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St. Petersburg Continued

RUSSIAN FEDERATION | Monday, 5 September 2011 | Views [967]

Paper Replica of Portrait of Empress Elizabeth (by Isabelle de Borchgrave)

Paper Replica of Portrait of Empress Elizabeth (by Isabelle de Borchgrave)

yesterday we drove out to the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoe Selo (aka Pushkin when it was no longer fashionable/p.c. to refer to the tsars)

in many ways just as opulent/OTT as the Hermitage complex but with fewer well-known artworks - the Empress Elizabeth, Peter the Great's daughter, was definitely trying to outdo Versailles and did a damn good job including a hall of mirrors that has an awful lot of gold - so when the hundreds of candles were lit for parties (and she loved parties), it must have looked like a laser show with light glinting off every surface in a huge room

we took a ride on the Metro (not as extravagant as the one in Moscow) - as usual these days i got a seat by virtue of my white hair (and after all the walking these last few days, i was not about to turn it down)

today we had a walking tour of parts of St. Petersburg not ordinarily on the tourist map - very interesting but at the first part of the tour kind of cold especially for my toes - and it was actually probably in the 50's Fahrenheit, so pretty balmy by St. Petersburg standards - tonight we'll do a canal boat ride (again very reminiscent of Amsterdam) and a group farewell dinner

the cab to the airport will cost 900 rubles (about 30 US dollars) and unfortunately for me nobody is going at the same time as me so no sharing of the fare - on the other hand i am not one of those who have to leave the hotel at unholy hours like 3 or 4 am!

i have a short layover at helsinki airport tomorrow en route to london so i will try to check in from there - otherwise it will be another london report next

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