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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Saint Petersburg, Sankt Peterburg, Russia

Aug 10, 2017 - Last day in Russia

More walking today. We began by walking to the museum of political history, about 45 minutes away. When we arrived, we discovered that today it is closed. So we continued on to do a 15 minute helicopter ride over the city. Only to discover that they would not take plastic cards, only cash, and this is the last flight they are doing till Sunday. So we continued on to the Cathedral of St Peter and Paul, where we found an amazing exposition (the Russian word for "display") on miniature art works. You looked at these through microscopes. They...

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Aug 9, 2017 - Stroganoff Palace

More walking today. Our first stop today was at the KGB museum. It was quite interesting, although no information in English. There were only 3 rooms of exhibits. I was surprised at how dated and basic their espionage equipment was. Next to Palace Square, where we came across some local dancing and singing. The accompaniment was button accordion, balalaika and tambourine. It was a fun time. Next we went to a photographic museum. My favourite exhibit was recently released photos taken of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. They were taken...

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Aug 8, 2017 - Hermitage

Today was basically spent at the Hermitage. This is Russia’s version of France’s Louvre. The Louvre has 35,000 art works. The Hermitage has 3,000,000 art works. We had a guided tour in the morning for 3 hours, then stayed exploring on our own until closing time at 6pm. We were almost the last out of the doors. The Hermitage is made up of 5 connected buildings. The rooms are amazing. They include a throne room and a church. There are over 300 rooms altogether. The rooms are full of art works - paintings, sculptures, furniture, ornaments,...

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Aug 7, 2017 - St Petersburg

Another day of walking. We began with a 3 hour walking tour of St Petersburg We saw many grand and famous buildings and gardens and statues. We had lunch in a stolovya. Then set out to visit the church of St Peter and Paul. This was an amazing church, where 46 of the Romanov dynasty have been buried. The remains of the last 2 Romanov’s (Nicholas’ son and one daughter, who were only found fairly recently) will be buried here next year. Saw where Peter the Great was buried, and Katerina the Great, and many others. The gold work was...

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Aug 6, 2017 - Visit to Kremlin then train to St Petersburg

Today we visited the Kremlin Armoury. This was amazing. 2 floors filled with opulent gifts. Some given to Russia. Some made by the Kremlin craftsmen. There were carriages, gold ornaments, gold table decorations, clothes from previous rulers, thrones, armour. Sadly no photos were allowed, so you have to imagine. We spent hte whole morning at the Armoury. Since I could not take photos, here is the stairs leading out of the Kremlin Armoury Afterwards we walked around the perimeter of the Kremlin. Then back to our hotel. A driver took us to...

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May 18, 2017 - St. Petersburg

We returned to St. Petersburg and visited the remaining "must see" sights including the Hermitage Museum, the Church on Spilt Blood, Yusupov Palace where Rasputin was murdered and St. Isaac's Cathedral. The Hermitage consists of five buildings: the summer palace, the winter palace, the small Hermitage, the large Hermitage, and the theater. Peter the Great built it, beginning in 1711. It rivals the Louvre now with many artists' work, including paintings by Da Vinci, Monet, Rembrandt, and Renoir. Many of the pieces of art are very dark. We...

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May 17, 2017 - St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is a beautiful and historic city. It's nickname, "Venice of the North", surprised us, as we weren't expecting to see so many bridges and canals. It is home to quite a few spectacular landmarks, and we were fortunate to spend today visiting a few of them. We also learned about its very eventful history, from the time of Peter the Great to its siege during World War II. Our guide, Elena, was so knowledgeable and friendly, that the day flew by. We began our day taking a short hydrofoil ride to the Peterhof Park and Palace, which...

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May 7, 2017 - St. Petersburg 3

We found St Petersburg to be a city of stone and pastels. When Peter the Great decided to create the City in 1704, he wanted his hand in everything - the design of Peter & Paul fortress, how the streets were to be laid out, and what the buildings were to made out of and how tall. Thus you have a large city with block after block of 4- story apartment buildings made out of stone. Some with light red oxide, many light gray, some pastel yellow, and others light blue All sides of the blocks are apartments with courtyards in the center. Because...

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May 5, 2017 - Saint Petersburg 2

It was a sunny, clear, Tuesday afternoon when we arrived in Saint Petersburg. We had a non eventful trip across the US, the Pacific Ocean, and Europe. Our tour guide, Elizabeth, met us at the airport gate, led us to a bus and was soon at our hotel. It is early spring here - no flowers, the trees still dormant, and it is windy and cold (45deg F). Saint Petersburg is relatively young if judged by Russian or European standards as it was founded in 1703. Despite being a young city , it has a rich and exciting history. From the days of Peter the...

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Apr 7, 2017 - A Final Look at St. Petersburg

Up and organised at a reasonable time this morning in the hope of making it to our first stop of Kazan Cathedral which opened a 8.30am. Made our way there via the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood to take a few last minute snaps, then on to the Cathedral at the end of the road. This is still an operating church and even early in the morning there were many faithful there praying and venerating their particular saints’ portraits by kissing them or tapping their foreheads on them. There was an assistant there who gave the icons, in...

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Apr 6, 2017 - A Visit to Peterhof

Our last full day in St. Petersburg and the decision made last night to take a trip out to Peterhof, the country house of Peter the Great, then to the cemetery with the mass graves of those hundreds of thousands who died in the siege of Leningrad, then finish at the Ducal burial church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul at the Fortress before doing a Communism walking tour from Lenin Park. The girls have taught me all the niceties of Uber and just how easy and convenient it can be even in a country like Russia. When we were ready to leave, they...

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Apr 5, 2017 - A Day at The Winter Palace and The Hermitage

Today we planned to spend the whole day at The Winter Palace and The Hermitage Museum so it was a relaxed start to the day with a short wander around to Palace Square for the opening of the buildings at 10.30 am. We are surprised by the lack of tourists here at the moment even though there were a few buses parked nearby. There were no problems purchasing our tickets from the vending machines just inside the gates then lodged our coats and bags into the cloak rooms before embarking on the next few hours in the museums. There is no way to put...

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