Monday, July 4, 2011

St. Petersburg,Russia

One of the gold rooms in Catherine the Great's palace. It is unbelievable to to think that people actually lived that way! There room after room of this sort of affluence. They also decorated the walls with paintings from the masters, and our guide told us that they thought nothing of cutting up a valuable painting to make it fit on the wall.
I will try to finish the rest of the trip at home, since we will be landing in Dover, England tomorrow morning and disembarking at 7 am for our trip home. I got laid up for a couple of days with a sinus infection, and sort of fell behind with my blogging.....Sorry.
The Hermitage
Monday, July 4, 2011

We have just finished two exhausting days in St. Petersburg. It is a very interesting place, full of some absolutely exquisite art work and architecture, but we definitely bit off a bit more than we could chew. Perhaps if we were in our 20's or 30's, but the pace that the tour guides set were impossible to keep up with. We had a 5 hour tour on Saturday afternoon in the Hermitage, which is one of the biggest museums in Russia. Our guide told us that in order to see everything, we would have to come every day and stay for 24 hours every day for 7 years to see everything, spending 1 second on each item! She took us through all of the buildings in a little over 4 hours! We were almost running to keep up. It was absolutely packed with tourists, and the fear was to get separated from your group. that could have been a disaster. there is some absolutely beautiful art in there, but there has to be a better way to see it.
We were supposed to go back in the evening for a three hour concert, but decided to cut our losses and try to recover enough to see Catherine the Great's palace today.
Once again, we had the tour guide from hell, but the palace was so crowded that she couldn't keep up the terrible pace because of traffic congestion(other groups ahead of us), so we got to regroup once in a while. This palace was absolutely beautiful. it is hard to conceive of one family living in such grandeur. I have never seen so much gold in my life! The only disappointment was that there were no Churchs on our tour. Our tour guide today announced after we got back on the bus that we had about an hour before we had to be back on the ship, and what would we like to do. I asked to see a church and she said absolutely NOT!! it was not in the excursion package! She really wanted to take us shopping and asked if we would like to go shopping and there was a loud resounding NO from everyone on the bus, so we got home(back to the ship) a little bit early....YAY!!!
It is currently 11:20 pm and broad daylight as I am sitting here in the room writing this. John has gone out for a walk. We do get an hour back tonight. currently, we are 8 hours ahead of you, soon to be 7. Tomorrow we are visiting Helsinki,, I hope a slower pace.
Happy 4th of July.

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