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White Days, White Nights

By Linda Tancs

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas at the Winter Palace? If so, start packing your mukluks (leave the stilettos home) and ushankas and head to St. Petersburg’s Hotel Astoria for their special White Days package. Valid now through March 31, 2008, the 3-day package includes buffet breakfast each morning, a ticket to the Hermitage and a Russian Table (no, not roulette) in the Davidov Restaurant.  As you sample from eighty or so vodkas and dine on the finest caviar on earth, enjoy the hotel’s view of the gilded cupola of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, which dominates the city’s skyline. Also nearby are the Winter Palace and Hermitage, Peter and Paul Fortress and Mariinsky Theatre. Be sure to buy your matryoshkas at Nevsky Prospekt, the main shopping mecca.  After your 3-hour tour of the city’s highlights, you’ll be ready for your complimentary Russian classical leaf massage at the spa.  Chances are, you’ll never look at an oak leaf the same way again.  The Mongols managed to conquer Russia in winter.  In great style, so can you.

1 Comment»

  mooshka wrote @

I’m going down memory lane now….its been about 10 years since my visit to St.Petersburg. But it was the best side trip I ever took. My friend asked me to come on a trip to Stockholm. And it so happened to be the year that the Hermitage was having that GREAT exhibition of Rembrandts, and, paintings from WWII that the soviets managed to steal after the war. And so the deal was…..I will come to sweden if we can take a side trip to see the exhibit at the Hermitage; and so we went. After a wonderful dinner party at our hosts’ home the first night in Stockholm [we were AT&T global trotters with wonderful jobs as ‘ex-pats’] we got on a cruise-boat that took us over the sea of Finland to St.Petersburg in 24hours. In the late 90s, trust me that the best treatment and food we were going to get in Russia was going to be on a ship, which was an experiment in joint management….a Swedish firm did the vacation planning and customer service while the ship was manned by soviet mariners.
Since I spoke both Russian and Ukrainian, we all agreed that the exhibit was worth a long weekend getaway. And the only price paid was motion sickness, which everyone had except me….I was the only passenger that took my pills. It was a very stormy crossing.
But the exhibit turned out to be well worth it! [To think that I stood in the room where the bolsheviks took power that famous winter]Thinking back, the trip was one of those memorable long weekends that 4 people would ever share.
The church Linda refers to….well now, you can see the Romanoffs buried along Peter the Great. And you can’t help but impagine the James Bond scenes speed by, as you walk those streets along the Neva River.


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