Musee Fever

Trip Start May 01, 2009
Trip End May 22, 2009

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Flag of Russian Federation  , Central Russia,
Sunday, May 10, 2009

    On my agenda today, museum ,museum and more museums.  I kicked off the day by visiting the world famous State Hermitage Museum located inside the former Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.  The Russian Royal family had been collecting treasure from around the world since the 1800's. But after the fall of the Russian monarchy, the Bosheviks subsequently the current Russian government took over and museum. It now houses over 3 million items and priceless paintings in its 3 tiers.

    I first checked out the entry hall way, which is where the Russian Royal family used for reception of their guests. The room is beautifully decorated with gold leaf covered beams, sculptures and chandeliers.  I also booked the ticket for the Diamond and Royal treasure room.  The guide took our group in and showed us these beautiful gold and jewel encrusted boxes, laces, etc. Some of the gem stones are more than 100+ carats. This include ruby, sapphire, emerald, ivory, opal, and of course the Fabergie jewels that are covered with thousand of mini-diamonds.  There are also some golden swords and after-life gold necklace that were used by the ancient people of Caucasius in 3-4 BC. The guide showed us one sword where the iron world is already worn off while the gold handle still persists in its originial shape despite the passing of time.

    I got quite tired of walking from room to room looking at the millions of art works, so I just quickly walk across each room while looking at the painting as I walked by. The most intersting exhibit happens to be the Picasso room and Matisse room. I acutally recognize the famous painting " the Dancers" here.  After spending 5 1/2 hours walking in this massive museum, I left and went to St. Isaac's cathedral.  This cathedral has such beautifully decorated interior that they charge a good amount for entry fee. Since I am already here, I also paid for the climb to the top of the Dome for a grand view of the city. 

    My last stop of the day is the Erotic museum located at the eastern out skirt of the town. This is a famous VD clinic ( no NOT ME )  where Dr. Igor Knyazkin houses a bunch of sexually themed toys and items. It also house a special case full of Rasputin memorbilia including his reportedly embalmed penis measuring 30 cm long. Rasputin is a famous Russian cult leader back in the early 1900's. He reportedly cured the dying son of King Nicolas II thus wining the favors of the Royal family. He got so influential in the Russian royal family which earned him plenty of enemies. Rasputin was eventually murdered by Prince Yusupov in 1916, but he survived beating, poisoning and gun shots but just to later die drowning in the nearby river.

    Too many museum for one day and too much walking. I think I am walking on average 9-10 hours a day. For got about working out.....that is why Europeans are all skinny, too much walking and less time eating.


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