Two summers ago, our family went on a 9-day cruise on the Baltic Sea, stopping in 6 different cities. As cruises tend to go, we were only able to spend a day in most of the cities, so this series of posts is all about how we tried to make the most of the short time we had in each one!
St. Petersburg was the only city on our Baltic cruise that we spent two days in – good thing too because there was so much to see! Read about our first day in our previous post.
The second day of our tour started with a drive out to Pushkin, a suburb of St. Petersburg, where we visited the Catherine Palace. This grand palace was another summer residence of the Russian tsars (we visited Peterhof on our first day in St. Petersburg) built for its namesake, Catherine I, who was the wife of Peter the Great.
The interior of the palace was spectacular – you enter through the State Staircase and then go into the Great Hall where there’s gold everywhere you look. Even the floors are impeccable, you have to wear little booties over your shoes to help preserve them!
Then we took a stroll through the surrounding grounds, Catherine Park.
After our walk along Nevsky Prospekt, we went to the Peter-and-Paul Fortress. The main attraction in the fortress was the Peter-and-Paul Cathedral, where many of the members of the Romanov family are buried – including Anastasia (yes, like the animated movie, which we obviously re-watched in preparation for the trip!).
Then we returned to the ship terminal. Before re-boarding the ship we checked out the souvenir shops at the terminal. My favorite find there was the set of Ohio State Russian nesting dolls and my biggest regret of the trip is not buying them!
As our cruise ship left the port in St. Petersburg, we had an awesome view of the city!