From Helsinki can be taken a cruise to quite many cities. On the weekend me and my co workers got on a cruise which took us to the gray wet St. Petersburg. I did not carry the DSLR camera around with me on the cruise so I have pretty much no pictures of the ship, but to the city center I took the camera with me. Some of my co workers had never been to St. Petersburg, so we did some basic sightseeing that we could do in the few hours we had.
The pictures on top are from The Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood. I've never been too interested in churches but this one is worth the visit. It's unbelivably colorful both form the outside and from the inside. I love all the domes and the inside is covered with mosaics. The church is truly a work of art.
Walk past the Winter Palace is of course a must. We did not go inside the Hermitage museum since it's huge and it would take the whole day to see the exhibitions.
I am a bit sad the weather was like it was, since most cities in gray and rainy day just won't look as beautiful as they would if the weather would be sunny. When I was the first time in St. Petersburg over ten years ago, it was summer and it was warm and the parks were a amazing, green and lush. On the other hand it's sort of cool to get the wibe of the old Soviet Union, I can easily imagine a KGB agent walking on the dark streets. Like in a 80's James Bond movie where all the bad guys where Russians.
We were in St. Petersburg now only for few hours but with the cruise you can stay there for up to 72 hours without a Visa. It's a major saving to go to there Visa-free. Next time I go, I want to be there longer.