Edit Blog Post
Published: September 6th 2018
Our feet are really tired from walking 65,000 miles each day, give or take a mile, so we were happy to have this morning free. Free to do the washing and just to be leisurely! We have met some delightful people - from Camden, Newport and Riverview in NSW, and the Gold Coast and Townsville in Qld, Melbourne in Victoria and Perth in WA. Such a small world. We’ve also met some lovely English and Americans.
Tom has been told twice that he reminds people of Robin Williams - the first day, on arrival at Stockholm airport the passport control man commented, and the second time was our second night on board the ship at formal dinner - the American family at the table next to us.
St Petersburg has been delightful. Such a beautiful city, very reminiscent of Venice. Formerly known as Leningrad, formerly the capital of the USSR before Moscow, the home of the Tsars, the eternal resting place of their bodies.
After lunch we headed off on our final tour of St Petersburg - Mysterious Stories in Russian History. First stop was the Yusupov Palace where Grigori Rasputin was plotted against and finally murdered, for
having a great friendship and influence over the Tsar’s family, and therefore being a threat to other people’s power. We toured through the gala rooms, the private rooms, the basement where they had wax figures depicting the plot against Rasputin, and the beautiful theatre that the family had, a miniature version of the Mariinsky Theatre. This museum gave me the chills. I felt ill at ease for the first time on our trip. Mind you, the officious little babushkas working in the museum were the first stereotypical Russians we’d come across, apart from the passport control people. And the tours were badly organised with one in front of us and one hot on our heels, so there was no time to linger and our guide, Vadim, seemed a little stressed. He works as a book illustrator during winter, alone with his computer, and then spends summer with the tourists!
This was followed by another canal boat ride, this time for one hour, and the day was becoming quite gloomy. As we were alighting from the canal boat it started drizzling, and then a drunk Russian man tried to join our line next to Tom on the way back to
our coach. We continued on to the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood again, this time with admission included. The church was taken over by the government when the communists took control. It has been used as a morgue and as a warehouse/storage facility. The church is “in discussion” in an attempt to have it returned to them. In the meantime the government is gaining income from the admission fees each day.
The tsar that was killed here was Alexander II. The grenade that exploded in his carriage didn’t kill him, but when he got out to help the people injured around him, a second grenade was thrown. That was the one that took off his legs, and he later died in the Winter Palace.
We then returned to the ship just in time for the departure preparations.
Tot: 4.043s; Tpl: 0.05s; cc: 10; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0439s; 3; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb