Russia - View from the Inside

"A magnificent city full of culture, cathedrals with their onion shaped towers and of course, the Hermitage."

October 2016 • Zuzana Matase, Former Personal Travel Expert

Russia - View from the Inside

Russia has been on my bucket list for a long time and I was very happy to get the opportunity to travel on our Russia Revealed cruise covering the most important tourist spots of Russia.

The first day in St. Petersburg was a starter to this magnificent city full of culture, cathedrals with their onion shaped towers and of course, the Hermitage. In the evening we enjoyed the ballet performance at the Imperial Hermitage Theatre. I couldn’t have imagined a better introduction to Russian culture.

The next morning we journeyed to Pushkin to visit the wonderful Catherine’s Palace – an optional excursion on the Russia Revealed cruise. I was amazed by the size and the beauty of this building. The amount of marble and gold used for decoration of the interior is breath taking, yet it has been done with great elegance and doesn’t feel overdone. The Amber Room is definitely the highlight of this excursion. The weather was kind to us and it was also very pleasant to walk around the garden and enjoy views of this beautiful place.

In the afternoon we had the opportunity to join another optional excursion on this program – an afternoon canal cruise, a wonderful opportunity to see St. Petersburg from a different perspective.

When sailing to Mandrogi we enjoyed a Gala dinner on board the ship with a Captain’s welcome cocktail. Upon arrival we took a short walk around this lovely village full of typical Russian wooden houses decorated with stunning ornaments. Don’t forget to visit the vodka museum whilst in Mandrogi – an absolute must when in Russia!

Yaroslavl was my favourite place on the cruise. A city not too big to get lost in but not too small and there was a plenty of sightseeing opportunities. My favourite sight was the Cathedral of the Assumption. If you can do take a walk around the grounds and you will be rewarded with a beautiful view of Yaroslavl Park with its singing fountain. The atmosphere was unforgettable.

On day 9 we finally reached Moscow! The guided tour then continued onto Peter the Great monument, Gorky Park, the New Maiden Convent and Lenin Hills. In the evening we took part in the optional excursion Moscow by Night and the Metro. Seeing the most beautiful metro system in the world with all the sculptures, shiny chandeliers and paintings was a great experience and it was quite interesting to compare it to other underground systems in the world. The Red Square all lit up at night was an absolute highlight of the tour for me! It actually felt like Christmas time even though it was the middle of September, I cannot even imagine how beautiful it can be during the festive season.

The cruise was delightful. While cruising there were lectures on Russian culture and history, tour guides gave lessons of Russian language and dance, and we also enjoyed a concert of Russian folk music. My memories of this fascinating country will last a lifetime.

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