FIFA Soccer/Football Finals and Cruising to St. Petersburg

I was lucky enough to be in St. Petersburg in May and see the new stadium they built for the FIFA tournament.  Tomorrow are the finals.  Everyone was raving about the new stadium.  Of course, it is always an international quandary whether to refer to the matches as soccer, as in the USA or football, as in most of the rest of the world.

We cruised to St. Petersburg.  We have been there before.  It has changed since we were there last in many ways.  It is a beautiful city.  The seaport is entirely new built on re-claimed land.  It looked to me like a work still in progress.

The first photo is of the new stadium.  You can see it like a flying saucer by the bridge that leads to it.  It is dead center in the photo.  This photo was taken from our wrap around teak terrace on Holland America’s Zuiderdam on the back of the ship.  It was a great suite!  I’ve also zoomed in on the photo so you can see it.  Good luck to whomever you are routing for tomorrow.

The entire seaport for cruise ships is new.  They have also built new semi-high-rise buildings at it for housing.  One of the most different things we have seen was the image of a ship on these housing units.  You could only see it in certain light.  These photos are also from our wrap around terrace showing this sight.  Unless you make the photo “bigger” you can’t see what I am talking about, so I have done it for you.  There has been a lot of building of housing since we were last there, but the wait list for it and the prices are still very high and the spaces very small compared to what we are used to in the USA.

Cruising is great to see many different places without having to pack and unpack.  It is not inexpensive, but has many advantages.  It is not all inclusive.  The extras add up quickly.  Some things in St. Petersburg have not changed since our last visit.  The views from outside The Hermitage on the river.  I post a photo of me nearing sunset, which is very late.  It was taken after a private tour of the Hermitage.  The new thing since we were last year is my earbud.  All of the tours these days have them so you can hear your tour guide without having to be up close and personal.  I post the same photo lightened up, so you can see me.  haha  I do this because the original photo looks great on my computer, but does not translate so great when posted.  The photo was taken by an iPhone.  I dropped our digital camera before this stop on our grand tour and had to resort to the iPhone camera.

St. Petersburg is a really lovely city.  I loved it the first time I went.  I loved it even more this time.  The first time we went, we fly there and then took a Volga River cruise to Moscow.  This time we went on a high end cruise that included an overnight there, so we got to spend another two days there.  The first time we spent so much time seeing the sights.  The second time we spent more time enjoying the city.  Some of that was because we had already been there.

Enjoy your travels.  Enjoy your soccer/football.

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