Good day, my dear All,
It has been a while, since I last blogged, but here it is the next blog about one of my recently added to my favorite cities – St. Petersburg.
From Copenhagen, Stockholm, St. Petersburg to Talin and Helsinki, I spend two lovely months cruising in the Baltic Sea, most of the time spent in St. Petersburg, Russia. Lucky enough to have been docking in the center of the city, with just 15 minutes walk from the Hermitage museum and less then 10 minutes from the beautiful Isaac Squire or the main shopping street the Nevsky Prospect ( one of the busiest in the country actually), it gave me such a pleasure of planning different activities and joining the well organized tours to another more remote sights.
I am more then happy to share with you a bit of my experience and events I was attending during my time in St. Petersburg, but with the idea that,there are a lot more to do and see while in that beautiful Baltic city.
All it started with the beautiful afternoon tour to get to know some of the main sights of the city and how to get into there. Driving and enjoying the beautiful buildings in the central St. Petersburg, I couldn’t wait until the bus stops and I could stroll down the Nevsky Prospect, walking down the busy street towards the squire in front of the Hermitage Museum with the Alexander Column and the Arch of the General Staff on it, where my first stops were. Short walking distance from the Hermitage building was another major building in the city – the Isaac Cathedral, the 4th biggest in the world as well. It was here, where I realize how lucky I should have been to have seen the three biggest already. Next in my list for that afternoon was – the visit of one of the biggest, richest and oldest bookstore on the Nevsky Prospect called “Dom Knigi”. There is a lovely café ( Singer Cafe) located on the second store with lovely view outside to the Kazansky Skver – another imposing cathedral, open for visitors and still functioning as cathedral.
Next, from the activities, was the visit of Catharine Palace, located about 45 min drive in the village of Pushkin. Traditionally, welcomed by the orchestra playing Russian songs, at the entrance, we were among the first group to enter the Palace. What a joy walking through the halls is to see and enjoy the many beautifully carved walls and the very impressive ceiling paintings, ornaments, frescoes- the Catharine’s Palace is one of the most beautiful palaces that I ever visited inside. Once inside the Palace, you will find yourself in a wonderful and all in white decorated spacious staircase, leading to the royal halls.One of the first halls to visit, is the Grand Hall, where the royal receptions, celebrations and balls were taking places, this was followed by the Chevalier’s Dinning Hall ( just adored the set ups on the tables ), but my favorte of all was the Amber room. Unfortunatelly, no pictures were allowed here and the security ladies were so serious about it,so that no one ever dared to show a camera..
As St. Petersburg is the city with most Palaces , almost each building used to be a Palace in the Past, there is no wonder, that my next visited sight was another Palace or actually its gardens – the Lower Gardens of Peterhof. Its many fountains and the Grand Cascade ( picture in the left) took my thoughts away for a moment. The Palace itself is located a bit outside of the city and the fastest way of reaching the Lower Gardens from St. Petersburg is by hydrofoil. The ride one way lasts about 45 minutes and tickets could be purchased from two stations at the Neva’s river. We ( a good colleague from the desk, joined me in that day ) did purchased from in front of the Hermitage museum, which was our last destination on the way back too. For about an hour and half, we were enjoying the sunny early afternoon in the gardens, before we took the hydrofoil back to Hermitage.
To fully complete the time outside, we had our late lunch in our favorite Restaurant on Nevksy Prospect – the “Marketplace Restaurant”. As the name predict, the food is fresh like coming from the market, done in front of you, but best were the desserts. I could have the chocolate truffle dessert ( picture on the right up) every time, I was in that Restaurant
One of the greatest events I felt privilege to be part of, was “ the Musical Evening in Hermitage museum”.
Imagine, wondering and admiring all the art painting at all gorgeous halls alone, with no other visitors, but your guests, ending the almost private tour with mini Classical concert done by the State Symphony Orchestra of St. Petersburg in the Large Skylight Italian Hall, followed by champagne reception after.
I didn’t miss a visit of the Fabarge museum – housing the largest collection of Easter eggs and located in the Shuvalov Palace.The Shuvavov is another beatiful Palace turned into museum and the collection of objects de vertu, porcelain and especially the Fabarge Eggs was very quit impressive, my favorite one is one picture down right ” The Imperial Coronation Easter Egg.
On of the highlights during my visits in St. Petersburg was the Ballet Night at Marrinksy. I could’t imagine a better place to watch the ” Swan Lake” then in the Mariinksy Theater, where it was first introduced far back in the 19th century. The tickets for the ballet, we purchased from a Russian website https://www.kassir.ru/ – wonderful seats, wonderful dancers, decors, costumes. It was with no doubt – the best ballet performance that I watched too and I did it in the Marrinsky.
Paul and Peter Cathedral, the boat canal trip, blinis and cavier tasting, enjoying the Fireworks during the National Navy Day of Russia ( 30 July), the White nights in the city were another small part of sights visited and done while in St. Petersburg.
Truth is that there is so so so much to do and see here. If you adore history, art and architecture, this is your place. There are hunderts of museums and palaces, all build in different style . One of the tour guides I had , said that once upon a time, every architect was projecting and building the way they wished and the result is gorgeous, colorful buildings surrounding the many canals and the river Neva. As far as the temperature concern, they were pleasant for the time being June to August.
As all good things, also my season in St. Petersburg is about to end soon, but my adventure at sea will just change coordinates – South – West towards another countries and interesting cities and I cannot wait until I share again…
Below are just few more imagines,