Catherine Palace

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

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Flag of Russian Federation  , North-West Russia,
Monday, May 11, 2009

     Russian weather is been more than interesting.  It is sunnt one minute and next minute the storm comes in. I guess St. Peteresburg is so close to the Baltic Sea that it gets some strange weather. It is hard to get use to this coming from SoCal.

    This morning, I decided to straighten out the rest of my itinary by going to the internet cafe and book everyting. As it turned out, there is this company called Euroline that runs everywhere in the Baltic region. That really helps out as far as my travels in the Baltic countries.  After I finished booking everything, I tried to print my tickets but the internet cafe requires me to save the file then print it. The computer gives command in Russian plus when I try to move the file to that folder, the program won't let me. Its too difficult.... It is nice that all of my bookings went to the e-mail so I do have back up.

    After all this drama, I took the metro then the local bus to Catherine Palace and Park located in the town of Pushik about 32 km south of St. Petersburg. Due the hussle crowds of the city of St. Petersburg, the Royal Family started building the retreat of Catherine Palace in Tsarskoe selo south of the city. The palace is absoultely beautiful that all the walls and decorations inside are covered in gold leave. There is a famous Amber room where all the walls are covered in pieces of amber from this area. Unfortunately during WWII, Catherine Palace was bombed byt the Nazis and caused severe damage, the roof and all the interior decorations were badly destroyed. After the was, the restoration began. The Germans actually paid for the restoration of the Amber room back in 1997 in the hundreds of Euros.  The rest of the palace was painstakingly restored to its former glory.  During my tour of this palace, I met this nice couple from China and we started chatting in Mandarin. Its sure is a nice break to be able to COMMUNICATE again.  I wish my Russian is better...  I got Mr. Xia's attention when he was waiting in line to get in but couldn't figure out where the ticket booth was. I just went there so I pointed out to him in mandarin where the booth was. Mr. Xia is currently working in Moscow and he has been living here in Russia for 2 years and he is visiting here with his wife. He actually understood more Russian than me , so he translated some of the info the tour guide said to me in Mandarin. He also helped me taking some of my photos .....YES....  Mr. Xia is so helpful that he also gave me some info on the tour for Peterhof that I am planning on visiting tomorrow. 

     I spend the rest of the afternoon wondering in the Catherine park.  There is large pond with little island in the center, marble bridge, Turkish bathhouse and a standing beam.  The reflection of the bathhouse from the pond is just breathtaking.  

     After the tour, I got back in town that is when the rain started. Its cold and wet, so I wen tot the market bought some Pelmeni and salat for dinner and called it the night.


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davekcent on

Sounds like Home
I often have the same experience when traveling abroad; speaking to strangers in Chinese in a completely foreign land is quite comforting (if one spoke Chinese in the first place).
BTW, nice pictures. But may be too many of them from the Erotic Museum! LOL

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