Saint Petersburg Russia – May 2006 Saint Petersburg Travel,June 16th, 2009
Today we get up bright and early. We are going to do some more exploring of Saint Petersburg. We start off with a wonderful breakfast of some quite questionable items. Yogurt, cereal and milk, that we are told not to drink as it is not sanitized. We are all feeling abit tipsy still from last night.
There is about three people missing from Breakfast, that is Matt from New Zealand and two other girls, I guess hard party goers last night.
We get onto our bus, our Guide Peter gives a head count and we are still short those 3 people. Anna, our local guide says we don’t have much time, so we head off without them.
We make our way through town, to go see the Peterhof The Great Palace and the Great Cascade.
To give you an introduction of this heres :Peterhof () is a municipal town within Petrodvortsovy District of the federal city of Saint Petersburg on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland .
It hosts one of two campuses of Saint Petersburg State University. A series of palaces and gardens, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great, and sometimes called the “Russian Versailles”, is also situated there. The palace-ensemble along with the city center is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The layout of this area is The dominant natural feature of Peterhof is a sixteen-metre-high bluff lying less than a hundred metres from the shore. The so-called Lower Gardens (Nizhny Sad), at 1.02 km² comprising the better part of Peterhof’s land area, are confined between this bluff and the shore, stretching east and west for roughly 200 metres. The majority of Peterhof’s fountains are contained here, as are several small palaces and outbuildings.
It is a very stunning area, really big and grand. It was a work and ownership of a really rich and power man. Its a totally eye opening experience for many. It consists of many buildings, fountains and parks, and stretches all the way to big body of water. We did a small group photo here of some of us.
As we are leaving this are, we run into Peter, our Contiki guide and he is with Matt and the two girls who didn’t wake up early enough this morning. Peter is giving them abit of a tour of the site, the other three don’t seem to be too happy at this moment, quite funny actually.
We meet again together on the bus and make our way to another great site. Anna is explaining the area and ways of life now. We arrive at Victory Square which is the following description:
Victory Square ) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, is named after the Soviet victory in the Great Patriotic War. It is located in the very end of Moskovsky Prospekt near Pulkovo Airport �” not in the central part of the city, despite this name being common in the former Soviet cities as a central city square.
The nearest metro station is Moskovskaya.
Victory Square is home to the Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad, which commemorates the victims and survivors of the Siege of Leningrad. The monument, designed by Sergey Speranskiy and Valentin Kamenskiy, and sculpted by Mikhail Anikushin, was erected in 1975 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the end of the war. It consists of a 48�”metre high obelisk, a large circular enclosure, and a subterranean Memorial Hall.
At this point of time, one member of our group named Steve (Token) takes off on his own as he believes he is saving money, funny guy.
We here are met by a Russian Sales man named Dodgy Micheal who is well known to Contiki, who drives around in a Mercedes Benz and follows the tourist and tries to sell his goods. On our bus is full of many Russian Hats and other goods to buy, dodgy Michael came to sell us all sorts of stuff (t shirts, DVD’s, pornos, lighters, anything you could poke a stick at). I ended up buying a lighter for Ed which was originally 3 bullets. Dodgy Michael sold vodka, but we were warned not to buy it by our tour manager because he thought it might be aviation fluid filtered down. its makes for a good photo shoot of us wearing them. I will let you know my friends, there’s more of Dodgy Micheal to come later on.
We board our bus again and head off to downtown again for some free time around in the area. We are dropped off in the main part of the city and many of us head off separately to explore the area.
A bunch of us, go to St. Isaac’s Cathedral and go up to the top of the dome to view the city of Saint Petersburg. Its quite an amazing looking city and goes as far the eye can see. From here we go walk around a nice park area and surrounding blocks. Quite and really a nice looking town, many of us enjoy this place.
As we are walking back to get our Contiki bus, I am almost robbed by a bunch of gypsy children.
We are walking down a busy sidewalk and I noticed one guy stare at me and point, I did not know what he was referring to.
All of a sudden I felt all of these little hands grab my arms in an attempt to distract and pickpocket me. However the locals around me kicked the children away. Nothing was stolen, just a great experience for one of my adventures.
We get back to the bus and I tell about my adventure. We then head off to another part of the city to where there are some more museums.
A bunch of us go to a museum of deformed babies. Its quite a graphic display of babies who were born and did not make it through. Many have all kinds of weird deformed aspects.
It was quite interesting, there was a baby with one eye, a dog with 2 heads and conjoined babies. Not for everyone. Quite interesting, at same time very creepy.
We then head back to the hotel for a bit of a Siesta and have some dinner for later one.
We are now this evening going with Anna to a concert performance. We go to a russian Folkor Show. Folkshow at the Nikolayevsky Palace for some Russian show. ITs a nice theater and we are sitting around in one row. The show consisted of many types of performances, from men doing sopranos to some local dancing in traditional costumes. The folklore show was fun, and there was yet more champagne (this time I think it was the real thing because I started to get my champagne headache not long after having it). There was a lot of Russian dancing and jigging about. Like that dance where they squat and change legs-Ill try to put a video of it so you can see what I mean. Even the Colonel enjoyed the show.
After the show we went to a fancy restaurant called Dinner was at a restaurant called my my (pronounced mu mu).
It was something to do with a dog called mu mu. I cant remember much more than that, sorry or spelled MYMY Dinner was.Dinner tonight, is once again, starts with a Cucumber and tomato salad, then mushroom soup which was crazy oily, then beef stroganuff which is almost swimming in grease and its like eating rubber pellets, quite forgettable.
Quite un amazing!!
It so far has been an amazing trip, stay tuned for more blogs.