Famous are the white nights and bright norther lights in summer
where, the main travel season. But it could also be nice in winter
with freash snow covering the trees and objects and ice on the Neva river.
But since the global warming winter is mostly un pleaseant gray and wet
streest with temeratures slightly above 0°C. Also the weather forcast
promised severa days sunny weather with code coverage of less then 40%
in reality it was always gray. Just once I saw a little blue.
Outside the city, for example in the famous subburbs like St Petergof or
Pushkin it is some degrees colder outside.
The Russian Museum - 10-12-2008
The Hermitage - 11-12-2008
I was most impressed by the Hermitage and Winter Palace.
As the name suggestes, the magnificent barock building with over 350 rooms
was used as a winter residence for almost all the Romanov family starting from Catherine the Great.
Now it houses the Hermitage Museum, a collection of paintings and objects that date
as far back as the 14th century. These are displayed in in the 350 rooms
which show a variety of diffrent styled interiors.
It surprised me with the variety of diffrent styled interiour.
The Hermitage possesses the masterpieces of such great painters as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Giorgione, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, Hals, Velasquez, Goya, El Greco, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Kandinsky, and many others. The Hermitage has more than 3 million exhibits, among them not only paintings but also antique sculptures,
350 old ladies watiching
To go by Metro is fast and easy: You buy a giton near the
entrance barriers, insert it an pass the barrier. You
can go where you like. The trains go often - during the day every minute.
The are four line lines that have seven transfer stations where you can change
lines. It is confusing that in these tranfer stations have two names, one for each
line. When you want to change trains you follow the sign Переход на станцию,
which means tranfer to station, and after a minutes walk you are in the other station.
If you want to leave the metro you follow the sing Выход в город, which means exit
to the city. The route is decribed in several places on the platform, at the
wall and in signs at each side. To find out the direction the best is to identify the terminal station on you metro plan and look for that. After bording the metro
count the number of stations on the plan and while traveling.
You need to be able to read cyrillic. In the beginning one has problems to identify the station names, that are announced and written in Russian only, but it gets easier after some time. A giton costs 17 RUR (0.47 EUR) in 2008.
Ekaterininskij Palace and the amber chamber - 12-12-2008
If you want to go by your self to see the Palace you can go by train to
Pushkin, which is located 25 km to the south east of LED.
You first go with the Metro line 2 (Moskovsko-Petrogradskaya line) to the
south terminal station called Kupcino (Купичино) where the train departs from the
train station with the same name in the same complex. Alternately you can board
the same train earlier at it's terminal train station Vitebsker train station which
can be reached if you exist the Metro at Pushkinskaya (Пушкинская) station.
You get of the train at the Pavlosk (Павлоск) train station an walk
the the 2 km walk. There are Russian and English
signs at the road side guiding you towards the location.
The one way train ticket costs 24 RUR (0.67 EUR).
Then entrance fee is 550 RUR (15.2 EUR) from foreigners and 260 RUR (7.2 EUR) for
Unlike the Hermitage the EP is about interior. Interior of the pompous life
style of the royal families restored like not place on earth.
Quite impressive when you enter the ball room with its golden decorations.
Gold is the most .. color showing ..
Much warmer then the golden rooms are the famous amber chamber.
Dining and Shopping
Since LED is a international tourist destination there are a lot of restaurants around.
Many of them are modern international style and very pricey with not so exciting choice and quality and serve .. The are a few food and adorable like:
the Georgian restaurant and the Pizza. The Cafe Stolle is town famous for there
delicious pies while other individual or chains,like the Kafe Haus (Кафе Хаус),
are more pricey western style cafes.
If you have the desire of some authentic Russian cuisine there
is nice restaurant just a three minute walk from the Kasan Cathedral away.
Actually Georgian and it is called cafe but it is a restaurant.
It is called Grand Cafe Suliko (Гранд Кафе Сулико) and the authentically dressed waiters serve delicious Georgian food. At nice there is often some life Georgian music. With
230 RUR (6.38 EUR) for a hot pan with pork meet and potatoes and 80 RUR (2.22 EUR) for
a 0.5 liter draft beer it is very affordable. Kanaskaya street 6 (Казанская ул, 6)
The cozy Cafe Stolle (Кафе Столле) is the town famous for its delicious pies. Best are the cheese cake pie (Пирог с Творогом) and the vegetable pie. It is located a five minutes walk from the Hermitage at Konyushenny 1/6 (Конюшиенный пер. Д. 1/6). With 50 RUR for a piece and 50 RUR for a coffee it is very affordable.
The currency is the Russian Ruble (RUR) which is divided into 100 Kopecks.
In December 2008 1 EUR exchanged for 36 RUR, 1 USD fro 28 RUR and 1 Swiss Frank (CHF) 23 RUR.
If you can not live without Italian cuisine an excellent choice it the restaurant Da Albertone just a five minute walk from the Hermitage at Millionnaya 23 (Миллионная 23).
I was told that it is run by an Italian chef and the pizzas are tasty. But with 380 RUR (10.83 EUR) a basic pizza and 140 RUR (3.88 EUR) for a beer it is rather on the pricey
One thing that is very much in the trend is the 24 hour services.
Even in Soviet times you
could by food seven days a week, so you never need to worry about your shopping.
There are 24 hour restaurants, 24 hour Internet cafes and 24 hour food stores. You recognize them by 24 часа (24 hours) written ... There are no big supermarkets in the downtown of LED but plenty of small corner food stores with a more limited selection of products. Some of then open 24 hours and you they have written продукты on the out side.
Produkti means food in Russian.
Prices in (Dixi) Supermarkets
Butter 72%, 180 g
Bread (Fullcorn) 350 g
Baltika No.7 0.5 l
Box with 25 (jasmine) tea pads
One liter orange juice (Ya)
2 l mineral water
400 g cake
Cheeseburger at Mc Donald
Big Mac at Mc Donald
In December 2008 Gasoline with 95 Oktan costs 22.90 RUR, 98 Oktan 26.30 RUR, 92
Oktan 20.90 RUR, 76 Oktan 17.10 RUR and Diesel 21.70 RUR
St. Petersburg's international airport, Pulkovo 2, is located about 20 km south of the city center. A taxi ride to the center costs about 900 RUR (25 EUR) and takes about 30 to 40 minutes. There are several ATM machines a the arrival hall. It was not necessary
to fill in any custom declaration, just like on any other airport. Prior to
check in you have change all Russian Rubles because export is no legal.
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