St. Petersburg 1

Our first day in St. Petersburg. We are met at the train by Lena, our guide, and Andrie, our driver. She speaks moderately good English, he speaks none. Whirlwind tour until after 1 when we can check into the Hotel Rachmaninov. Dinner on our own and a small wander to find it, the good meal and good beer we consumed, and a bit of the neighborhood around the hotel. The city itself is chaotic and a bit off-putting, but the G-20 Summit is underway here, so maybe it’s not always like this.

The first fortress/town built by Peter the Great, the St Peter and St. Paul Cathedral, and the Venice-like canals.

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This pic is from the Peter/Paul Cathedral and is the memorial to the last Tzar and his family, the famous/infamous Nicolas and Alexandra, plus their children and household, executed in 1918.

Next is the cathedral of St. Nicolas, patron St of sailors and no photos from inside which was beautiful and understated (for an Orthodox Church).

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The “View of 7 Bridges” a spot one can stand and see 7 canal bridges at once; plus the ornate cathedral built to honor Alexander I, who freed the serfs and was assassinated in 1861 (?). The interior and exterior are covered with the MOST EXTRAORDINARY mosaics I’ve ever seen.

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Our hotel, the area around it, and our Cuban dinner stop.

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