Russia Day 1: Sightseeing in St. Petersburg
Our team of six Faithful Women arrived last night and we hit the ground running today. We had a great introduction to Saint Petersburg thanks to Ellen Smith. Our first stop was the Church of Saint Nicolas where, once inside, we were thrilled to hear an Orthodox liturgy in progress, complete with the droning double bass so characteristic of Russian cathedral music. The day continued on with a visit to a bright blue Armenian church, a rather severe Orthodox Cathedral and the iconic Church of the Spilt Blood. Picked up a set of wooden Christmas ornaments in the shape of---what else---churches.
The rather taciturn gentleman in the photo below is Dostoevsky. He was perturbed when I confessed that I had managed to plow my way through War and Peace, before coming, but not Crime and Punishment. I countered by gently suggesting that both he and Tolstoy might have taken pity upon the reading public by having cranked out a few novellas and not so many epics. He was not amused.