Archive for 'RUSSIA'


 I got this neck fur thing because it looks so fun to wear. H&M had one that I was eyeing this whole week. I finally broke down and got it after I froze my ass off in line outside the Hermitage. We named it Julius because I keep calling it my “animal” thing and Kat’s dog is named Cleo after Cleopatra. Therefore, my animal has to be named Julius. When Kat gets her neck fur thing, we will call it Marcus.

H&M neck fur, H&M coat, Topshop tights, H&M booties, H&M bag

sorry for the same pose. i seem to pose like this when i’m in tights
Zara dress I bought for the ballet. It has a white line across the front with a cute bow tie. I wore it with pearls I got from Nepal, Topshop tights, and H&M booties. The pics are not very clear, so I’ll sport it again another time. It’s sleeveless but quite warm.

October 23
We spent the better half of today at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. It’s the Russian version of the Louvre, being a palace like museum with the most impressive collection of artwork from all over the world. They usually have exhibitions of Fabrege eggs, but I guess they are all on loan…or traveling at the moment…so we are very sad to miss it.

The entrance into the museum is quite small, so a lot of people were waiting in line outside. We stood outside for only half an hour…but it was bone chilling cold today. The wind swept through a few times, and i literally believed that some of my fingers and toes would not make it.
they have horse carriages outside the Hermitage!!!!

armory room

Peter the Great

the most ridiculous ceilings and chandeliers

Here are a few of my favorites of the day ….
The boudoir of Catherine the Great…and yes, that’s the door handle to the room..and yes, that is a red crystal ball.

 Dinner at a Russian restaurant. We got an assortment of sausages, stewed cabbage, and mashed potatoes!!! It was just too much meat for us, so we got ourselves a greek salad and Chilean wine as well. *_*

October 22

Oct 20th — I walked today.  I mean, we walk a TON everywhere, but today, I walked by myself. Kat was sleeping to make up for lost rest from the overnight train, but I slept like the dead, so I was antsy to get out. We arrived in St. Petersburg at 5 am, and got to the hotel at 7 am. We are staying on Liteiny Pr. The hotel itself is beautiful. It’s a family run guesthouse, and there is a little kitchen for me to store my yogurts, and a place to have tea/coffee 24 hours a day. In addition, all the fun shops and restaurants are close by, so I can be by myself quite a bit during the day, wandering aimlessly, looking at everything.

 St Isaac’s Cathedral, St Petersburg
Oct 22 — A few years back [like 10 years back], Kat and I were in the Notre Dame in Paris. I found my patron saint, and asked Kat to take a pic of me with her. Back then, we had film cameras, and didn’t realize what the pic was until I got home. She had cut off the head of my saint!!! Now, its tradition. Every time we see a saint, we take a pic with the whole body with the head, and one without! 

 St Isaac’s Cathedral is close to the Hermitage, so we went searching for it today as well. The gold dome is quite distinguishable, so we found it quite easily. We saw the inside of the cathedral…which is now a museum. It is the most stunning structure. I have been to the Vatican, seen St Peter’s Basilica, and many other cathedrals that take my breath away. Nonetheless, it still amazes me, how people can make something like this during times where so many amenities were unavailable. I walked around the place with my neck craned backwards for about an hour. The pews and such are no longer in the cathedral. It’s just open space with plenty of room for you to walk around without bumping into anything while you look all the way up at the dove in the ceiling porthole.




 The weather is really cold, but sunny today…until it started to snow of course. We walked all the way down Nevskiy Prospect, the main road in St Petersburg. Tons of shops line the street around it, and it is so tempting to shop!!! 

Caviar is delicious is Russia. Caviar and vodka are what they are known for, so we ordered a caviar dish in a small underground brewery by the theatre. Salty, delectable, and perfect to pair with a wonderful ballet at the Hermitage theater.


This sushi place is part of a chain, and since we loved it so much last time we had it in Moscow, why not have it again in St Petersburg?! Kat had the Siberian beer, and I chose the perfect mojito with crushed ice.

