Logbook, 5/20

 

Time has flown by so fast! This was my last week in St. Petersburg, Russia. It has been wonderful and full of adventures. Come read about some of my last experiences abroad in the largest country in the world!

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Can you believe it? I just spent my last week abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia! It has been a memorable last week. It’s also been a sad one for me. I dreaded saying goodbye to my new Russian friends. I also didn’t want to say goodbye to my new American friends and classmates that I met this semester. However, before I actually had to say farewell, I got to spend some fun times with everyone. I went out with both my Russian and American friends and did a few new things around the city. I was able to take pictures and make some happy memories with them!

 

TRAVEL NEWS

Local Time: 23.10       

Time Zone: Moscow Standard Time   

Location (Latitude, Longitude): 59.9333° N, 30.3333° E

How far have I traveled on my journey so far?

I have stayed within the city of St. Petersburg for most of this semester. I participated in a few day trips to some of the surrounding palaces, which are still considered to be located in the St. Petersburg region. Do you remember any of the palaces I visited?

Even though I’ve been here for many months now and haven’t left the city, I have discovered that there are still many places for me to see. There are still many things for me to do within St. Petersburg! Believe it or not, there is still a lot of explore in this beautiful Russian city!

How did I get around this week?         

View from my friend Vlad’s car

This week I got to take a nice car ride around the city with my Russian friend, Vlad! He is a local artist I made friends with recently. He wanted to show me what St. Petersburg was like away from the city center. He took me to a street called Nevsky Prospect. I was in awe of all the beautiful buildings and architecture I saw with him along the way. He even stopped at a few places so I could take pictures!

Something I noticed him do, along with many other Russian drivers on the streets, was speed. He drove so fast! I was scared a few times that we’d get into some sort of car accident. Even if he was driving in a very responsible way, there’d still be a chance of getting into an accident. Why? Because many of the other Russian drivers around us didn’t seem to drive very carefully. Since then, I’ve decided that being a passenger in a Russian’s car is a dangerous idea and risky business.

What was the most interesting place I visited this week?         

I got to visit a beautiful cathedral on my last day in Russia called Smolny Cathedral! It is made up of several buildings and painted a beautiful sky blue color. The top parts of the cathedral and surrounding buildings are painted with gold and shone brightly in the sun! My Russian friend, Vlad, took me here. He told me it was built for the daughter of Peter the Great. Her name was Elizabeth. She lived at this cathedral for many years. It was initially made to be a convent for nuns, but now it is used for musical concerts and has different kinds of office spaces inside.

Me on the Neva River during the boat tour

One of the last things I got to do with my American friends was take a boat tour on the Neva River! We got to sail through and see some of the smaller rivers and canals that branch off of the great Neva River. This was pretty fun and exciting because I got to see St. Petersburg from a different point of view. I saw sections of the city I had never been to before. Sailing down the rivers and canals felt like a whole new world to me! It was a beautiful sight to see St. Petersburg from the viewpoint of its hundreds of waterways. No wonder they call this Russian city the second Venice! They have just as many rivers, canals, bridges and boats as Venice does!

View of one of the many canals from our boat tour!

NATURE NEWS

Weather Tally:

Sunny: 2

Cloudy: 1

Partly cloudy: 1    

Rainy: 3

Snowy: 0

Windy: 2   

What is the air temperature right now? 63 degrees Fahrenheit

How was the weather this week?      

The weather was really warm this week! It was wonderful. Although it was cloudy and rainy for most of the week, I enjoyed the warm temperature. I finally got to walk outside without wearing my winter coat! I could even walk outside and be comfortable in a t-shirt. The only time I had to put a light sweater on was at night when it got a little chilly. The sun did come out once or twice and it felt so nice! The flowers sure appreciate all the rain and the sunshine.

What animals did I see this week?

I’ve seen more animals out and about since spring came along. Usually, I don’t see too many animals because it’s the city and it’s been far too cold! Now, I’ve seen more stray cats and dogs wandering around looking for food. Of course, the squirrels have finally come out of their hiding places and have begun infesting all the local parks with their presence. Many Russians love squirrels, especially the young Russian children! I’ve seen children play with them and feed them all sorts little snacks. I’ve also seen more pigeons flying around. Spring brings out the poor city animals who survived the long and hard winter!

What was the coolest thing I saw in nature this week?      

I think the coolest thing I saw in nature were the flowers that have finally popped up and out of the ground. I couldn’t believe there were tulips and other colorful flowers sprouting all around the city. It’s made me so happy! I also saw a lot of trees begin to flower and blossom. What a beautiful sight it all was! It was comforting to know that winter was officially over and Spring was finally here. I could smell it in the air with all the flowers! I was also sad knowing that I had to leave just as the weather was getting warm and the city was blossoming with life.

OUR NEWS

What was the best meal this week?      

Lauren and Maddie enjoying some Pishki for the first time!

Well, even though I’ve had some pretty amazing Russian food this week, there’s one particular food I’d like to tell you about. I was told by one of my Russian professors that there was one very popular little cafe near the center of St. Petersburg.  At this little cafe, the very best Russian donuts are sold! These sweet donuts are called pishki. Some of my American friends and classmates went to this little cafe and I decided to tag along. It was a little hard to find because it was such a small cafe, but we did find it! Sure enough, they sold these wonderfully delicious pishki! I bought two pishki and they were served hot and fresh with powdered sugar on top. When I took a bite out of my first Russian donut, I fell in love with how it melted on my tongue! So yummy!

What music did I listen to this week?      

This week I had a chance to go to a restaurant with the American students at my university. At this restaurant we got to eat traditional Russian food while we watched a live show. This show included men and women who wore traditional Russian clothes and costumes. They performed traditional Russian songs and dances. I was extremely impressed by how much clapping, jumping and yelling they did during the performance! I asked to take pictures but I was told photography was not allowed. I was very disappointed about this but I still enjoyed the show immensely!

Me and my American friends waiting for our boat tour to begin!

 

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