After weeks of anticipation, we finally boarded a plane for St Petersburg. It has always been one of the places I wanted to visit and to finally get an opportunity was great. What made it even better is that we got to spend some time with Craig and Natalia (my brother and his wife) who are also expanding their family in the near future. So before continuing, I just want to thank them for letting us stay with them and making us feel at home. Also a thanks to Alexander (Natalia’s dad) who spent an afternoon with us driving us around to all the best attractions in this amazing city.
So on to St Petersburg. It is a truly amazing city with lots to see and experience. From all the palaces built by the various tzar’s, to churches and memorials dedicated to past heroes of St Petersburg and Russia. One of the first things we experienced was the underground. For all of you who have used the London underground, will find the St Petersburg underground pure luxury. All the stations of different but feature fittings like chandeliers and moulded glass pillars. Really a sights to behold.
The first major attraction we visited was the Peterhof Palace, which was laid out on the orders of Peter the Great. It sometimes gets referred to as the “Russian Versailles”. Both the palace and the grounds will all the fountains are really magnificent.
On the Friday, we got picked up and got driven around St Petersburg to the various sights. We got to see various bridges and buildings. One being the St Nicholas Naval Cathedral, which was originally built between 1753–1762 and is still in daily use. After that we got to see the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood and was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated.
On Saturday we had a bit of a slow start and ended up only going to Saint Isaac’s Cathedral. It is the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in St Petersburg. From the dome it gave us a great view of the city itself.
For Sunday we planned to spend some time in Hermitage Museum, being one of the largest and oldest museums in the world. It was originally founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been open to the public since 1852. Though only a small part of its extensive three million piece collection is on permanent display, it does have the worlds largest collection of paintings.
During our various walks around the city, we came across an interesting collection of people. From performers grabbing tourist to get a paid photo with them to many newly weds. To quote Debbie “If Paris is the city of love, St Petersburg is the city of marriage”.
On the Sunday night we all went out for supper at Terressa, which is one of the restaurants forming part of the Ginza Project. The food was excellent and so was the company. Once again thanks to Craig and Natalia for looking after us so well, also thanks for my present, the book is great!
Finally a big thanks to Debs for a great holiday and once again making my birthday weekend special!!