Wednesday, October 14, 2015

From Russia With Love, Part 2

On our second day of touring in St. Petersburg, we saw Catherine's Palace, the summer home of Empress Catherine the Great in the 1700s.  It is hard to imagine people actually living in such an ornate manner!  The palace was destroyed by the Germans after the siege of Lenningrad in World War II, and restoration has been taking place ever since.  Our guide made a point of saying "restoration", which means recreated in exactly the same way as the original, not "replacement", which could mean using modern materials and methods.

The palace is situated on a lake with beautiful lawn and gardens.

This is the ballroom.  I especially liked the white staircase with beautiful blue pottery displayed.

This is the dining room.  The gilded apples were eaten with the gold still on them.

Delft fireplaces heated the rooms.

Catherine the Great preferred lighter colors instead of all the gold of Catherine the First, so she had some rooms redone in her own taste.

This is a model of one of Catherine the Great's dresses.  When she died and her things were removed, she had more than 1,000 gowns.  It was mentioned that she only bathed once every few months, so perhaps she didn't wear each outfit very often!

Later that evening we walked a bit around St. Petersburg and watched a show of Russian Cossack dancing.  Amazing!  They could do the traditional kicking out of legs in a squat, and one of them could also have only one hand on the floor and kick both legs out to the side, parallel to the floor.

This is a spot where many couples come to have their wedding pictures taken.

This lovely bridge near our ship is fairly new, and allows traffic to cross the river at night when the older, lower bridges in the city are opened to allow ships to go through.  In both St. Petersburg and Moscow, traffic is just as big a problem as it is here.

Here is what I ate that night.  The appetizer is a Russian pasta similar to ravioli with meat inside.  The meat is beef with a bread crust and the dessert is apple tart.  Will not mention weight, and the gaining thereof, until the end of the trip!

No comments:

Post a Comment