Elbrus Northside Team Visits St. Petersburg
Our northerly latitude was evidenced by the long evenings last night, even at this time of year. Dawn broke early but we were in no rush to greet it, enjoying the opportunity to sleep in a bit. After breakfast we walked down the canal outside of the hotel to St. Isaac's Cathedral, the 4th largest cathedral in the world, where we climbed its winding staircase to the colonnade that offers expansive views of the St. Petersburg skyline. Afterwards we made our way across the historic center to the Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood, a stunning classical Russian Church built upon the cobblestones where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated. Finally, we ended at the Hermitage Museum, an expansive collection of artwork spreading out over five buildings of St. Peter's palaces. With only 5% of it's collection displayed, it would still take days to fully explore the museum, much less appreciate the thousands upon thousands of pieces of art. After several hours of sightseeing we had some time in the afternoon to relax and explore the city on our own. After dinner, with the evening sun spreading across the sky, we boarded a boat and took a tour of St. Petersburg's canals, watching the city go from evening to night from the water. Tomorrow we all head home, ending our journeys in Russia. It is difficult to imagine a better group of people to share the challenge, excitement, and adventure of Elbrus' North Side with. It has been a fantastic trip and we are sad to see it end.
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