Swan Lake in St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg in a Nutshell: Art, Vodka & Ballet

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When it comes to my brief time in Russia, it was really a mixed bag. Of course, when you have only three quick days in a country, how could it possibly be at all cohesive?

St. Petersburg, RussiaParticularly when St. Pete is one of the most sprawling cities I’ve ever visited, and while we were docked in a money spot, everything in town is quite a haul to reach (and by foot at that as taxis are scarce and the nearest metro stop was a 45-minute walk).

St. Petersburg, RussiaWe were blissfully lucky because allegedly St. Petersburg only enjoys 60 days of sunshine a year. Well, we robbed them of three of those days and don’t feel a tad bit guilty about it either.

St. Petersburg, RussiaIf you had told me Russia was where I’d get a tan after six weeks all over the rest of Europe, I would have told you that you’re insane, and yet, that’s exactly how it happened.

St. Petersburg, RussiaSince SVV was restricted to ship trips, I spent the majority of my days with these girls:

St. Petersburg, RussiaAnd yes, they’re every bit as trouble as they look (maybe even more). For example, they made me go to an art museum.

Erarta in St. Petersburg, RussiaI know, right? You know how I feel about museums.

Erarta in St. Petersburg, Russia Erarta-7 Erarta in St. Petersburg, RussiaAnd OK, I admit: It was pretty darn cool.

Erarta in St. Petersburg, RussiaAnd the food in the cafe was pretty darn tasty. (I am newly obsessed with Russian dumplings.)

Erarta in St. Petersburg, RussiaErarta in St. Petersburg, RussiaThey also made me take shots midday. Because that doesn’t at all sound like something I would do without prompting…especially from a bartender with a perfectly bespoke ‘stache.

St. Petersburg, RussiaThey also found some poor schmuck to take us all out on his private boat and cruise around the canals on a balmy Russian white night. And another poor schmuck to handle the champagne.

St. Petersburg, RussiaAnd they made me walk around for hours, taking photos of street art. Photography while traveling? So not my bag, clearly.

St. Petersburg, RussiaBasically, worst travel partners ever. I mean, can you imagine traveling with two hilarious, charismatic, laid-back gals who only want to eat, drink, take pictures and tool around in Russia? Definitely does not sound like my style of travel.

St. Petersburg, RussiaAnd because we were in the home of ballet, after all, there was one final thing we all agreed we just had to do. (You saw that coming, right?)

Swan Lake in St. Petersburg, RussiaEven luckier was that Swan Lake was playing while we were there, and Enrichment Voyages secured 120 tickets for any passengers who wanted to go.

Swan Lake in St. Petersburg, RussiaNeedless to say, that day trip sold out immediately, and while I’ve been to quite a few ballets in my life, there’s just nothing like going to the ballet to trump all other ballets.

Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia Ballet in St. Petersburg, RussiaBallet in St. Petersburg, RussiaMother Russia, you were good to us. Thank you for your hospitality, your ballet, your art and, of course, your vodka.

St. Petersburg, RussiaSt. Petersburg, Russia


  • August 13, 2013

    Oh, wow, I would have loved to see Swan Lake in that beautiful theater. I grew up with a ballet-obsessed mom and was fortunate to see Baryshnikov dance many times in NYC when I was a child…And that photo of the bartender is classic!

    • August 14, 2013

      OK, now seeing Baryshnikov in NYC takes the cake! Funny, the show itself oscillated from being beautiful (the swan scenes) to feeling like community theater (the court scenes).

  • August 13, 2013

    oh, I could kick myself for not making it to St. Pete’s. It’s Gorgeous!

    • August 14, 2013

      I’m sure you’ll have plenty of other chances to do so!

  • August 14, 2013

    I don’t know how you could top Swan Lake. Well, except for the vodka and good company.

    • August 14, 2013

      Funny, I never drink vodka at home. But something about being in Russia just makes it taste better.

  • August 14, 2013

    Super jealous you got to see Swan Lake! I only had one night there, and it was a Sunday, the one night of the week it was NOT on. Neither was Sleeping Beauty, as I would’ve taken either just to go to the Ballet!

    I don’t know if you’re into historical fiction, but I was reading a story of Leningrad back during World War II – The Bronze Horseman (also that statue in front of St. Isaac’s Cathedral). It’s pretty interesting.

    • August 14, 2013

      I do love historical fiction! Right now, I’m on the last book of the Royal Spyness series, set in 1930s England, and I adore it.

      I would have loved to see Sleeping Beauty on stage. A bit more uplifting than Swan Lake, I’d say 😉

  • August 14, 2013

    St. Petersberg looks beautiful! Seem like a city so full of culture. I’ve always wanted to visit, hopefully on those 60 days of sunshine though (really only 60?!). Btw, that barman’s ‘tache is epic!

  • August 15, 2013

    I’m taking my mom there next year and I cannot wait!!

  • August 20, 2013

    wow, what a dream visit, good food, amazing art and museums, street art and then ballet, what’s not to like!

  • August 25, 2013

    St.Petersburg is high on my “to do” travel list especially after reading your post and seeing those beautiful pictures!

  • December 10, 2013

    St. Petersburg is beautiful. You have captured it wonderfully. Great photography!

  • February 25, 2014

    Amazing photo of St. Petersburg. Definitely a place worth visiting.. Awesome pictures, I love it…

  • October 8, 2015

    St. Petersburg is great city, but also so beautiful is Kiev (Ukraine). There are many museums,theatres, street art and ballets. And vodka))))) Come to us!

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