Once we got back to St Petersburg, riding the night train, playing cards and drinking beer, Kata had to go back to school. I had a few things I wanted to do, and Kata had mixed hours, so sometimes she came along with me, but quite a few days, I was just wandering around the city with a map and some money seeing what could be seen.
This set collects the first few days worth of these jaunts. These were almost all walking distance from Kata's place just off Nevsky, but some were a little further afield. So, where are they all?
The griffin bridge is one of many decorated bridges in St Petersburg. Dead flat, and covered in canals, there's plenty of bridges to be decorated, and lots of them are.
The Church on the Spilled Blood - the "other" "russian" church, (along with St Basil's on Red Square) is an amazing church. It's completely different to St Basil's. Where St Basil's is multiple chapels all built together, the blood church is one big church, with stunning mosaics inside. It was closed for about 12 years for renovations, where they basically rebuilt it based on old photos. It had been used as a warehouse for a theatre company, and was basically trashed. This seemed to be a common theme in churches. It reminded me a lot of the carved out chapels in Cappadocia, Turkey, only where they had paint, this was all done in mosaics. Well worth the entrance fee.
I went to the Kunstkamera as well, which was interesting, but a lot harder to appreciate as it only had english captions in the wonder room itself. Still, an interesting display.
I loved the Russian Museum, probably more than the Hermitage, probably because it had more works by people I had never heard of, and had no preconceived notions of what I should or should not like. Again, like the Hermitage, enjoyment here is solely dependent on having good shoes, it's a big place.
We both went to the Fortress together, and enjoyed it, though I don't seem to have many pictures :) Although it has a great big giant golden needle, the Romanov church is nowhere near as fancy as the blood church inside, it's painted in swirly pastels, with no realy serious artwork. Still, a nice building. We also got a tour of the jail there, which has been fairly famous in the past, and simply reminded me how little russian history I know :)
The architecture simply has to be seen. So many styles, depending on the age of that part of town.