Sunday, July 07, 2013

More St. Petersburg

Our hotel was located right across Alexander Nevsky Monastery and we had a good view of it from our window. The claim to fame of this lavra is here you will find the graves of some of the most famous and important Russian artists.

View of Alexander Nevsky Monastery from our hotel room

It was a bit of an effort to figure out where different people were buried, but we thankfully found the ones we were looking for. Among them are author Fyodor Dostoyevsky...

Grave of Fyodor Dostoyevksy

...and composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Grave of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

The metro in St. Petersburg is not as spectacular as its Moscow counterpart but that doesn't mean that some of the stations here aren't worth a photo op or two. The Admiralteyskaya station with its appropriate mosaic design is the stop closest to the Hermitage and the deepest metro station in the city.

Admiralteyskaya metro station

We saw the beautiful St. Petersburg Mosque from a bit of a distance when we went to Peter and Paul Fortress.

St. Petersburg Mosque

We passed by the Nikolsky Cathedral (or St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral) on our way to the Mariinsky Theatre. I would have loved to go in to see its beautifully carved wooden iconostasis but we didn't have enough time. Nevertheless, we got to admire its elegant blue and gold facade.

Nikolsky Cathedral

This monument has the most interesting name - To Leningrad the Hero City Obelisk. It was erected in Vosstaniya Square in 1985 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Victory Day.

To Leningrad the Hero City Obelisk

It was in this area on May 9 that we luckily chanced upon the Victory Day parade. We spent most of that day at the Peterhof and after getting dressed at our hotel, we got on a bus which was supposed to take us all the way to the Mariinsky Theatre. However, most of the roads were closed and we had to get off the bus near Ploshchad Vosstaniya. As we made our way to the metro station, we saw that the parade in this square had just started. Talk about great timing!

Victory Day parade

We had our final dinner in Russia at Chaynaya Lozhka, which had a branch not far from our hotel. This place serves relatively inexpensive blini, a traditional Russian dish and we felt that it would be good to have something local before we flew out.

Dinner and dessert blinis at Chaynaya Lozhka

There is still one key Russian experience I had that I have yet to write about. Next post: Russian Ballet.

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