061912 - St Petersburg

060712 16  Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

Tuesday 5th June - Friday 15th June 

Our ten days in St Petersburg didn’t involve much rest. We took the opportunity to set out each day taking in as many sights as we could whilst the weather was so hospitable. Not all involved cathedrals. One evening we headed off to a “Feel Yourself Russian” stage show and though very touristy it was also very light hearted, energetic and entertaining and the costumes stunning.

We relied on Trolly Bus number 7 but also ventured onto the Metro a few of us further than others. Given the opportunity I would recommend taking the time to spend on the metro and to take time to get off and view the mosaics which I am told on the Red Line are even more special than the blue which we took into town. Darb and Andrew spent many hours one day popping up all over St Petersburg as they set off in search of water maker filters.

The Peter Paul Fortress was a nice place for a stroll and certainly good for taking in more Russian Brides and locals enjoying the sunshine. The two main attractions here were the Gas Dynamics Laboratory Museum which to us was actually the Space Museum and The Peter Paul Cathedral. 

The Military Museum with more fire power than one could imagine on display along with some items that were questionable in their operation was worth a visit according to the Andrew but the ladies missed the opportunity in favour of taking in the shopping along Nevsky Parade and at the Galleria.

We were told one had to visit The Winter Palace - or The Hermitage as it is also known but we would definitely recommend organising tickets online or through your guide to avoid the que that we encountered - near on an hour and its not even peak season! When we finally made it inside it was amazing how the crowds were absorbed by the buildings - suddenly you could move again! We took the route recommended by Lonely Planet and covered the State Rooms in just over two hours. By that time we had finished we had come to the conclusion that we had successfully taken in our share of Palace interiors, historical facts and sheer opulence and done St Petersburg justice. 

Another Russian Bride

061112 22a Another Russian Bride

We dined out several nights enjoying different levels of dining from a sidewalk restaurant in down town St Petersburg, to the Marina Restaurant that seemed to be the happening place with more Mazaratis, Mercedes and BMWs pulling up every evening then you could count. But our favourite was definitely the small pub at the end of the marina called we think called Pbina. The waitress after our first night made up an English menu which included “Stake from a Salmon and “Shish Kebab from a liver of ram”. We ensured we dropped in every afternoon just to say hello, take in a Nevsky biva and a bit of the Euro cup - particularly interesting when Russia was playing. 

It is interesting how when you spend time in a place how your opinion can change about people. We had previously found Russians in our travels,in our opinion. not to be an overly friendly mob. St Petersburg changed our opinion of that - nearly everyday on Trolley Bus No 7 people would ask us if we were on the right bus and needed help as we weren’t in a tourist area. Vladimir also noted that you have to earn your smile from a Russian and we were happy to say by the time we left Nina the cleaner and protector of toilets and gardens, the watchman and gardener all gave us a smiling greeting each morning. 

The Central St Petersburg Yacht club looked beautiful from afar just like most buildings in St Petersburg and staying there for ten days took some management as we couldn’t take on water nor empty the holding tanks. We have left with a lot of stories to tell and some great memories but can now tick St Petersburg off the list of places to visit.

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060912 2 Glass windows of Eliseevy House of Merchants

The Windows of Eliseevy House of Merchants

© SV Katherine 2018      Cover Photo: Katherine on Anchor Isle Tabarca Spain