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

Sep 30, 2017 - Peterhof Palace

Went to Peterhof Palace. Palace built by Peter the Great at the beginning of the 1700s. It too was completely destroyed by the Nazis during WWII and completely rebuilt. It is described as the Russian Versailles. Set on the Finnish Gulf it is a huge estate with French style formal gardens and 168 fountains that operate without a pump. Spectacular and over the top!We walked the grounds and at 11:00 a.m. exactly all the fountains turned on. It was a great show.

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Volga River Cruise

Sep 29, 2017 - Pushkin Village

Took off after breakfast for a tour of Pushkin village. Had a great guide who gave us a history of Russian nobility beginning with Peter the Great in the early 1700s. He apparently fell in love with a laundress and "entertainer" (who was called Catherine)who he made his mistress. As a surprise for Peter she had a very large and very expensive and ornate "summer home/palace" built. One of the rooms in the palace is 9,000 square feet with 25 kilos of gold adorning the walls and a canvas mural on the ceiling the entire width and length of the...

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Volga River Cruise

Sep 28, 2017 - The Hermitage

After breakfast we boarded the bus with about 25 other passengers and went with our guide to the Hermitage. The Hermitage was built in the late 1700s by Catherine the Great as her palace. Hermitage means solitude in French. She designed one of the rooms for a place for solitude and the name stuck for the entire palace. The Hermitage boasts some 3 million works of art and historical artifacts, although only a fraction are on public display. The place is huge and sits right on the Neva River. Inside it is very ornate - Russian baroque - and...

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Volga River Cruise

Sep 27, 2017 - Arrival in St. Petersburg

Arrived in St. Petersburg around 5:30 in the afternoon. Viking took us by bus to the ship. Weather was cool, but not too cold and overcast. Impressions driving from the airport were that the surroundings looked very industrial and not very pretty. .Traffic was also really bad. Turns out we were driving through an industrial area and there are much prettier areas of the city. As we drove we saw many apartment houses. Some were as high as 28-30 stories and they were in clusters of five or more. They say St. Petersburg has a population of...

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Volga River Cruise

Sep 19, 2017 - St Petersburg

The weather was much improved today for a free day in St Petersburg (St Petersburg in a day), still overcast but at least it was mostly fine Four of us walked down Nevsky Prospect (the Champs Elysee of St Petersburg), stopping in the bookstore in the Singer Building to buy a copy each of the “Not So Serious Travel Guide to Russia”, which was a brilliant purchase – funny & it exactly summed up our trip through Russia – we got everyone on our trans Siberian trip to sign it. We entered The Hermitage when it opened at 1030hrs, having purchased...

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Beijing to Berlin

Sep 18, 2017 - Novgorod to St Petersburg

Departed Novgorod early in the morning and travelled to St Petersburg by bus – some of us feel a bit ripped off not to arrive by train after such an epic train journey. Had lunch and then the rain started. It rained all afternoon and we were wet & cold – my shoes were squelching! We did a 3 hour walking tour with a local guide who kept telling us how lucky we were as you can’t usually see the sights of St Petersburg without hoardes of tourists. Hard to get bearings on the city due to the rain – and the Church of the Saviour on spilt blood...

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Beijing to Berlin

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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