Swan Lake at the Mariinsky Theatre

Before we left for St Petersburg, we decided to book tickets to see ‘Swan Lake’ at the Mariinsky Theatre.  While I normally do a lot of research on things to do in a certain area, this was the first time that I’d actually booked something.  And it was fantastic.

Firstly, it gave our trip a bit of a focus.  We had to plan our time around the theatre visit and it meant that we were a little bit more organised throughout.  Secondly, the show was fantastic.  Neither of us had ever been to the ballet before and, despite being a little bit apprehensive, we loved it.

However, there were a few minor hiccups.  Mainly, that for the first two acts, I didn’t have a clue what was going on!

A Panoramic Photograph of the Mariinsky Theatre

A Panoramic Photograph of the Mariinsky Theatre

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The First Night in St Petersburg

We arrived in St Petersburg at around 6pm. We had to go through passport control, where the airport staff looked particularly frightening, and were lucky enough to find our bag within a couple of minutes. I say that as though it happened really smoothly, but I did actually have to dash across the airport in snow boots when I saw our bag from a hundred meters away! We then debated whether or not to get a taxi to our hotel (the easy option) or try and find our way there using public transport.

We opted to try public transport.St Petersberg

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Travel Upgrades

This week on TheRopesinLondon will henceforth be known as ‘St Petersburg Week’.  Mainly because I intend to write predominantly about St Petersburg.  I have plenty of pictures and stories to share so keep checking back for updates!

Flying Club Europe

Do you remember last week when I spoke about much I LOVE flying? Well today I love it even more!

For some completely unknown reason, we ended up travelling to and from St Petersburg in ‘Club Europe’.  It transpires that we actually booked this but neither of us remember doing that and the prices didn’t seem to reflect it.  So it felt just like a free upgrade!

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Eating Italian Food in Vietnam

I know, I know.  When in Rome and all that.  But is it so wrong to want a little bit of Rome in Vietnam?  I understand that it’s important to eat local food when abroad, but does that mean I can’t indulge in an epic spag bol in Hanoi?

The Italian restaurant in question is El Mediterraneo and the food was AMAZING.  It isn’t just me who thinks so either – TripAdvisor has numerous equally positive reviews (although it also has a few rather scathing comments dotted about).  I don’t in anyway regret choosing to eat there because it was a lovely meal and I really do love Italian food.  But, now, looking back, I can’t help but think that it was a little bit strange to visit an Italian restaurant in Hanoi.  It wasn’t as though we had weeks and weeks available in which to sample the Vietnamese cuisine, so I wonder whether I should have been more experimental (it was, after all, me who insisted on having an Italian meal).   In total, we visited this restaurant twice, although we did spend a few days away from Hanoi in between visits.  If I recall correctly, I also had a cheese and ham toastie in Vietnam.

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The Ropes in London

The Ropes

Yesterday, The Daily Post suggested that I comment on the following:

Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you.

I haven’t attempted any of the daily prompts yet but I thought that, as a new blogger, this might be the perfect place to start.  I think that ‘The Ropes in London’ is a fairly self-explanatory title but then I would, I picked it.  Other titles I considered were ‘Learning in London’ (I think that was taken), ‘LearningLondon’ (I didn’t really like this one) and ‘Lessons in London’ (which sounds like it might involve whiteboards and timetables).  So, in trying to come up with something like ‘Learning in London’, I toodled off to find myself an online thesaurus.  One of the first synonyms for ‘Learning’ was ‘Learning the Ropes’ and so ‘The Ropes in London’ was born.

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