Peter the Great et al

Trip Start Aug 06, 2012
Trip End Aug 19, 2012

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Flag of Russia  , North-West Russia,
Saturday, August 11, 2012

The day dawned cloudy and cool. After a quick breakfast we were off to Peterhof Gardens and Pavilions. Our guide Natalie (Natasha is also correct for you Rocky & Bullwinkle fans) was delightful and informative. Here's what we learned on our way:
- Housing in St Petersburg. The Soviets gave away free communal apartments. That didn't work out so well. Only 10%2525252525252525252525252525252525252525252525252525 of the population still lives in communal apartments
- The Bolsheviks were respectful of the art and other stuff the Czar had and preserved it. The Nazi's on the other hand destroyed it.
-There are no Russian made cars left in Russia. Everyone wants foreign cars.
-The workers lived outside the city but were moved into the homes of the nobility after the revolution. They had one family to a room and shared one bathroom and a large kitchen. Apparently they all got along just fine, even though they didn't know each other when they moved in.
- We passed Putin's humongus mansion, but he wasn't home.
-Peter the Great really was Great!
-Peter was very European focused. Went to Holland to learn ship building and got his country a Baltic port.
-Peter build a phenomenal summer palace called Peterhof. He modeled it on Versailles. The fountains and the park were unbelievable. Peter was a tricky guy - he created trick fountains that soaked his noble guests ( not just anyone could get an invite to Peterhof). See pictures. Lots of gold and water.
-Nicholas I was a nice guy and worried about the stress his wife and daughter were under. He built them pavillions to go and chill in. They weren't for living in, they didn't have bedrooms, they were for privacy and they are lovely.
-Russian tour guides walk really fast and don't give you much time to take pictures. But here are the ones we have.
-If you haven't visited St Petersburg, put it on your bucket list. It is fascinating and amazing.
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Kim Bonuomo on

Hope everyone is having fun. Please give Susan Happy Birthday regards from all of us here!!

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