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

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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Apr 4, 2017 - Exploring St. Petersburg

All had a reasonable night's sleep with just the normal 3-4 am awake period before all falling back to sleep. Woke up again around 7am all excited to start planning our day. Didn't take long for us to shower and dress in a few layers and the two girls headed out to our little supermarket again to buy real milk (armed with Google translate this time to assist). Breakfast of panfried banana toast as no toaster in apartment and lovely warm cups of tea while we discussed the day. Covered with a number of layers of clothes, we headed out for a...

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Mar 24, 2017 - The Hermitage

What a fantastic morning. Bright blue sky but deceptive - only 2 deg today!!! Our last full day - the world famous Hermitage Museum. Most famous is the Baroque Winter Palace, a stunning pale green building on Palace Square. Built by Catherine the Great and added to over the years to house her vast art collection. First the Small Hermitage, then the Large Hermitage and finally the New Hermitage were added and finished in 1851. After the Soviet power was established the Winter Palace was incorporated into the Hermitage Museum. Difficult to...

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Mar 22, 2017 - St. Petersburg

We arrived last night at the Domina Hotel. This morning we have a city sightseeing tour with Svetlana. Superb start to St P and stops along the way. Best was the Naval Cathedral, the only church to continue in St P during the Soviet era. The service was in progress where the congregation stands ( no seats!) and all is chanted by the priest. The choir only sings when the door is opened to the main altar. Oh, and we did stop for coffee, with complimentary vodka of course, at 11a.m.!!! Later we walked on our own to St. Isaac's Cathedral, one...

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Aug 17, 2016 - St. Petersburg

Had a free morning to explore on our own. As it had rained the last couple days, and today was beautiful and sunny, we wanted to revisit St. Isaac's Cathedral for photo taking. On the way we stopped by two Russian Orthodox Churches, both great architecture with decorative golden spires. Walked across the Neva River Bridge, reminiscent of walking the Brooklyn Bridge not so many days ago, and through a beautiful tree lined park. St. Isaac's, c1858, was everything and more. Sitting in the middle of St. Isaac's Square, the imposing cathedral...

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Aug 16, 2016 - Peterhof and the Hermitage

Today is going to be a big day. We are starting with a tour of Peterhof, Peter the Great's summer palace opened in 1723 sometimes referred to as the Russian Versailles, about an hour outside of St. Petersburg. Unfortunately we got a late start (someone didn't hear their alarm) so it was pretty crowded and it was raining when we arrived. The place was impressive with the palace on a terrace overlooking the lower garden that went down to a pier on the Baltic where guests could arrive by boat. Once we got inside it was much better. They did a...

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Aug 14, 2016 - St. Petersburg, Russia July 6 and 7, 2016

St. Petersburg, Russia was supposed to be the highlight of our trip. We were scheduled to spend two full days here. We had booked a private tour for both days which included a night at the ballet. Then mother nature intervened. We were scheduled to dock at 7:00AM but the weather was bad and the ships in port could not leave which meant we could not dock as scheduled. We eventually docked around 4:00PM and we were able to make the Ballet just in time. We missed out on tours of Catherine’s Palace and Gardens and several more places. On the...

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Trip Journal


Cruise of the Baltic

Jun 25, 2016 - The Grand Maket

After returning from The Hermitage, we had the afternoon and evening free, so we elected to take our own "optional tour". The ship's Concierge arranged for a taxi to pick us up and take us to the Grand Maket, about 40 minutes away. This is an approximate 1/87-scale model of Russia, from Saint Petersburg in the west to Siberia in the east. Every geographic area of Russia is represented on this 8000 square-meter structure. Running throughout it are HO-scale freight and passenger trains, HO-scale cars, trucks, buses, and construction...

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Jun 25, 2016 - The Hermitage-- The Winter Palace

Our first full day in Russia featured a 5-hour tour of the Hermitage, winter palace of the Russian tsars. Unlike ocean cruises, these river cruises include one or more tours nearly every day, and this was today's tour. Built in 1754 as a residence for the Russian emperors, Catherine the Great used it to house her huge art collection starting in 1764 with the purchase of a single collection of at least 225 paintings. Today, it houses the largest art collection in the world. Rooms in the older section of the building are in the Baroque...

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Jun 24, 2016 - Saint Petersburg, Russia---Day 1

So, here we are at our cruise destination. Disembarking our aircraft, our first challenge is Russian Immigration. Encountering about 30 separate lines, where are we supposed to go? Turns out that it doesn't matter----pick one. So we do, and we wait. Each leads to a spot enclosed on three sides, with the immigration official in a cubicle behind a glass window. One person is supposed to enter at a time....not a couple, or a family....when the first signal light turns green. Doug enters first. Slide my passport and visa to the official, who...

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