The City of St. Petersburg

September 20, 2005

In the city we made a quick tour of the sights which included a number of palaces, churches, statues and parks.   We made a stop at a famous location for the newlyweds to gather with their party after their wedding.   With the background of the Peter and Paul Fortress, there are toasts to the newlyweds and wishes of good life.   Unfortunately, so we were told, about 65 percent of the marriages will end in divorce within the first year.   No reason given, must be too varied.   There is a huge shortage of men so that might be the cause.   We saw many very happy wedding parties and it is too bad that most of the marriages will not be lasting.   No, the bear is not part of the wedding party.

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The above photo showing the gold spire is the Peter and Paul Fortress, the burial place for all of the Russian Czars.   It is truly beautiful inside as the following photos show.

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  • The Tomb of Peter the Great

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A very well recognized landmark is the Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood.   Read morehereand here.   This church was built on the site where Alexander II was assassinated.   There were a lot of leaders in Russia that died a violent death.   Restoration was ongoing inside and we were not permitted inside.

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We returned to the boat for an early dinner and boarded our bus again to go into St. Petersburg for a performance of a private ballet company.   It was a beautiful performance of three acts.   Mieko, very much in need of sleep, slept through the first two acts except for very brief, 10 seconds or less, peeks at the stage when I nudged her forcefully.   By the beginning of the last act, she had had a nice nap and managed to stay awake for all the concluding performances.   So ended our first full day in Russia.   A lot was seen.   We arrived back at our boat sometime after midnight.

Below a most modern bridge that was nearing completion and open for traffic.   It is the newest bridge in St. Petersburg and these photos were taken from the bow of our boat.

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Very early on the second day, many from the boat departed for a tour of Peterhof, Summer Palace of Peter the Great.   Having been out late the evening before, we slept in.   After an early lunch, we departed for the Hermitage.

These next four photos were taken on our way to the Hermitage.   Many of the buildings are in need of maintenance and repair.   The first one, I think, is an occupied apartment building.

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No photos were allowed in the Hermitage without permit.   There was no time to stand in line for a permit and there would be no time to take photos and the crowds of people would have made it almost impossible.   This is a huge museum housing many magnificent items that includes the largest collection of Impressionist Art.   It is said that if one were to spend 3 seconds looking at each item, 8 hours a day and 7 days a week, it would take 11 years to see everything.   There are over 3 million items of which only 10 percent is on display.   They maintain a beautiful web site that can be found here,The Hermitage Museum.

Outside we gathered to return to our boat and the evening departure for the other sights of this trip.   Last minute photos were taken of the surrounding of the Hermitage before we left.

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That concluded our stay in St. Petersburg.   We found that there is much more than what we saw.   More time could easily be spent there.

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