Adventure Travel Consultant Jayne Smith recently had the chance to try out her very first Explore holiday. She joined our Moscow and St Petersburg adventure and found that the highlight was her Tour Leader, Sergei.
"Trying to choose a highlight from the two beautiful and contrasting cities of Moscow and St Petersburg should be very difficult. However for me it has been an easy choice: our Explore tour leader Sergei. This was my first Explore trip and I was blown away by how much a local, knowledgeable guide adds to the experience of a city break type of tour.
Sergei brought the country to life. His passion for literature and art, his pride in his country and his dry sense of humour infected the whole group and left us all wanting to learn more. From Peter the Great to Putin, via Nicholas II, Stalin and many others, Sergei’s knowledge and enthusiasm made the 8 days very special.
Seeing St Basil’s Cathedral at sunset, taking in St Petersburg from the water and watching ballet at the Hermitage were all incredible experiences. However it is Sergei’s stories of Catherine the Great and her secret codes for would-be suitors, of the origins of the “Peter Columbus” statue overlooking the River Moskva, and of the unlikely history of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (demolished by Stalin, turned into a giant swimming pool by Khrushchev, then rebuilt in the 1990s) that I will remember the most.
Jayne travelled on Moscow and St Petersburg.