We got to spend 2 days in St. Petersburg. You cannot leave the ship unless you have booked a tour or have applied for a visa. The last time we were here it was 1990 and it was called Leningrad. There were hardly any tourists when we were here, now you can hardly find space to move in the big attractions. We went to the Hermitage (the former Winter Palace of the czars). The palace is huge and filled with priceless art. This is the grand entrance staircase. Everywhere in the palace there is gold leaf and white walls.
Here is a marble statue that I believe is called three sisters.
And of course, here is the throne where the czars sat when receiving dignitaries.
We saw lots of churches with gold leaf accents.
And more Romanov palaces; the top 1% of the Russian monarchy lived very rich lives.
Here is Peterhof, one of the summer palaces used by the royal family. It is known for its many fountains and lovely gardens. It was built by Peter the Great in the 18th century.
And a small resident who was keeping a watchful eye on us .
The last palace that we saw was the Catherine Palace, another summer palace that the royal family enjoyed.I want to end this blog on St. Petersburg with the end of the Romanov family. In 1917 Czar Nicholas II and his entire family were shot to death in a basement in a house in Siberia. We saw where the burnt remains of the family are interred.A sad ending for the royal family.
Here is a photograph of our family group. It was so much fun to do this together.We went on to visit Helsinki in Finland and our final stop was Stockholm, Sweden. There was one more day at sea to recover and then we were back in Copenhagen. Some of us flew home, some of us flew to Paris and David and I flew to London to start our first pet and house sit. I am afraid the photos stopped in Russia because my camera broke. I just got a new camera in England and so the blog will continue with photos as we begin our English adventures.