St. Petersburg, Russia. Wow! The opportunity to visit Russia is something we never dreamed possible, but our cruise itinerary has us spending two days in St. Petersburg. Our first day starts in the afternoon with a "shopping experience." We'll have a few hours to explore and shop on our own in the "very heart of St. Petersburg's historical center" which I think means "where the tourists go and pay more for things than they should." We are on the lookout for a set of nesting dolls actually made in Russia, not China, and of course the DS's want to add to their thimble and spoon collections.
The first evening we'll take a tour along St. Petersburg's canals. When we first scheduled this excursion, I remarked that it would be nice to see St. Petersburg in the evening, but after checking the sun schedule, there will still be plenty of daylight so we should probably bring our sunglasses.
Our second day includes a full-day excursion titled City Highlights and Hermitage. We'll stop at St. Isaac's Square and drive along the Neva River, and visit the Church of the Resurrection on the Spilled Blood. We'll go to Nevsky Prospect (street) and see the Bronze Horseman. I read about all of these sites in Fodor's St. Petersburg Travel Guide (http://www.fodors.com/world/europe/russia/st-petersburg/). Our tour includes lunch and then the afternoon at the Hermitage (http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/).