From Russia with love

Our honeymoon was everything we thought it would be, and more. St. Petersburg gave us perfect autumn weather, ridiculous architecture, incredible colours, amazing night scenes, and a side of culture shock – in the best way possible. Nothing we couldn’t handle.

We went on our honeymoon exactly one week after our wedding, in October of 2012. Having lived in Canada, I’ve sorrily missed proper autumns. Here in Ireland they’re just not the same. We had been told that autumn had passed in St. Petersburg, so we were prepared for grey. But, as we were landing in St. Petersburg, we were elated to see autumn in full swing. I’m so glad that person was wrong.

The Church of Spilled Blood. There almost aren’t any words. 

My fascination with this place goes back about 9 years. My mom gave me an incredible water colour painting of a mysterious Russian building. I treasured it for years. Then, a couple weeks before our wedding, I picked up said painting as I was dusting, and it clicked. It was of the Church on Spilled Blood. We were going to see one of my favourite paintings in real life.

The passing of time in St. Petersburg was very unusual. Shops stayed open until 11pm, and restaurants even later. So when we sat down for dinner at our usual 6pm, we got the distinct feeling this was very early. We took to taking afternoon naps to make the day stretch, and headed out for dinner at around 21:00, one night even sitting down at 23:00. This entirely ruined our body clocks once we got home, but hey, you’re supposed to get off your face on your honeymoon. 

Borscht, white Russians, chicken Kiev and beef stroganoff were on my edible list, and we ate them all. They were all incredible. I was particularly surprised with how much I adored borscht with a massive dollop of dill and sour creme. Oh god, I could go for some right now.

A bit of history – Peter the Great who founded St. Petersburg was always portrayed as a cat in caricatures due to his distinguished moustache. St. Petersburg is chock-a-block of cat statues, memorabilia, and The Hermitage museum {pictured further below} is home to not only the worlds largest collection of art, but stray cats as well. 

The above picture was taken on our last day while on a boat tour. There was a terrible storm the night before, and blew all the autumnal colours away.
The Hermitage museum. Home to almost 3,000,000 pieces of art. We took an overwhelming 4 hour tour, and barely skimmed the top. It blew our wee minds. 

Surreal. If you take the time to familiarize yourself with the language and alphabet beforehand, it is very manageable to get around. Husband and I have a very basic knowledge of Russian, and managed to get from point A to point B. It was really like being in a dream, with the juxtaposition of incredible architecture and interesting levels of health and safety. I would go back in a second. 

And on that note, I wish you all a safe and prosperous weekend! Happy Friday 🙂 xx A

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  1. January 22, 2013 / 17:15

    Wow what a stunning building! I'm so glad you got to see some Autumn leaves as well. Also, I love the little selfie you took, super cute.
    I hope all is well in 2013 so far! I'm hoping to get back on the bloggin horse soon 😛

    • January 22, 2013 / 17:21

      I was only just creeping your site this afternoon! A single tear had fallen when my fears were confirmed, and that you had in fact not blogged since mid December.

      Get in it like a car bonnet Mel.

  2. January 4, 2014 / 17:00

    Oh my lordy. I have never thought of visiting St Petersburg, but NOW I have got to go there! It looks absolutely amazing. What a wonderful place to honeymoon! Oh, and all the cat details? Serrrriously! WHY have I not been there yet?

    • January 8, 2014 / 15:47

      Oh man, Holly. You must go. It is so beautiful and scary and romantic. And the cats. ALL OF THE CATS. Do it.