Flying Longhorns Get Cultured in St. Petersburg

Many Flying Longhorns trips pack quick visits to five or more countries into one vacation. This summer’s Essential Europe trip toured nine countries in 25 days, for example.

But there’s ample value in slowing down, too. Case in point: St. Petersburg, Russia.

Thirteen travelers, hosted by Flying Longhorns staffer Janice Garcia, soaked in one city’s culture for nine days in October.

Staying in one place allowed the group to explore St. Petersburg’s rich history and cultural life with great depth. They visited scores of museums, palaces, symphonies, and theaters.

One traveler’s main reason for choosing the trip was to see da Vinci’s “Return of the Prodigal Son” at the Hermitage Museum, Garcia said.

“It was an emotional moment watching him finally standing in front of the painting he’d wanted so long to see,” she said.

Architecture was a highlight, Garcia says, with baroque palaces, regal statues, and mind-bogglingly ornate cathedrals abounding.

The travelers enjoyed special access at several sites. At the Marinsky Theater, they got a behind-the-scenes tour and met with actors and musicians. And at one art museum, they entered an hour before the galleries were opened to the public.

“We felt like VIPs,” Garcia says.

Photos courtesy Hallie Young and Janice Garcia

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