Saturday July 27, 2013
It is 10:14 local as I start to write this post and I am feeling quite tired with all that we did today. I would like to explain that the WiFi service on the AmaKaterina is quite limited. Supposedly we cannot upload pictures or email attachments. When I checked yesterday’s blog only 2 pictures showed up of the 11 I had hoped to have shown. I am going to try sending today’s activities in two blogs and perhaps I can get two pictures out on each post.
Today has been a beautiful day, bright and sunny and approx 22 degrees. We were on the bus for the better part of today and saw many fine buildings and had many photo ops. I did take a total of 205 pics.
The first place we stopped at was a decommissioned Cathedral. When the Soviets were in power, religion was frowned upon and many
churches and cathedrals were left in disrepair. This particular church is famous for being the first place in Russia that taught women. Presently the state is in negotiations to return it to the believers and it is almost a certainty that this will happen. It is a very beautiful cathedral.
We stopped for photo ops in many places and I am only giving you the real hi lights. The tour took us back to the Church of Spilled Blood and we did get some more shots of it that were an improvement over the previous ones. (More Pics)
Next we stopped at St Isaac’s Cathedral. This is the fourth largest Church in the world. It is quite the edifice. More on this on Monday’s blog as we are taking an optional tour there. (More Pics)
From St Isaac’s we went to the Peter & Paul Fortress. It was in this complex where we saw the church that houses the tombs of many of the Russian Czars. The church is very beautiful and the grounds extensive. We arrived at about 11:45 with many of our group in need of washroom facilities.
If anyone was having any problems in relieving themselves this was alleviated at 12:00 with a gigantic, very, very loud cannon (thank god it was a blank), that just about had me jumping out of my socks. (More Pics)
We then went and had lunch which consisted Caesar salad, beet (yes the vegetable) borsch, and beef stroganoff with potato and mixed vegetables. Reminded us of how we were served in China..
After lunch we were bused to the Hydrofoil terminal where we boarded our boat for the 40 minute ride to Peterof, the summer palace of Katherine the Great among others. This palace is famous for its grounds which are quite extensive and its (i believe) 152 fountains, all run by gravity (there are no pumps). Many of these are quite spectacular. We took an optional tour that allowed us to go through the palace itself, Our Guide, for the day was Tatiana and she was a wealth of information.
The palace itself fell to the German’s in WWII and was extensively damaged. Lennon in 1947 signed a decree that said the Palace, gardens, fountains and statues were to be rebuilt. This did not begin, until 1954 as the artisans had to be trained to complete the task. They have done a magnificent reconstruction and are justifiably proud of their accomplishment. (More Pics)
We returned to our ship at approx. 8:00 pm, dinner, checked email and began typing this.
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