Garden Palace

On July 10, 2013, Ivan and I woke up at 7:15 am.  We had breakfast in the room and left at 7:40 am.

Our 2nd day of the St. Petersburg Grand Tour started at 8 am.  The first stop was at St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral.  Ivan was sick of cathedrals at this point and only went in for a few minutes.

Lovely gold decoration

I went in, but they were doing the blessing around the church with the ball, so the smell was quite strong and made me want to cough.

Next, the driver took us to Yusupov Palace.  At this palace, you had to pay €5 per person for take photographs and €10 per person to take video.  You’re given a sticker if you paid.  I didn’t pay, but took pictures.   There were Russian ladies in the palace looking at us.  She saw a few people who didn’t pay, but were taking pictures.  So, I stopped taking pictures.

Wax figures were in one room which we thought looked really creepy.  Here’s what Rasputin looked like.

Rasputin wax figure

We learned that people tried to poison Rasputin.  The poison was put into the cookies and wine, but it was too sweet so it didn’t end up killing him.  Felix Yusupov shot him since the poisoning didn’t work.  That didn’t work either.  Vladimir Purishkevich shot him and then they put him in the river to make sure he died.

We saw a rotunda and a blue and red parlor.  The palace is filled with colored themes.

Blue parlor

We stopped at a hall where an a capella men’s choir sang a song called Day & Night.  Their singing was beautiful.

The theatre was quite amazing in this palace.  Sorry, there are no pictures of the theatre.  I didn’t want to be taken in the back room by a mean Russian lady and beaten up.

Our group went to a big souvenir shop where we had time to shop and pay for our tours.  Ivan and I bought a few things.

It was time to take the hydrofoil (catamaran) to the Peterhof.  We were given a packed lunch which was a crepe with cheap cheese, an apple, box apple juice and a chocolate bar.  Ivan and I were happy that we brought two sandwiches that we got from the buffet on the boat, just in case the lunch was bad like yesterday.  Ivan and I fell asleep on the boat after lunch.

Jen & Ivan at the Peterhof

At the Peterhof, we were shown lots of fountains and walked around the lovely gardens.  It was a lovely day to walk around the gardens.

Beautiful fountains at the Peterhof

A lady from our group got money taken from her purse.

Our last stop was the Catherine Palace.

The Catherine Palace

It’s lovely in Baroque style.  We had to put ugly brown covers over our shoes.  It looked like we were going into surgery.

Pretty gold room

It was another beautiful palace filled with great art work on the ceiling and lots of gold on the walls.

Lovely ceiling in the Catherine Palace

The group saw a big 1000 square meters ballroom which was filled with gold.  It was made out of 160 kilograms of gold which was thinly put all over the room.

Beautiful gold ballroom

It could stain and turn black if you touched it.  The ballroom is used for guests.  Our guide told us that the royals live quite modestly in every day life.

One of the rooms had many artworks placed on a wall next to each other with frames separating each one.

Lots of paintings

It was interesting and pretty.

We saw the Amber Room where we weren’t allowed to take pictures, probably since the room is so small.  It’s filled with cut amber all over the room with 8 panels.  People are puzzled to how the amber was cut since it’s very strong.  I think they placed a bunch of amber in a big sack and threw it from the roof of the palace.

The group walked around park of Catherine Palace after our tour.

The driver took us back to the cruise ship and we arrived at 5:30 pm.

Ivan and I headed to the buffet for a slice of margherita pizza, sushi and a soft serve ice cream cone.

We watched an episode of Luther.

Dinner was at 8:15 pm.  I got the delicious tom ka gai soup and shark & langostino fire cracker rolls.   Ivan and I both got the tasty vegetable and black bean enchiladas for our main dish.  We shared the the lovely chocolate melting cake for dessert.

We hung out with The Aussies (Tim & Gabbie) and went to see the juggler Jonathan Stamp.  He’s a great juggler who’s also funny and entertaining.

Ivan thought we should all check out the Mexican buffet.  We walked up the stairs where I noticed one my favorite art works Icarus.  I remember his story since he flew too close to the sun.

Icarus flying too close to the sun

I picked up some dessert at the buffet.

We chatted and played the bean bag game and did well even though we were drinking.

Gabbie, Tim & Ivan

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