Day 1
St Petersburg is a city in transition, in that there is a great deal of reconstruction going on. When asked why Russia is spending so much to restore
monuments and buildings representative of the past prior to the revolution, the tour guide simply responded that it is part of Russian history and
should not be denied. Since we didn't get to see or take a picture of everything, I have included some scans of postcards,
which you'll instantly recognize by the words "St Petersburg" on them.


Isaakievskaya Square behind St Isaac's Cathedral 


Monument of Tsar Nicholas I


Monument to Catherine the Great

An example of some of the reconstruction

The place we started our canal tour of "Venice of the North"

The Winter Palace Embankment and the Hermitage

A canal boat, similar to the one we were about to get on

here weren't any seats left up top so we ended up in the lower deck. Since we were the only ones there, we were able to move from one side of the boat to the other easily.


Even in Russia!

Most of the buildings along the canals were once palaces or residences of the rich and infamous. They are now either office buildings or museums.


St Petersburg architecture never seems to go above 6 stories

The Stroganov Palace overlooking the Moyka River




Even Russians have to smoke outside

Peter and Paul Fortress, the birthplace of St Petersburg, founded by Peter the Great

A bird's eye view of the fortress


The Naval Museum and a Rostral column (to the right), one of many lighthouses guiding ships through the port.

The cruiser 'Aurora', which had the dubious distinction of firing the shot that signaled the start of the Russian revolution.


Peter the Great's summer palace overlooking the Fontanka


The bridges were designed by the finest architects in Europe, as were many of the buildings

The Lion's Bridge at night

The bridges remain closed during the day, opening only at night to let ships pass through. Apparently, a lot of husbands use it as an excuse for not being able to make it home!




Canal cafes


Decembrists' Square - monument to Peter the Great, his horse stomping on the serpent of treason

Cathedral of the Resurrection ("Our Saviour-on-the-Spilled-Blood").
A rather gaudy affair

Since it was a rather dull day, I thought I'd include the postcard which shows the cathedral in "all its glory"

Dina, outside the cathedral

A bride and groom, carrying on the tradition of walking from statue to statue, laying flowers for good luck

A Russian tourist trap, where they sell souvenirs, the most unique of which were chess sets. For instance, one set had Stalin as one king and the opposing king as Hitler. Another had Russian leaders, such as Marx, Lenin and Gorbachov, on one side and American Presidents, such as Clinton, Reagan and Bush Sr., on the other.

Goofy tourists back on the bus

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