Tuesday, 17 April 2012



The Hermitage Museum is breathtaking! St. Petersburg had just been a smorgasbord of beauty! It is so stunning, we can't really believe that beauty like that exists. The beauty of the Hermitage is not just the stunning art but the building itself. The museum is housed in the Winter Palace which was founded by Peter the Great who built the city of St. Petersburg in a more Western style. It was really interesting to look at the portraits of the Tsar and seeing the fashions change from more traditionally Russian to a more Western style. It was also really amazing to think that people actually lived in these palaces. We couldn't imagine having a throne room in your 'house'.  

We could have spent all day there! Amazingly, Ben turned a corner and was faced with one of his good friends from Uni, Mr. Tom Disney, (yes, his name is Disney!). We are currently having a drink in St. Petes together. It was the most incredible coincidence and a fantastic surprise! Tom is doing a PhD in Geography (we know, totally putting us to shame) and is writing his thesis on orphanages in Russia and he was telling us the most horrendous stories. It seems so terrible that people who are so vulnerable are not being cared for in the way that they need.  

Freeman and Disney
Tomorrow we are going to Tallinn for a couple of days before we fly home on Friday (super super sob) but on reflection of our time in Russia we have preferred St. Petes to Moscow. The beauty has been staggering and we feel like we have had our quota of culture of the decade. It is a place that we would definitely want to come back here!

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