The magnificent Hermitage
Trip Start May 01, 2010
33Trip End Jul 10, 2010
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Ly here, well we had an another warm beautiful day and started out day with a tasty turkish wrap doused in sour cream. All russian food here must have sour cream it seems!
We caught the metro to the amazing Winter Palace which was built to formally house the Russian Tsars (Kings). I read that the palace was constructed on a monumental scale that was intended to reflect the might and power of Russia. The palace now houses the Hermitage, one of the oldest and largest museums in the world with over 3 millions artworks! We were quite amazed at the variety of artwork on display but I was actually more interested in the ornately decorated rooms. There were rooms which were just about completely gilded in gold. Other rooms had crystal chandeliers hanging one after the other from the roof tops
There seemed to be artwork from every culture and every period imaginable. There was Egyptian, prehistoric, Italian renaissance, German, French, Flemish, Dutch, Russian, modern, Japanese, Oriental, and American art. There was just so much to take in and we really only took our time looking at the works of Da Vinci, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse and Renoir. It would simply take years to look at all the artworks in any great detail. We were quite lucky today because it was International Museum Day so there was free entry to all which was quite the windfall for us because tourists usually pay twice or more the price of what Russian visitors would pay.
What was surprising was that there were no real restrictions on taking photos in the Hermitage. So I went a bit snap happy taking photos of some of the artworks which I hope you all enjoy! After wandering the Hermitage for hours we were hungry and stumbled on a Russian franchise we'd spotted all around Moscow and St Petersburg. It’s called Teremok which is a modern Russian food outlet. They mainly do greasy crepes but had other dishes we wanted to try. I ordered the borscht soup which was a lot nicer than I expected. I was thinking cold cabbage soup but it was a hot beetroot cabbage soup with bacon bits
We were both exhausted from the walk and decided we had seen enough of St Petersburg. Although it’s a lot nicer here than Moscow the people are the same, most unfriendly, and the city skyline is rather ugly. I am however amazed at how beautiful the churches are and since coming here have learnt from Daniel the history between the catholic church and the orthodox church and how they separated and fought. The churches and mosaic artworks in the churches were very impressive and were something I hadn’t come across in any other parts of Europe.
The general consensus between Daniel and I is that we came, we saw and we won’t be coming back again. Daniel has done an amazing job of navigating because there are usually no indication of where anything is and the metro system here is mindboggling with everything in Russian and no indication of which direction to go to change lines or to exit the station
What’s funny is that we seem to see a lot of disgruntled Russian men fixing their cars on the roads a lot. Often you would see their car smoking like a rock concert and the bloke bending over the hood of the car with frustration.
I’ve noticed a lot of military men around. A lot of their uniforms are very soviet union looking and they look rather intimidating. In fact most men around Russia look intimidating. We’ve come across some very angry young men who push their way through doors and in the stations with very little regard for anyone else. Others don’t seem to get annoyed at being pushed around and don’t bother putting up a fight which to me suggests that this is normal behaviour and people accept this and know it’s not worth speaking up about it
To end the day, after trying some Russian buckwheat dish, Daniel gave in to his KFC craving. We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow flying back to Moscow with a 4 hour stopover and then to Budapest.
All the best to everyone
Ly and Daniel