2 beautiful days in St Petersburg
Following the recommendation of our friends who had toured with Alisa a few years ago, we arranged with Alisa to guide us for our two days in the city at the end of September.
Right from our initial contact, we knew we had made a great decision. Alisa’s email communication was prompt, clear, and accurate. Because her English – both written and spoken – is near-flawless – we never had any questions about what she meant. The arrangements were easily made, Alisa promised to give us what we wanted, and to customize her tour according to our wishes. That is exactly what she did.
Our little worries (Will she meet us on time? Will we be able to understand? Will we be exhausted?) disappeared the moment we were met (early) at the cruise terminal and ushered to our van. We spent time in the beautiful Metro, we ate in Russian (not tourist) restaurants, we went into an Orthodox church during a service, we learned a lot about every-day life in St. Petersburg, we travelled in a very comfortable taxi van that magically appeared as soon as we left each site, and we never waited in lines because Alisa had pre-arranged the entrances for the museums.
A note about the Hermitage. Everyone knows it’s really big, really beautiful, and really full – of visitors, as well as art. What Alisa did was guide us to a number of her favourite spots, outside and inside the building, then give an intelligent, clear explanation of the architecture or the painting or the object. After that, she gave us time to look at each piece by ourselves. Like a master juggler, she balanced the competing demands of the clock, the crowds, and three million works of art. We saw things we will never forget.
We knew, before leaving home, that seeing St. Petersburg would be the highlight of our month-long European travels. What we knew when we left the city after our two-day immersion was that we had been given an understanding of its history, culture and passion that surpassed anything we had imagined.
Endless thanks to Alisa
A happy Canadian couple