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Europe 2017

Peterhof, Our Favorite Tour Destination

NETHERLANDS | Sunday, 28 August 2016 | Views [163]

Peterhof was built by Peter the Great as his Summer Palace for the use of his family and the royal court. We lucked out with the weather and it was sunny, and warm. (According to our guide, there were only 12 or 13 rain free days the whole summer). On the way, we passed the St. Petersburg residence of Vladimir Putin. It was quite large with equally impressive gardens all around it.

Peterhof is so spectacular with the palace itself covered in gold as well as the multitude of fountains and flowers! I could spend days there. And since it was such a perfect day, it seemed that half of St. Petersburg was there too.

Peter wanted his guests, who would arrive by boat, to see the palace as soon as they docked. So, there is a main canal which one sees immediately and as the eye flows upward, you catch the first incredible view of the palace with the gold glistening in the SUN. There are hundreds of fountains and they are run by gravity. The Palace sits over 45 ft. above the canals and garden fountains.

Interestingly enough, Louis XIV of France, was also fascinated with fountains and he decorated the Versailles gardens with them as well. But, there are more at Peterhof and they are more spectacular. There are also the trick” fountains that were designed by Peter to entertain his guests. In at least 3 areas, innocent trees,and flowers shoot out water when a hidden gardener presses a button, drenching the unsuspecting guest. Today, it is a pleasant form of amusement for children and generally prepared visitors with umbrellas.

The flowers are replaced about every three weeks. So you can imagine the variety of colors and selection of flowers constantly on display. Hundreds of gardeners are employed for the season.

As we prepared to leave Peterhof by hydrofoil, the winds picked up and the water became quite ruff. How ruff was it? It was so ruff that 3 hours later, the Captain of our cruise ship had to make the last minute decision that we would not be able to leave Russia on time. In fact, the winds increased so violently, that it was deemed unsafe for us to sail through the narrow straits. We stayed in Russia for the whole night and sailed out this morning a little after 9 a. m. As a result we will be skipping the port of Helsinki and we will be sailing directly to Stockholm. (If we had to miss a port, that was the best to skip, in our opinion) So, tomorrow we have another “day of rest”.

 

 

 

 

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