Winter Palace, Amber Room, St Petersburg
Trip Start Dec 20, 2003
5Trip End Jan 11, 2004
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FINALLY, after 9 days of no sunshine and hard-to-breathe-in air in Moscow (too many cars), the sun was out in the evening, and set over the white gardens of the Winter Palace (now a Museum)...
Naturally, the actual palace was unbelievable. Paintings like in huge Chapels, all over walls, ceilings; the wooden floors artwork in themselves; the huge ballrooom with solid gold (and not that yellow stuff either) chandeliers, all unique... then the restored (or rather, reconstructed, as they never found the original pieces) Amber Room, where everything was made from ruby. ha ha. no really, the "paintings" were made from differently treated pieces of amber, to change their texture and color, as were the frames too, the walls, ceiling decorations (give or take more renaissance style paintings). So I didn't see the 180 fountains (all powered by gravity, mind you)... but the city of palaces didn't fail to please.
St Petersburg also has (to my best knowledge) the deepest underground (der) metro system... considering it has to be under the river and all.. and they're spacious, royale platforms, only Moscow beats that with all their marble and various statues at each stop!
ah yes! St Petersburg has the most bridges of any city (apparently), and they all look quite nice in the cold. Had a tour (bus), but all i remember (apart from the colorful buildings that all look like the palace walls, yellow, blue, green (pale)) is that all the streetlamps were different - victorian style i think...
Also, it was dark for most of the day. I do remember St Petersburg when I was 6, we went in summer, and watched the bridge unfold in the middle of the white night: then the sun was only just below the horizon, but it was light enough.
Went aboard the Aurora, the ship that fought in the Russo-Japanese War, and which fired those shots during the October Revolution (1917) that signalled to start the storming of the Winter Palace :(