I’ve had a lot of trouble ordering food in Russia. We don’t eat bad though…oh no! We eat VERY well. hahha..but we have a lot of trouble communicating for food. We are forced to look for places that have English menus because the Russians everywhere else do not speak any English, and I cannot read Cyrillic at all. Sometimes pointing at pictures work [always works in Asia] but here, it just seems to be more difficult to get the point across. There are no street vendors, so I found nearby grocery stores to buy necessary items for breakfast.  However, now that we are in St. Petersburg, there are a lot more options. Lonely Planet and Let’s Go have given me quite a few suggestions to choose from, and I’m excited to try them! Zoom Cafe is a must do for young foreigners, so I’ll look for that in the morning! For lunch or dinner, we splurge on either Italian, Japanese, or Spanish. So far, every single meal has been amazing. We had sushi twice already at this popular chain in Russia, and I had the most delicious salmon in both the Italian and Spanish restaurants. ohh, and you can’t forget the mojitos!!!! Tons of mint, rum, and crushed ice!!!!

california maki and philadelphia shik…in russia *_*
October 21

 I have been drooling over the Alexa Mulberry bag for months and months. I knew that I would have to settle for a much cheaper version of it, but held off on buying anything since I was leaving for months of travel and never found the right one. I used many a hobo bag throughout Asia, but now it’s time to buy a nice one for Europe. Since my clothing is more winter oriented now, it requires nice accessories as well. This H&M bag is the perfect combo if price and quality. I practically grabbed it off the hanger when I saw it. It was meant to be…me finding it in H&M!!

h&m bag


I’m in Russia at the moment, and the styles here are fantastic. Every woman I see walking down the street is wearing something I covet, whether it be boots, coats, or bag. If one was to ever be on a hunt for coats or boots, I would highly recommend looking for one here. The selection is phenomenal. Any style, any shape, size, color you want is available in any given store on the street. If you don’t see what you like, try next door. Yes, there are that many.

h&m organic russian coat, h&m booties, topshop tights, bag from laos, the limited scarf
We found this sushi place by the Kremlin and couldn’t resist. It’s been too long since I’ve had sushi, so we splurged [kind of], and got a giant boat of sashimi, rolls, and some Vietnamese spring rolls. We also got two double mojitos, the best I’ve had since the states. Happiness.
I saw this display in the Red Square at GUM, the gigantic department store flanking St Basil’s Cathedral. It houses a ton of big names, and I think this display belongs to Cartier.

October 18

We walked all over the city today, to the Arbat District, and then to the Kremlin. By the time we got to the Kremlin, it was nearing sunset, so we will go into the citadel tomorrow. Today, we stayed in Red Square, and walked around the outside circle, taking pictures right before sunset. The light was amazing, so we took advantage of that to get pictures of all the buildings. 

We took my gorillapod to the Kremlin the second day and I think I am in about 20 peoples’ cameras because of it!! It attracts a lot of attention … curiosity actually. People smile and take pictures of me while i crouch on the ground and kat’s laughing in the background because i make her stand there to spot me.

COLD weather! Freezing cold weather again!!! It feels so strange to be back in Europe again, where everything is 10x more expensive, but the standard level of living is so much higher. Russia is no exception. Everything is expensive here, but I had to buy a nice coat…because when am I ever going to be in Russia like this again??!
The first thing we did as soon as we found our hotel [which is a Basilica btw!!!], was find an H&M so that we could replace our summer gear with winter gear. Since we anticipate it getting just as cold in Eastern Europe and Western Europe, investments in coats, tights, sweaters, and accessories are all worthwhile. I packed a lot of technical gear from REI, but they are just not so cute. They are more for places like Nepal and Tibet, where trekkers flock to…but in Russia, the women dress formally. They are dressed to the nines ALL the time. Boots, tights, sweaters, and the most gorgeous coats I have ever seen in one place. Everywhere I walk, women off all sorts [rich, poor, short, tall, professional, unprofessional] are in the most beautifully tailored coats and winter boots. We couldn’t not wear that too!!
H&M here is fantastic. It caters to Russian women and men, so it is fully stocked with mittens, tights, hats, and a whole roomful of coats. I found a grey one with a crew collar and lightweight although it keeps the warmth in. Perfection. This coat is going to be worn everyday while I am in Europe!!!
I also found the most perfect pair of black pants/tights/yoga pants at Topshop. I am frequently on their online store, but I have never bought anything from Topshop before until now!! My first purchase is amazing and I’ll be seen in it pretty much everyday with variations in sweaters!