Just getting caught up after two days of witnessing the lives of emperors and empresses.
Wednesday our tour guide collected us at our hotel and we walked the 5 minutes to the Hermitage. Part art gallery, part museum and part state apartments, the Hermitage holds a collection of over 3 million pieces; of course we saw only the highlights. Our tour guide, Catherine, was very informative, sweet and obliging. We toured several rooms of impressionist paintings and saw 2 da vincis (of only 15 remaining in the world). The white chandelier pictured below next to the mosaic of Peter the Great is ivory carved by Peter’s own hand around 1700 AD. There are over 1,000 rooms but the rooms we saw were fabulous. My favourite was the Raspberry Boudoir, what’s not to love? Photographs can’t begin to capture the beauty of the palace, and Versailles pales in comparison. Huge chandeliers, guilded and marbled walls, stunning inlaid wood floors. Catherine was a great tour guide and we dubbed her Catherine III. And Willie turned to us and said, if you like this, just wait until you see Peterhof!
Today the weather was damp and there was a real fall chill in the air. Leaves on the trees were starting to turn. Fall is upon St. Petersburg, yet the days remain long – it is around 8:30 pm when twilight falls. By evening the temp had warmed and the dampness vanished, and Shirley and I went out in search of Fashion Night which we discovered was on another night, but we had fun shopping anyway and finished the day with delicious lemon tarts. Tomorrow Peterhof!
PS thank you for all your lovely comments, it is awesome to hear from you from the other side of the world. Sorry I haven’t responded individually, we have been on the go and I am huddled in the bathroom scratching out my post at 1am!