The first thing we did in St. Petersburg was take a river tour of the city. The Neva river is the main body of water that cuts through the middle of the city and empties out into the Bay of Finland. There are also several manmade canals which cris-cross their way north and south from the main chanel, making a tour by boat a very practical way to see a lot of the city. Just don't stand up if you want to keep your head.
St. Petersburg has a much older feel than Moscow, although the city is just about three hundred years old (Moscow is about 800 years old). The Hermitage museum is located right on the Neva, in a giant green and white palace (the Winter Palace). The Aurora battleship is also moored in the river; the ship which fired the beginning of the October Revolution.
After the boat we walked through the city, saw a statue of Puskin, and met Roman's grandfather at his appartment for dinner. Lamb plov was the main dish, with a side of "unprocessed" caviar on bread, freshly sent from Magadan by Roman's uncle who sliced the fish open himself (we saw pictures). Roman the translator worked furiously as we talked about Russia, America, history, medicine (his grandfather was a surgeon), and family stories. We drank to a common love of fishing, Jewish people all around the world, Russian-American friendship, and the hospitality of Roman's grandfather.
We then had the treat of meeting some of Roman's friends across the street. We told stories about BC, and learned a bit about how the younger generation of Russians feels about life today. They graciously agreed to speak in English.
Ended the day with a cut throat game of Labyrnth. (Greg may or may not have won; under review)