Day 178a

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Day 178… Travel from Novgorod to St Petersburg by public bus (approx 4 hours)… followed by our last walking tour with our guide Yulia… but not our last walking guide tour period nor last thing we do with Yulia. Anyhow… St. Petersburg truly is one of Europe’s finest cities, built of baroque European architecture combined with the opulent palaces of Russian royalty, St Petersburg was built by the Russian tsar Peter the Great and it shows in its showcase cathedrals and museums.
One of THE highlight of St Petersburg is the Hermitage Museum, one of the world’s premier art collections housed in the former imperial Winter Palace, and worth every ruble. Inside is a vast array of art and artefacts rivalled only by the Louvre… but the interiors, walls and ceilings are almost and universally gorgeous in the same vein as the corridors of the Vatican Museum. Just stunning stuff! After that it’s time to head back to the hotel to meet up for our evening activity,  to visit the home of a local family to see how the average Russian lives, and have a tea party Russian-style… all pancakes with condensed milk, jam artrtifactsndllnd cream. Not all family members speak English but Yulia is on hand to interpret and the matriarch is at least able to converse fairly well, but their warm hospitality made me feel like one of the family in no time. Just magic

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