Do you know what it feels like when you really, really want something and then it finally comes true? Suddenly things seem to look brighter and you find something to wake up to in the morning.
It was exactly how I felt as soon as I got my visa to Russia. It would be a short trip, an exciting one nonetheless, alone, in winter. Yep, March 2018 was still winter in the Land of the Rus. I was in Bali a month earlier, so it was quite an extreme change of scene.
“Why Russia?” Some people asked, slightly shocked. Me: “Why not??” Every place has its own beauty, but some just attract you more than the others for sometimes unknown reasons. Perhaps because of the language that sounds so foreign to me, or how it is portrayed in mainstream media and films – almost seems quite exotic. But for sure, it is always the history of a place that fascinates me the most. I might not know much when I arrive in a new place, but I get to know a lot more when I leave.
St. Petersburg welcomed me with everything covered in white that day – a bit terrifying, yet exciting. I just hoped my clothes were warm enough to keep me alive! I was prepared you know, with my Heattech from top to bottom, kairo a.k.a hot pads and gloves. But well, let’s say this tropical girl needed a bit more than those!
Museums, Museums and More Museums
Call me a nerd, but I just love going to museums, and until now, my favourite one has to be The Hermitage, including the Winter Palace. It’s even painted in one of the colours that I love!
I was a bit confused at first, but finally (or slowly) began to understand. So this museum complex has the Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old/Large Hermitage, New Hermitage and the Hermitage Theatre – all built continuously within the span of two centuries from early 1700s. And other buildings like the General Staff, Menshikov Palace and more are also part of the museum complex. A ticketing machine right after the entrance helped to avoid the queue at the ticket counter, and luckily it was not high season, so there was no need to squeeze myself through other visitors.
And I was not prepared. It was beyond of what I had and could have ever imagined even from the very beginning. The impressive Jordan Staircase, the marbles, pillars and gildings everywhere. Kings and Queens used to live here, making history, changing the world.
I highly recommend everyone to join the virtual tour on their official website. It’s free and you will be taken to another realm with their seemingly endless art collection, from the Egyptian, Scythian to pre-WW2 times. And here’s a compilation of this beautiful art haven!