Published: September 17th 2011September 17th 2011
The State Hermitage Museum
This museum is in the former home of Peter the Great, the Winter Palace. It has the largest collection of art in the world.
St. Petersburg is an icredibly beautiful city with its amazing architecture! It reminds me of Prague with the many pastel colored buildings. It has given us a great first impression of Russia and has definitely won our hearts. In some of our past travels to Eastern Europe, we have seen hundreds of gray Soviet apartment buildings and administration buildings. In St. Petersburg, we have seen not seen any ugly buildings.
St. Petersburg was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great but was actually named for the Apostle Peter. It served as the capital of Russia from 1713 until 1918. It is Russia's second largest city and has a population of 5 million people. The locals call it, Piter. It was built on 42 islands and has 90 rivers and canals.
I believe that we picked the perfect time for our trip. We have beat the summer heat by coming in September. Our first day was cool -in the low 50's with rain throughout the day. Today, has been perfect - low 70's and sunshine. We are staying in the town center and can walk to most of the important sites. We have felt very safe in St. Petersburg -
The Triumphal Arch & General Staff Building
Lots of renovation was going on all over SP. You can see the green screening on the left of this buildilng.
not threatened in any way. People are not overly friendly yet they are not unfriendly. Overall, they just ignore you.
Men walk around with open bottles of beer - even very early in the mornings. People smoke in all of the restaurants and public places. I know that the average Russian doesn't make a high salary but there are some very wealthy people in Russia. Many of the stores sell high end goods with EXPENSIVE prices. I read that Americans spend 40% less on shopping trips to Paris than Chinese. Russians are the top spenders in Paris. Today as we were sightseeing at the Peter and Paul Fortress, we commented on how uncomfortable it is to walk for a long period on cobblestones. At that moment, I looked down at the feet of a group of Russian women on a tour. They all had on high heels. I don't know how they balanced on the stones. The younger girls are all wearing textured stockings with boots and short skirts. They look very stylish!
Tomorrow, we will be taking a train to Moscow. Our friend, Jim Hammett, will be joining us there. I hope all is well on the home front.
There are more photos below