballerinas!
Copenhagen was by far my favorite city on this trip so far! The colors, the people and the things to do in the city were amazing. Right when we entered the city, we passed a zoo, that had glass windows that allowed the public to see camels wondering around. If that wasn’t kid-friendly enough, the first major view we had was of an amusement park ride. That was the beginning of what I found to be the Danish culture! Tivoli, the second oldest amusement park in Europe is in the heart of Copenhagen. At first, I didn’t want to go inside, but I’m so glad I ended up doing it! The rides were unreal, some of them I doubt would be allowed in the United States….they looked so unsafe! There were also rides there for everyone, even older couples! They had multiple cafes and restaurants too. My favorite aspect of it was that different sections of the park were based off of different countries! For example, you could go to a beer hall in “Germany” or have some rice and noodles in “China!” Aside from Tivoli, the streets and the shopping were cool. The city center is beautiful. More on the kid-friendly side of things, Lego had a store in the city – and since it was founded in Denmark, there were huge Lego animals all around the store. So we went inside and made Lego’s of ourselves – something that is a must-do if you are in Copenhagen. The highlight of Denmark, however, was doing a 3 hour bike tour around the city. The weather was perfect and we got to ride around with the thousand of other bikers. Copenhagen is like Amsterdam in that it is mostly flat so everyone gets around by bike. We then ate some Danish pastries and enjoyed the views. By night time, it ended up raining, so we went to a local pub and got some typical Danish beer, Carlsberg!
Stockholm was not what I expected at all. It was a beautiful city, but much like Berlin, there were cranes all over the city which really took away from the natural beauty of the city! Our first stop was the City Hall which was neat! One of the rooms was full of golden mosaics. On one of the walls, the artists messed up so the heads of two warriors were cut off. It’s an interesting story though, the artists, after they realized their mistake, figured it would work out because the story is that those warriors were beheaded! Stockholm was pretty difficult to get around since it’s all on water. We bought a hop-on hop-off boat to get around. It was a great way to see the city at a decent price. Also, Tivoli (same park at in Copenhagen) was right on the water – part of the skyline! I didn’t go into Tivoli in Stockholm, but some of the girls on my trip did, and Jason DeRulo was playing there! He is a Top 40 artist is you don’t know who he is. I would highly recommend going to Scanson too! It is a park that has a lot of different animals, activities and food! We went there for the midsummers day festival, we made flower halos, which is a very traditional thing to do! We also saw wolverines and bears. It was a fun area to walk around. The nightlife was great! Most of the clubs were outside, so all of the pictures I have of us going out it looks like it is like 8pm instead of 2am!