We all have that one place that we dream of visiting. For me, it’s always been Russia and for about nine years I’ve had it on the top of my bucket list. So finally this year I was on my way on an 8-day At Leisure guided holiday with Trafalgar, experiencing the Wonders of St Petersburg,Novgorod and Moscow.
I could have put my arms around Olga when I exited customs, knowing that from here on in I was going to be looked after by our English-speaking Travel Director. To be honest, I was a little concerned about travelling toRussia for the first time on my own. However, as quickly as those worries came they were completely overturned.
To my delight, we stayed at some of the most amazing first class hotels. We did some incredible sightseeing with Trafalgar and of course, if you know me, I took all nine of the optional extra excursions offered. Why? Because I figured I’m not likely to be back here in a hurry, so why not! Looking back, I wouldn’t have known where to start if I was doing the trip solo, so my time was definitely well spent.
Our first stop was St Petersburg and the incredible Hermitage Museum. With over three million items on display, this really was something to marvel at. And the fact we were in small groups meant we were all able to take everything in with a good view – our Local Guide made sure of that! This holiday wouldn’t have been complete without a visit to the ballet to watchSwan Lake by the Russian Ballet Company…so beautiful. Seeing the WinterPalace, St Isaac’s Cathedral, Catherine Palace and the fascinating visit to St Peter and Paul Fortress– it was certainly a trip back in history for all of us.
Next we headed south to the provincial city of Novgorod and after the magnificence of St Petersburg I wondered whether this trip could get any better. - Melanie Dryden