Alex and I have been so fortunate to meet so many friendly humans in Saint Petersburg. We met Tim at Hillel and he offered to be our Saint Petersburg guide for the day. We started our tour on Rabbit Island where the Peter and Paul Fortress is located. Peter is the founder of Saint Petersburg. This is the entrance to the fortress with the double eagles symbolizing the Russian Empire and is also used today.
This fortress holds many goodies including this really awkwardly proportioned statue of Peter. Not too long ago you could sit on Peter’s lap and I guess tell him your dreams. You can tell that many people partook in this activity with how shiny his lap and hands are. Alex wanted to do this as well, but was clearly not allowed to. I felt that seeing this statue so close to Halloween was appropriate because it reminds me of Tim Burton creations.
The fortress holds many things like a mint, prison and a wax museum. My favorite place in the fortress is the cathedral. This remains of most of the Romanov family is laid to rest at this cathedral. Unlike many other royal caskets I have seen, all of these caskets were very simple with little ornamentation.
Tim then brought us to Peter’s first house while the fortress was being built. In Peter’s will he wanted his house to be maintained for future generations, so they built a building around his house to preserve it.
Next, we went to see the Aurora which is a beautiful ship that fought in World War 1 and the weaponry was removed and used in World War 2. Here are some awesome pictures from the ship of a bullet hole that wounded a captain to fantastic knots that my grandfather would be jealous of.
This weekend of course was Halloween weekend back in the states. Before arriving I wondered if Russia did anything for Halloween, well for all wondering minds they do. Since we’ve been here Alex and I have seen an advertisement painted on the sidewalks that say Follow the White Rabbit #spbhalloween. People walk around with intense face makeup on, but not a lot of full costumes. Alex and I were invited to Moishe house for Halllween. Moishe House is an organization that promotes young adult Jewish involvement in the community. Moishe House has flats in the community where everyone can come together and hang out. We had a blast, Alex and I dressed up like Americans and enjoyed in some pumpkin carving and vodka drinking.
The residents of the house had their names on the door as well. I couldn’t help but notice that the names were in Russian and Sign Language. Since taking American Sign Language in school, I am extremely interested in signing. For all of my fellow classmates, you can notice that the yellow and green hand are the same signs that we have for h and i, but the last three are different. American Sign Language is based off of French Sign Language and now I am even more intrigued to learn about the roots of Russian Sign Language.