We’re at St. Petersburg. After a nice night’s (or is it day?!?!) rest we prepared for a days walking. The bed and breakfast called “Agora” is on the sixth floor of a relatively non-descript building. You wouldn’t even know it was a B&B unless you went in. The owner is helping establish the Anglican church in St. Petersburg. We had nice rooms and had a delightful breakfast of porridge, toast, and french press coffee.
St. Petersburg has a number of rivers. Its a moderate climate due to its proximity to water. I never got my bearings but we stayed on the south part of this map. North of the big river are other cities.
Our guide, Tamara, said that this is a fence that men would come to visit. It was around the Summer Garden, which we didn’t get to go into, but was full of stautues. Tamara is a 73 yr old retired history teacher. We all had a hard time keeping up with her:), but she gave us lots of good and interesting information.
Here is a view of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood with the edge of the 1917/18 revolution memorial. It is called Spilled blood because one of the Alexander (II?) died there. His son built the church in the russian style on the same location. St. Petersburg is bizzare because they emulated or imported italian, baroque, french and other styles. They emulated and weren’t afraid to put mixed styles on the same block. The Russian style really didn’t develop until the 18th century.
This is the famous St. Peter’s Lutheran that got turned into a swimming pool during Communism. The Germans have restored it somewhat.
Here is a picture of it originally.
Now… to the Hermitage. The closest thing to the Hermitage is the Louvre. It was the Winter Palace commissioned by Peter but he didn’t get to use it. Later Catherine turned it into a private gallery and museum, adding many buildings.
They love their guilding. Gold everywhere and use of many mirrors.
Our guide says this is a sacred room. It is the history of the generals. The green squares are for the ones who died in the battles before their pictures were painted.
Here is the main throne for the palace.
The main appeal of the Hermitage is the collection. We barely skimmed it (just like the Louvre.) Here’s a sampling of what we saw.
Stairwells, hallways, and the name plate.
Peter extending his hand over the territory.
This is St. isaac which seats 12,000. We didn’t go in.
After stopping back at the B&B, we had a brief panic that our flight would be in 1:30. It turned out to be in 2:30 and thank goodness for that. There was a major traffic jam. We drove around it by a couple methods but in the end it was the only way. Our driver was fantastic. We went off-road following delivery trucks also trying to make it to the airport. Quite a few people gave up on the traffic and just parked. After a fun security check, we made it to the gate five minutes after the flight was supposed to leave. Thankfully the flight boarded late and left late. It was a simple four hour flight in a little plane that seats 150 with a three hour time change.
Novosibirsk airport is very modern in comparison to St. Petersburg. We arrived at 3 a.m., picked up our luggage, and made the hour drive to the flat we’re staying here. (We’re staying in Prof. Ludwig’s flat who has been in Ft. Wayne this last semester.) It’s a comfy place in the “projects” where normal people live. We went to bed.