Northern Lights Hotel
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... built in which look like Delft pottery.
One of the highlights of the tour is the fabulous Amber Room which is covered with around 6 tonnes of amber. Unfortunately the Nazis stole the original amber in World War II but it has been meticulously restored.
After the palace tour we spent a little time in the beautiful gardens where Catherine had an elaborate terraced summer house where she could walk alone.
After lunch, ...
... It was purposely built by Peter The Great in 1703. Before then it was swamp land! The city feels very European and NOT Russian. Beautiful palaces everywhere, canals like Amsterdam but much bigger. Most of the city is on the Neva river. SO not what you would think of Russia, more like the Russia of the Czars. Most of the city is now a UNESCO site. We then went to the Hermitage which is a series of 5 palaces. The main building is the Winter Palace and the former ...
... Russian architecture. We went into St Isaac's cathedral's the 4th largest domed church in the world. Inside was beautiful. Outside not so much. The church is now a museum with church service only on special occasions. Mass was being celebrated while we were there in a very small section of the church. You knew it was going on because of the singing. We had lunch at a downtown restaurant which you would know it was a restaurant by ...
... style and was beautiful. We saw the palace and then the room where Rasputin was killed which is in the basement of the palace. We then drove out into the countryside to a beautiful log restaurant called Podvorye. We had borscht, pelmenye and beef stroganoff. Everything was delicious.
We then went to Catherine Palace. The palace was mobbed by tour groups (there are three ...
... states of repair. There was a Ural that is older than me and a few very exotic bits hanging around, in particular there was an interesting sidecar that looked like a lump of an aeroplane, I believe it's Hungarian but I'm not sure.
So, on with the photo's, If I new what the buildings were called I'd name them, but I don't..they are all the Winter/Summer Palace of (insert name) the Great though!