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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Russia - St. Petersburg 7.2

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  • Kilikia Restaurant
  • Nevsky Prospekt 
  • Kupetz Eliseevs Gourmet Store
  • Mariinsky Theatre
Did it ever happen to you when you travel that there were days when you just could not get anything done for one reason or another? 

This day was THAT day for us. 

Despite a morning call at 10 AM, we still managed to leave the hotel around noon.  Yesterday around this time, we already went to the airport, got our luggage back, and ready to head out again!  I blamed it on H as he was taking his sweet time getting acquainted with the hotel toilet if you know what I mean....

Anyway, the sky was cloudy like yesterday morning, and we were debating whether we should bring an umbrella or not.  Since H carried an umbrella for nothing yesterday, he decided to chance it and not bring one.  Of course you know what happened next. 

We headed straight to Kilikia restaurant to try Armenian food for lunch as we were both hungry.  The food was mediocre at best, so I am not going into too much details.  Bottom line: Don't bother. 

By the time we finished lunch, it was pouring cats and dogs.  We had to ask the restaurant manager to call a taxi for us so we could go back to the hotel to get an umbrella.  Once again, I blamed H for not bringing an umbrella in the first place. 

Of course, after we went back to the hotel and got the umbrella, the Sun had came out.  

We decided to visit the Russian Museum in the afternoon.  As we were trying to buy the tickets to get in, the credit card machine was not working, we did not have enough cash, and the museum ATM machine would not take our bank cards.  Oh yes, I blamed it on H when I suggested getting more cash earlier, and he thought it was not necessary. 

As you can imagine, H was having SO MUCH FUN today. 

It was about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and we had tickets for the  Ballet at 7 PM.  The day was pretty much a bust.  We gave up any attempt for sightseeing, and just walked along Nevsky Prospekt people watching and window shopping.  

It was our third day in St. Petersburg, and a couple of things had caught our attention:

1. Russians love flowers. First day when we came out of the airport custom, we saw many Russian men holding bouquets of flowers waiting for their loved ones.  There were many flower stands/shops in the city.  It was a common sight to see couples walking on the street with woman holding a bouquet.  Who knew Russian men were so sweet and romantic. 

2. Russian women are gorgeous.  This should not come as a surprise, we all know that already.  But walking on the streets of St. Petersburg, not only there were many tall, blond, beautiful women, most Russian women were also very fashion conscious.  We saw many women walking on the street with full makeup, 8 inches stilettos, and dressed to the nines during the broad daylight.  I definitely felt under dressed!

3. Parking on the sidewalks.  This one was a bit confusing, we saw a lot of cars parked on the sidewalks in all directions.  Is it legal to park on the sidewalk in Russia? 

4. Drinking on the streets.  Drinking in public is illegal in the US, so it was really fascinating to see many people carrying bottles of wines/liquors/beers on the streets drinking in public.

We had passed Kupetz Eliseevs gourmet store the day before and I was drawn to the colorful window display right away.  There were the beautiful stained glass windows.  Inside the store, the whimsical huge pineapple was in the middle of the store with chandeliers hanging from the leaves, which made the surrounding tables more so inviting.  The cold cuts, caviar, or dozens of various desserts looked enticing.  I am a total sucker for ambiance, so it was a no brainier for us to take our coffee break at Kupetz Eliseevs this afternoon.  

After the coffee break and a quick nap back in our hotel room, it was time to head out again for the white night festival ballet performance at the Marrinskly Theatre.  It was the premiere of Le Jeune Homme et La Mort. Unfortunately, I am sorry to say that I didn't like it.  I was hoping to see the classical ballet, and Le Jeune Homme et La Mort was not.  After the intermission, we were seated for a long time and the curtain would not open.  The audience grew impatient and started clapping several times trying to get the performance started.  Finally, we knew the reason for the holdups.  After the VIPs returned back to their box seats, lights were dimmed, curtains were lifted, and the performance finally began.  I was really aggravated! How could the theatre make all these people wait for a few inconsiderate A-holes?  

Anyway, the second part of the ballet was better.  Although there was no story lines, we got to see the dancers' skills and techniques.  I wish we could have seen a classical ballets such as the Nutcrackers or Swan Lake. 


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