EuroChristmas: The Hermitage

27 December 2015
St. Petersburg, Russia

Step Count: 29,701 (12.66 miles)

Sunday was Hermitage day--the museum is one of the oldest in the world, opened to the public in 1852. We explored so many different sections of the museum and I took a ton of pictures. I'll let the images do most of the talking in this post! 

We stopped for coffee en route to the museum in the morning

I wonder how many countries will have a sign with a sentiment like this or similar :)  
Rick and I loved the thoughtfulness of the displays, even the design of the items of the street. Very fun.  

In front of the Winter Palace, home to the museum 

Dad taking photos of the exterior of the building
Bucket list item--check! 
Rick in the square in front of the museum 

Inside the ancient artifacts section
The oldest pile carpet in the world. From the 3rd or 4th century BC
mosaic tiles from Turkey 

I spy an ikat flag in the Islamic armor room
Disclaimer: I am obsessed the floors in the state room sections of the palace. Or even all over the palace for that matter. If you aren't following @ihavethisthingwithfloors on Instagram, you should be. This was was #ihavethisthingwithfloors heaven, and I was dying. So much fun.  

The floors! 
I mean, just look at them 
Literally obsessed.
You should be, too. 
Amazing, amazing stuff. 
exploring the state rooms 
ornate and gold leaf details everywhere
aaaaand floors 
The Ambassador's Staircase

one of the few throne rooms
a room for balls and receptions 
the main throne room
Greek and Roman artifacts 
great floors here, too!
My Kappa husband found the homegirl 

So, he got his picture with her, too :) 
always on #fleurwatch
more floors and great details in the Greek and Roman exhibit 

Still Greek/Roman, not sure what the fount/tub is for
Staircase selfie
The Peacock Clock is a fixture in the museum. We tried to see what it would do when it chimed 2pm, but nothing too spectacular happened at all! But, it had a rooster, squirrel, owl, and a mushroom, so everyone in our family was represented there in one way or another!  

Rick and I managed to get through most, if not all, of the first and second floors of the Winter Palace. We moved over to the General Staff Building next, in search of Impressionist/post-Impressionist art (we never managed to find it--it may have been in the Winter Palace normally but currently on loan? Maybe the exhibition was closed? Needless to say, we were bummed). The space is incredibly modern, home to modern art and post-WWII Soviet protest art. Rick and I both really enjoyed the photography exhibit by Steve McCurry, who has taken most of the famous Nat Geo photos you would recognize (remember the Afghan girl with the eyes?). 

walking in to the museum
modern art
some examples of art nouveau 

there she is
I love the colors in all of the photos
such a contrast from the main Winter Palace spaces
One year ago to the day, we were at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It was fitting to see photos of the temples there. 
After the modern art, we were pretty museum-ed out. We stopped for a quick shopping break, at Rick's personal mecca--Zara. This was the first time I had seen a store with Zara Home, too. Of course, he picked up a few new things we liked :) 

Our final sightseeing stop was the Church of the Savior on Blood, one of the few "onion dome" churches in St. Petersburg. The entire interior is covered in mosaics, and was very impressive!

After the church, we walked over to Kafe Bontanika, a vegetarian cafe Dad had found on Instagram a few months ago. We had fun enjoying a variety of classic Russian dishes in a "safe" environment--no chance we'd end up with meat due to a translation issue! :) 

Rick enjoying his sambuca cocktail

shchi--a sour cabbage soup 
blinis and pierogis

We decided to shop a bit at H&M, then ventured off for cocktails. Nevsky Prospeckt was all lit up for the holidays. 

Thought this was funny!
 Rick and I ended up at a Belgian cafe, and enjoyed some great beers--Rick says the best since we were actually in Belgium! :) 

I of course talked him into some fries, too :) 
We had a great night, talking, laughing, and enjoying our beers. Another great day in St. Petersburg!


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