Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Scandinavia #8a

St. Petersburg, Russia

I never thought I would step on Russian soil again, never in my wildest dreams! I was in Russia in 1990 for 3 weeks (went to St. Petersburg, Moscow,  and Prague, Czech Republic). It wasn’t until we cleared immigration and I actually walked past customs, that it sunk in that I was actually here...again.

Faberge Museum Tour
          I saw only a few Faberge Eggs last time I was here because they on an exhibition to the US. I had forgotten how gorgeous they were. The intricate detail of design was truly amazing.

          The museum is housed in the  Shuvalovs Palace, one of the most beautiful palaces in St. Petersburg, formerly owned by the Naryshkins and the Shuvalovs, two famous aristocratic families.

          Carl Faberge was French-born but lived in Russia for many years. He began making decorated eggs for Peter the Great and his royal heirs. When the revolution occurred he escaped to Switzerland where he died around 1920. When he fled, his workshop was left behind and hidden by friends. After WWII Faberge’s heirs retrieved the workshop and sold it to an artist in Italy. They also sold him the Faberge name.
We spent the afternoon relaxing on board the ship, hit the hot tub, and had dinner with our new international friends on board.

Tour of the City
We took a bus tour through St. Petersburg and it was better than I remembered. The streets are repaired, the buildings no longer in shambles and so many new skyscrapers than before. But the sense of antiquity and charm of the city still remained. We spend time touring St. Peter and Paul Fortress which contains the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral. The cathedral was Marvelous!

After the 4 hour tour, we returned to the ship at 1pm, had lunch and relaxed in the library.

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