Lost in an art museum

Trip Start May 22, 2012
Trip End Jul 20, 2012

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Where I stayed
hotel pilau

Flag of Russia  , North-West Russia,
Monday, June 18, 2012

I never had much of an appreciation of art, but the Hermitage museum in st Petersburg is supposed to have the 2nd best art collection in the world next to the Louvre in France.  The Hermitage was built by Catherine the great and is extremely opulent.  We don't have as much history in Australia or the USA, but in the old days Royalty had obscene wealth compared to the common person which was obtained by military might.  The Hermitage was so big it took me about a half an hour to find the exit.

It was a little cloudy in the morning and I assumed because it was summer, there wouldn't be much rain.  I assumed wrong and it poured and I had no umbrella.  Fortunately I was wearing my quick dry clothes from Kathmandu.  Summer is the rainy season here.  It is only sunny 60 days of the year.  Fortunately, the next day it was sunny, a beautiful day.  I went to a museum about the siege of Leningrad, now called St Petersburg, during WW2.  The city was surrounded by the Germans for 900 days who tried to starve the population.  At one point over one hundred thousand people died in one month.  The museum was more about the heroics of the Soviet military and told little of the human suffering.

Next I walked to the fort of Peter and Paul, founded by Peter the Great who consolidated power in Russia and made St Petersburg the capitol, until 1917, when the communist took over.  Then took a boat on the canal, St Petersburg has been called the Venice of the north.  It is very strategic as it is on the Baltic sea and is an important port fought over for centuries.

Off to Tallinn Estonia, leaving Russia in a few hours.
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