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... with a Scott Joplin rag.
The palace is a magnificent residence, with huge rooms, beautiful inlaid wooden floors, elaborate gold leaf wall decorations, and frescoes on the ceilings.
Some of it is still being renovated, using the actual furnishings that were hidden from the Nazis in Siberia during World War Two.
The opulence is overwhelming and it's easy to understand why the common folk could be persuaded ...
... be one giant room like you see in most cathedrals. Instead, it was a series of smaller byzantine style chapels connected by a maze of stone passages that made me feel like I was in a medieval dungeon. In one chapel, a quartet of Russian men performed a renaissance piece for us, a cappella. It began with what sounded like Mongolian throat singing and then erupted into some of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard in my life. I’ve never heard more perfect acoustics, nor have ...
... I was not completely well and Cath was on the cusp of my virus too. The most immediate shock of Russia is the Cyrillic. In most of Western Europe you can try to figure out the word in the Latin alphabet, but with Cyrillic it is a completely different system and as alien as Klingon.
Next day we walked down Nevsky Prospekt to the Russian museum because I was interested in their collection of Russian art, especially ...
... s mind at the time. The area is still slightly seedy like in Raskolnikov's time. It's the only area that I've seen signs for massage parlours in the city. I kept walking until I found building number 104 the location of the flat where Raskolnikov commited the murder. I couldn't get inside but looked in through the entrance tunnel and took some photos.
I made my way back to the hostel to rest for short while before heading on the Metro to Livgovsky Prospekt to head to a ...
... sunshine and warmth.
Some people miss the old Soviet days
since the government provided everyone with a job and housing.
However, young people love the capitalism that now thrives and the
USA-like culture that is firmly entrenched. We saw posters for
concerts by Iron Maiden, Jethro Tull and Selena Gomez; and, a couple
The natives speak freely about not
having as many freedoms as we enjoy (i.e., freedom of speech