|peter and paul cathedral|
We land and get through customs quickly. Tall Guy gets riled up when one bank machine is out of cash and the next one has a broken number pad, but the third time's a charm and we get some cash.
Ditch the taxis - 3000 Rubles for 10 km? No way,
|voting for the russian pope?|
We walk through the Fortress of Peter and Paul. The sky is so blue, that intense, autumnal shade of blue, and the church is so, so yellow, and the gold so bright. We see people swimming on "the beach" and I kind of want to join in, despite the wonderful, crisp air.
We wander back across the bridge and through the Mars Fields, where Russians are leaving flowers by the eternal flame. We see a flock of sparrows descend upon a hedge, and then we're at the Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood. The colourful domes do not look real - I've stepped onto a movie set, but no, this is Russia. We are serenaded by a guitarist. We give him some change as we hurry along the canal to Nevsky Prospekt - all of a sudden I'm desperately thirsty. We find a mini-mart. "Market? Barely a Chino!" scoffs Tall Guy, but it will do.
|church of our saviour on spilled blood|
Down, down, down we go again to the subway, and we get out at an enormous Catholic church. It's warm in the sun and we don't need our sweaters. We walk back to St Isaac's - closed, according to the sign, but from a distance we see people up on the observation deck. We circle back and find an entrance tucked away at the back, from where we can access the lookout. We pay a small fee and climb 267 steps, both worth it for the views. St Petersburg is sprawling. Ten, fifteen, I loose count of the cranes in the port. Fifteen, twenty, Tall Guy looses count of the church domes.
|so very, very tired!|
My stomach is growling, and we see a pie shop. It's closed. It's after nine, but still so light. Hungry, we take more pictures of St Isaac's against a streaky pink and purple sky. We ride on a bus and get off in front of a recommended restaurant. It doesn't convince us, and we go for nice Chinese instead. My tea is hot and fragrant, the noodles are plentiful and the beef dish is enormous. We can't finish. As we leave, an entire Peking Duck is brought out for one man.
|sunset over st isaac's|