~ Schoot! I didn't even get to see London
, and I was there twice
on this trip
However, with St. Petersburg, as with London, being with my friends in their 'hometown' was more important to me than sightseeing. Likewise, with my other travels in England. I was glad ~ very glad ~ to see the sights I saw. There were certain ones that were most important to me that I see, and a couple that were a real surprize. Seeing the thatched-roof house up close, when I was with John and Margaret meant tons to me. Likewise, seeing the Lever Estate ~ what a surprize! And, Liverpool, with all it has going on ~ and Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane, Eleanor Rigby, the pub. With Pete, seeing the moors [even if we didn't get to snuke them] ~ simply because it's where he and Liz spend so much time; and seeing their garden because they have tea there so often. Going to Bingo with Paula. Visiting you and Eija, Jarkko, sitting in that backyard swing of yours would be a priority. Sitting and having coffee with you two at the table where Eija addressed all those Leonard cards would be also. The things that people do in their real lives. These just happen to mean a lot to me. Time spent with people I've 'known' through here and the Sony site, really does take priority. I'll be making a return trip to London to see the various sights. Phil and I already have our itinerary laid out [and will, of course, include Paula as she desires and is able].
I remember when I saw the Taj Mahal in 1965 and my thought was, "Yep! It looks exactly like it does in the photos." There's something about being there, of course, that compels you to take a photo with your own
camera, when there are perfectly-produced photos available for sale. There are details to take in, as well, that one doesn't see in the photos; ambience to appreciate; all of that.
However, when it comes to St. Petersburg ~ the gilded city
~ my priority reason for going there is to meet my friend and her family in person. She knows the city well, and will take me to the 'primary' points. However, even in Gainesville, Florida, I still haven't seen all the sights of the city, and I've been living in this area for 15 years.
It's probably a one-off perspective that I have. However, returning to St. Petersburg may be unlikely. It really is very far and costly....and I know that it's true that there's so much to take in, that it warrants a trip just for that. However, if I can afford going ~ and meeting my friend and her family, and seeing at least a few of the highlights ~ I'll do it this time, and then hopefully plan for another.
All of Europe has so much to offer in the way of sightseeing. It's really overwhelming. I feel I've restarted traveling a little late in my life, but I'll be doing the best I can with the time I've got, and will be trying for a balance between places and things and the people who are important to me.
This is NOT
to seem ungrateful to either of you for your well-reasoned suggestions