Russia · 6 Days · 14 Moments · November 2014

Lyndsay Brown

Russia Vodka Tour

21 November 2014

Our final day of the trip. We are up again early as we arrive in Helsinki but the good news is we gained an extra hour of sleep. We arrived in Helsinki and began with a walking tour. Our guide was awesome and extremely enthusiastic. It was cute. He showed us the city center, a few cool churches and a harbour market. After the tour we were given free time to adventure around ourselves. Our group when to the highest point to see the view. It was an okay view but nothing extravagant. Afterwards we met up with the rest of the crew and stopped at a little café which was very cute inside. Around 4 we headed on the boat and had our last hurrah of our trip. Unfortunately there was a conference on board so the the dance floor was full of people all over the age of 45 so it was an interesting crowd to party with. All in all it was a good day in Finland
Our last and final day in Russia was a long one. Again we started early, being up, packed and out of the hostel by 8:30. Most of us did the tour of Tsar's Village, also known as the Summer Palace. It was beautiful. We learned a lot of cool details such as: - The princess has 15000 dresses meaning she never wore the same dress twice. - The princess never slept in the same room twice in a week. Her bed was moved every day - Back in this time when a mother became pregnant the unborn child was enrolled into the army (without knowing its gender) - You can rent out the Summer Palace's ball room. Elton John has done it 3 times. After the tour we headed back into the city for a quick grocery break and then headed for the ship. When we got on the ship everyone went to sleep as everyone was exhausted.

19 November 2014

We ended off the night with a limousine tour. Our entire group was in one limo and we travelled around to the different places and took photos and then ended up in a bar. It was a lot of fun partying with the gang. Normally in Karlstad we don't see this group much but after a few drinks we had lots of fun getting to know everyone. The bar was fun but we knew it was our time to leave when we saw the bouncers beat up someone.
Today was our second day in St. Petersburg. It was a pretty rough start as the temperature was -8. Our first stop of the day was the Hermitage Museum. We had the opportunity to walk or take the bus. Abbey and I decided to walk along with Paul and Andrew. Unfortunately Taylor took the bus and got her wallet stolen. Trying to stay positive we moved on with our day and visited the museum also known as the Winter Palace. We learned a lot about who created the Palace and how even though the entire thing was burnt down it only took 13 months to rebuild. We also learned about how Peter the greats daughter ordered this museum to be built for her artwork collection. She wanted to display her entire collection in one building. Even though we went through 5 buildings we only saw 2% of her collection. After the museum we had free time to wonder around the city and explore for ourselves. We did this along with grabbing some food.

18 November 2014

A lot of fun
Exploring St. Petersburg
What a day! We arrived in St. Petersburg around 9:30 and boarded the bus which took us to various parts of the city. It was very beautiful and we had a wonderful tour guide who was very knowledgeable and shared many historical relevances with us. Here are a few things we learned: -Peter was the founder of st Petersburg hence the name. (The city of peter) - One of the most famous churches was used as a skating rink when it was taken away from the believers. Now they were given back - The fortress was the first thing built. This is the cathedral of peter and Paul (shape demonstrates the island) One of my favorite places that we saw was the cathedral of spilled blood. It was beautiful inside and out (see pictures) We ended the night off my having a typical Russian dinner, and even I ate it. It was a noodle with chicken inside of it. Best part was that it was really really cheap.

16 November 2014

Today unfortunately was a travel day. We were up pretty early, especially after a night of drinking but we headed to or 1st boat which was traveling from Tallinn to Helsinki. Although we were very tired a group of us spent the 2 hours playing monopoly deal. It was funny watching new people trying to figure out how to play. We then waiting for about 3 hours until we were able to get on our overnight boat from Helsinki to St Petersburg. Once on this boat we all settled into our cabins and of course everyone napped. Abbey and I went exploring the boat. This one doesn't have much to explore. It's probably the worst boat we have been on yet but it's only for one night. We finished off the night by attending the Russian theater where they performed typical Russian dances and performances. It was pretty cool to see the culture in such a different way. They show also had a half time break which involved 3 of our guys playing musical shots. And of course we showed Karlstad proud and won!
Today was the first day of the trip and we started in Stockholm and headed to Tallinn Estonia. We arrived at 10am, dropped out luggage off at the hostel and headed out for exploring. We met our tour guide and she took us around and showed us many famous spots in Tallinn. She showed us the difference between the lower town and the upper town and gave us the historical background. It was cool to learn the ways of living. For example she said that if you were drinking and spilt their beverage, they must cover the spill with the size of their foot. If the spill was too big, than you were deemed too drunk and were sent home. Interesting way to tell. At the end of the tour we were given free time and the group headed straight for the grocery store to pick up food and alcohol for the upcoming night. Seeing as it was Andrews birthday today and Tim's tomorrow we celebrated both by attending a pub crawl where we got an hour of free beer and shots. It was awesome!

15 November 2014

Having a great time drinking up a storm
The group getting ready for the pub crawl