Author Archives: Katie

John and I headed out early to do some more recording since we were due back at the ship by 6 and they recommended you get back at 4 to avoid being late due to the lines. We took the 40 minute walk to the Peter and Paul Fortress to go to the Cosmonaut museum. Well that place was packed! We wandered around and couldn’t find the museum and I finally asked and it was closed! Totally fake out on the official website saying it was open. And it wasn’t just closed for the day it was permanently closed.

We walked around some more and found a hobbit looking coffee shop in a park nearby to refuel, then walked to the beach I went to on Friday, but the light wasn’t right to film so we passed on that too. The scene needs to not be backlit or Johns’s al dark and you can’t see whats behind him cause its so bright.

Back to the fast internet hotel to upload another video and edit the time-lapse from entering St Pete. That didn’t export fast enough so I won’t be able to upload it to Hamburg.

We made it back on the ship at 4:30 and turned in our passports. Caught up with fellow staff members in the lounge, then dinner and back to the lounge for more work and socializing. We gain an hour tonight (woo hop!) so I stayed till about midnight (now 11) and then bedtime.


Today was a slow day. I slept in so missed breakfast which ends at 8:30. I did some work till lunch at 11:30 and talked with John about recording some podcasts. We did one on the ship from the top deck and then headed out around 2 to do some filming around the city. We hit the Winter Palace (Hermitage), The Peter the Great Statue, and the G20 tent on the river. The G20 meeting is this coming week where all the top 20 leaders get together. Its a big deal and we totally smooth talked our way onto the dock/tent on the river to film. It was great!

We went back to the pub we were at last night as when I was there I realized how fast their internet was. It was tied to a hotel that had a free fast connection. I edited the videos and then uploaded them and it took not too long. I mean having a beer at the same time always helps :)

You can see the videos here:
Week 1: St Petersburg
Winter Palace:
Peter the Great:

They gave this instead of free bread

They gave this instead of free bread

I found a Russia restaurant and went out with a friend and got some smoked fish plate and some pancakes and salmon caviar. Delicious! Then back to the bar for more fast internet, lol.


Peter the Great


Another TA had suggested going to the Russian Museum instead of the Hermitage as it had more art by actually Russian artists instead of the Hermitage which has a world collection (and is massive). We spent about 2 hours a the museum and it was great – lots of different paintings, clothing, pottery, wood carvings, bone carvings, and modern art.

I think went out to lunch at a Asian restaurant with a few of the faculty who went to the museum. I had sushi and it was delicious! They sure know how to do salmon here.

Next was a walk to the Peter and Paul fortress where I saw so many brides walking with what looked like their whole wedding party, drinking and taking photos. Oh and yes you can drink on the streets in Russia and you see people drinking out of a can like its soda on the street. You’ll see this photo of a double decker hummer, insane! It was a nice walk and I relaxed on the beach taking in the view of the city.

Double decker hummer

Double decker hummer

I headed back to the ship for dinner and to meet up with some folks to head out. I had found a bar 10 on our side of the river a 7 minute walk from the ship and a few of us headed there around 9:30. I tried some Soviet Champagne which was pretty good. And of course I tried some vodka, lol. We stayed there till about midnight.

Sorry for the delay in these posts. I’ve been so busy exploring and editing podcasts I haven’t had enough time to write!

I was up really early today to record the timelapse video of us entering port. It was really pretty with the sunrise and it was interesting to go through a working port. After that I had some breakfast and tried to go back to bed. I figured let the students and everyone else rush off and then I’ll take my time later. Well I “tried” to sleep but they keep having announcements every 20 minutes which go off all over the ship including the cabins. It has like ding dong like sound each time at the start of the announcement which is really loud.

I got up and showered and headed to the dining hall to get some hot water for my tea around 11 and the dining hall smelled delicious. I asked what they were serving for lunch, which starts at 11:30 and the answer was fried chicken! I was all about that! I actually met up with the Boyers who hadn’t left yet either. We had lunch then formed a plan to go get SIM cards for our phones so we could text, instagram, Facebook, etc :)

We wandered over to Nevsky Prospekt the main tourist drag and found a phone place and for 900 rubles (about $30) we got 3 SIM cards, which is pretty cheap!

We then split up and I wandered through some parks and to the Church of Spilled Blood. It is really pretty. Then I found a local bar and had a pint of the local beer which I won’t even tried to type up. The Cyrillic language is an interesting one! I saw a bunch of SAS students at an outside table and I made sure to sit far away! None of them recognized me so I was able to enjoy my beer in peace.

Dvortsovaya Square

Dvortsovaya Square

I then headed to the Hermitage and Dvortsovaya Square with the Alexander column monument.  Oh forgot to mention it was a beautiful day as well! About 70 degrees and sunny! No grey Russia for us!

I then headed back across the river back towards the ship for dinner. I was hoping it would be a better meal than usual like lunch was. When I got back to the ship there was a line of people to get back on and it took 30-40 minutes to get through. Its a pain cause they have to go through all of the students stuff and some times pat them down to make sure they don’t bring any alcohol on, so it slows down the whole process for all of us.

Dinner was a mess – I do not think they expect so many people to come back to the ship. I had to wait in line for 10 minutes to get a plate and then another 5 for them to bring out another pan of fish. They also were subbing in different pasta and had brown lettuce. Oh well I ate it anyways.

I then worked in the glazer lounge the rest of the night to about 11 answering emails and other things I needed to get done.

So far:

Ship docking

Lunch on the ship, fried chicken!

MV Explorer behind another ship

Church of spilled blood