A Travellerspoint blog

Catherine's Palace

Palace of Catherine the Great

overcast 18 °C

Continuing the "his and hers" palace tour, and following yestersdays Peterhoff palace, today we ventured to the town of Pushkin (metro and bus around $2 each) to visit the gardens of Catherines summer palace.

Once again we chose a day when the palace was closed because this is typically one of the busiest places in St Petersburg with 4 hr queues not unusal. Unfortuately, this meant we also missed seeing the Amber Room, which is the highlight of Catherines palace. Also the day was really overcast and drizzly so photos are not great.

From the internet:

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Our photos:

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Posted by MikeinCairns 11:40 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

Peterhoff Palace

Palace of Peter the Great

sunny 24 °C
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There are so many palaces and elegant buildings in St Petersburg. The winter palace (Hermitage Museum) is right in the city. The next two popular ones are the summer palace of Peter I (the Great) and summer palace of Catherine II (the great). We called them "his" and "hers". BTW for the hitory buffs - there was also a Peter II (not so great) and Catherine 1 (not so great either).

Today we had a day trip to "his" palace. A metro and then 30 minutes on bus (about $2 each) took us out to the town on the Gulf of Finland. We entered the palace at the "upper" gardens which were beautiful, but nothing compared to the "lower" gardens full of spectacular flower beds, fountains and cascades. Entry to the lower gardens $20 each but worth it! We chose to go on a Monday when the palace was closed and the crowds were less.

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The obligatory "bum" shot (for those who are familiar with our previous blogs)

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Returned to our favourite Georgian restaurant for dinner ($12 for two) for the third time.

A majestic star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png star.png 5 star day.

Posted by MikeinCairns 11:41 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

St Peter and Paul Fortress

General sightseeing around St Petersberg

sunny 24 °C
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Hotel said they had to move us to another room this morning so we were a bit worried. Turned out to be an upgrade to a much bigger and nicer room. Bonus!!

Did I mention we like metro stations :). If you're following the blogs you know we love them. Here is our station Admiralteyskaya. It's the deepest metro in the world and takes forever to go down the super fast escaltor.

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Another perfect day. Warm and clear blue skies. Good for photos. Decided to catch some sights around St Petersberg - Winter Palace, Kazan Church, Saviour on Spilled Blood, St Peter & Paul Fortress.

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It was warm for us, must have been hot for the locals...

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Returned to our favourite Georgian restaurant for dinner ($15 for two inc drink).

A warm and sunny star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png 4 star day.

Posted by MikeinCairns 13:22 Archived in Russia Comments (2)

St Petersberg

A bit of a rest day

sunny 23 °C
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Margaret cracked it yesterday after the huge day walking the Hermitage. So we decided to have a rest day.

Today we were thinking how lucky we have been with weather this whole trip. It was a bit drizzly in Baikal but other than that it has been warm and sunny. And again today it is sunny and warm.

Visited some more metro stations in the afternoon - fast becoming our favourite pastime. See more here.

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It's sometimes hard to destinguish the palace photos from the station photos. A couple of newer stations are also magnificent. Here is my favourite metro photo from the internet of Obvodny Canal station...

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We wandered around a bit in the evening, looking at the lit up buildings and canals.

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St Petersberg is absolutly packed with tourists, and they all need a toilet. Yes thats a bus converted to a public toilet (we saw a few of these).

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Many tourists come from Baltic cruise ships and only stay a day or two. And as we discovered they stick to the main few streets. Venture out two or three metros stations and it is less touristic. This is where we discovered the brilliant Chito-Gvrito Georgian restuarant. Very authentic and very tasty. Bread and Khachapuri cooked fresh in a tandoor oven. Around $15 for two meals and beer.

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A recuperating star.pngstar.pngstar.png star.png 4 star day.

Posted by MikeinCairns 13:21 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

Night Train 116 to St Petersberg & the Hermitage

Our last train in Russia :(

sunny 23 °C
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A reminder that you must plan ahead! We left the train booking to the last minute and despite more than 40 trains per day between Moscow and SPB, we struggled to get tickets. Ended up we could not get two beds in the same berth, but at least we were in the same carriage.

Train 116 was a shocker. Very old and slow. I gues the locals know this, and it is the reason we could get tickets. Departed Moscow midnight and arrived SPB at a civilised 9:15am.

Got a real bargin for accomodation (Hotel Nevesky 5 $70 night) 2 minutes from Metro and 3 minutes from Hermitage. They allowed early check-in too, so we were able to head off for an afternoon in the Hermitage Museum (Winter Palace) $15 each.

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The Hermitage is enourmous. A museum of antiquities on floor one, an art gallery on floor two to rival the Louvre (including all the famous ninja turtles - Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello) and other displays on floor three. All set in a huge palace (in fact three inconnecting palaces). Oppulence and gold overload.

Hmm..now what will I wear today?

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Silliest hair award...

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[insert your own caption here]

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Art work...so many famous names

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Inside

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A very royal star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png star.png 5 star day.

Posted by MikeinCairns 13:21 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

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