about a week after we got here (our first saturday), our cultural expert/tour guide sveta took us out on an excursion to see the city and show us where all the great things are! it was a happy day :)
this picture is slightly edited just for fun.... but not too much! this is the church of the savior on spilled blood cathedral. it was built in memory of alexander II and it got it's name because this is the site where he was killed. sorta. he was killed in 1881 during a war. people had attempted to kill him many times and come close, but here a bomb went off and he lost his legs. he lost so much blood here that he died soon after at the winter palace. so, he didn't technically die here, but you get the point.
i'm pretty sure this is my favorite cathedral :)
this guy was so good! i love him! we actually saw him later in the day walking down the street.
russians are super affectionate and lovely and all that. fun fact: escalator ride to the metro is like 5 minutes, so we frequently see people making out on it. one time in particular tho, these 2 people were GOIN AT IT! it was more than a little ridiculous. anyways.... the story behind these padlocks is that when a couple gets married they put a lock on or around this bridge and "seal their love", then through the key into the river. there was actually a couple doing it right after we were taking these pictures. it was adorable. we also saw like 20 other brides on this day
i love this tradition!
spilled blood from the back
peter and paul fortress from far across the river
so pretty! the picture doesn't really show it too well, but it actually is!
russians tend to have some cool doors
so, i've always wanted a picture on a european cobblestone street and i finally got one! the pipe in the background isn't very pretty.. but that's ok. i'm sure there will be more of these
these big guys are at the entrance to the hermitage. apparently if you touch their toes with your spouse when you get married, your children will be strong. obviously i'm not married, but i still touched the toes so hopefully my ovaries will unfreeze from all the times i've sat on the ground and i can have kids!
winter palace square place... that tower weighs like 6 tons, stands completely on it's own, and only took 1 1/2 hours to put up! russians are genius.
yay winter palace!
this place is unbelievably huge!
so those green things are ships coming out of a lighthouse. i. love. them.
sittin in front of the winter palace
i like this building... and the statues at the top... i dunno what it is tho...
finally up close to peter and paul fortress!
the gold was so pretty against the dark stormy sky!
fun fact: back in the day, no buildings were allowed to be taller than this tower.
i love it in central where it's so pretty :)